Major digging plans...

I have plans for major diggings - typical, since it's bound to be too hot to turn them into reality. My summer cricket listening starts up in earnest.

Sunday 16th December

Today I am going to make further in-roads on the dog-paths over the water race, before the sun gets too high in the sky. I have visions in my mind of semi-secret little pathways winding between the flaxes. The brutality of an axe and a sharp shovel is needed to make the dream a reality. Wonder if I should totally hack down all the weedy grasses? Don't want to control things too much. Probably need to test the result on an fat but adventurous person who is wearing old clothes.

 Japanese iris, hostas, and a rogue daylily by the dogpath.
a restful planting by the water

Morning coffee time, and I've dug out the part of the dog-path beneath Duck Lawn (which this year has been duckless lawn, but no matter). Partner sees me again typing away and comments rudely on my little dribbly bits of diary writing. Too bad - I am a compulsive recorder, and people who are on holiday are allowed to be as dribbly as they wish.

I have decided that wee paths need encouraging beginnings. Too bad if they peter out half way through, leaving the garden wanderer stuck between a flax and a tree trunk. So I have cleared the start of the wee path that passes underneath the oak trees.

I have pulled out all the pale cream California poppies, copying the local garden TV show hostess. I'm not totally sure about cream Californian poppies - they seem a little too subtle in colour, while being strangely untidy in form. This is a most peculiar combination. I am off back outside now to choose a new challenge, preferably in the shade somewhere.

I am back. Another dog-path has been cleared successfully. It's now past midday and the sun is very hot. The longest day is in five days time. The garden is slowly relaxing me and I like the idea of no lists.

Monday 17th December

What shall I do first today? It's cloudy but rather warm - the perfect day for digging - and there is that new border I've been thinking of creating. Hmmm... Do I feel like a digging marathon? Not sure. Think I'll shift the long suffering hellebores from under the Gum trees. It's just far too dry for them under there. Will get a hot cup of coffee and go for a gentle wander.

 Too big? No way!
Summer in the House Garden

Much later, after much digging, burning, and planting of planter boxes with French Vanilla marigolds, followed by 2 hours of playing Bach, Brahms, and Schubert on the piano. This is the thinking gardener's perfect holiday. It's probably time to start drinking, but we won't go into that. Eating would be nice, too. I'm feeling heartened by today's efforts with the shovel. I have enlarged the new driveway border, weeded it and filled in the gaps with some more plantings. I don't think I'm getting lonely yet, thanks in part to my new (replacement) cricket radio.

Tuesday 18th December

What a hoot! I have just read last year's December diary. It's the same as this year's - I rave on about not writing lists and I'm clearing the dog-paths. Also, there are many comments about my new cricket radio. Guess I am sadly rather predictable and boring after all... Looks like today will be another perfect digging day. Again it's warmish but cloudy. First I will take some photos of the entrances to my pathways and the bizarre flax flower pods, which will be pretty hard to photograph. They are the most incredible designs and colours, reminding me of a set of National Geographic frog pictures. Do you know what I mean?

Mugsy :
Mugsy is my little orange and black disabled cat.

The Most Valuable Cat Competition starts today, on the first NZ cricket test match day (as is the Moosey tradition). This year there are two daily winning categories, so to speak, and cats can gain points for being both outdoor and indoor company. Lap sitters (when the gardener is resting in front of TV cricket) thus are given an equal chance. This gives Mugsy a better chance to take the title from one of the greys.

Big Fat Sifter is probably too hopeless to be taken as a serious contender, unless the gardener fills her pockets with dried cat food and leaves little trails in the grass. Hopeless.

It's now 3pm and there's gentle rain falling. I've shifted the hellebores, finally, after months of thinking about it. Haven't done much else, but who cares? Have been thinking about the surfeit of roses though. Hmm... am going to play piano and enjoy the views.

Wednesday 19th December

There is gentle rain to start the day, but I will be going outside to clear up the mess around the hen house. Rustic outbuildings are great for the ambience of a country property, but there is a level of weed accompaniment which becomes unacceptable!

 The large bright green bean like pods are perfect for stylish floral arrangements.
phormium tenax in flower


I'm back, and the area surrounding the hen-house is cleared. Rustic ambience is restored. There is space in the concrete trough for some tough annuals. The nearby foliage plantings along the water race at Rooster Bridge have filled out well - there are masses of ferns and hostas and the new upright flaxes are growing well. The Renga Renga under the gums has recovered from the frost damage of last winter, and is delicately in flower.

I am keen to have the hammock put up in this area, as it is a secret haven away from the house and the phone and all those candy coloured roses. I need to organise some good summer reading books for trialing the new hammock, and possibly could set up the tramping stove for cups of billy tea.

Must stop now. I'm not too sure what area of the garden I'll attack next. There is still one section of Middle Border's dog-path which is blocked by huge grasses. That's about all I can think of. It might be time to go off to a nursery and buy some new plants (hee hee). Or organise that disgraceful vegetable garden which is full of lettuce trees and old bulbous radishes that no-one will eat.

 Such pretty flowers.
White Cosmos

Thursday 20th December

I perhaps could mention that the NZ cricket has yet not started - two days totally abandoned due to rain. So this morning I am off to visit my nice gardening friend for breakfast, and plan to return just as the cricket starts. While dead-heading at dusk (sounds poetic) last night I found a whole border which needs weeding, and I have five pottles of white cosmos annuals left which will do very nicely in there. I also keep finding daylily clumps in flower which I've semi forgotten about. I am actually going to make a short succinct list, so I will be fully focused when I return from across town.

Gardening Short List :

Hey, this list is getting seriously long.

Piano Playing Short List :

Hey, how did this music list slip into a gardening diary? No comment (probably only to show off). I am back from visiting my friend, and have done most of the above. The Partita is very mesmerising to play with repeats as all the movements are in the same key. And this is supposed to be a gardening diary!

Friday 21st December

As usual I am up early, with far too much to say and huge plans for the gardening day. At my request the big irrigation went on last night - it's magical lying snug in bed listening to the gentle swooshings of the big sprinklers (hoping that it's not watering any of the beds downstairs). The cricket starts at 11.30 and so my first gardening session will be 3 and a half hours long, and will finish off yesterday's list items. If I am so severely brainwashed that I have to make a list, then I jolly well have to see the list items accomplished.

 My faithful shovel! My favourite plastic bucket!
Gardening Tools

Saturday 22nd December

I've done everything on the list. I'm still thinking about the new digging mission. It's important to let the idea settle before striking out with shovel. Today again is cloudy, the perfect digging day. This is a good example of the perversity of human nature. No doubt I will feel a huge inspiration to start the new dig as soon as the weather clears and we have blazing sunshine.

Sunday 23rd December

It is 10.30am - really late for me to start my gardening day. First thing I'm going to do is to take a long walk around, possible dead-heading the roses and catching up with the gardens over the water race. They'll be in need of something, no doubt.


Big Fat Sifter has been following me around for the last three hours! What a strange cat. He has made a pretty poor showing in the Annual Most Valuable Cat Competition to date, so this is a major effort on his part and will score him some bonus points. I have cleared more of the dog-paths and done some general weeding and tidying (over the last two days I have weeded my least visited parts of the garden). Again, the weather has been perfect for digging, so naturally I haven't done any. There has actually been little sun this past week. All the lawns have been mown and after a short rest inside I intend to do ALL THE EDGES.