Early December

It's December already, and I have FOUR days of work left before I retire. Yippee! I can hardly believe it - should I be making terribly serious lists, or should I just let the next few days flow by? I wonder what it will be like?

I'm going to let myself have sleeps in the afternoon if I feel tired, and that sort of thing. And as for the garden, I wonder if it will notice the difference? Will the Frisbee Lawn ever be transformed into a second large pond? Will I turn into a different type of gardener? Will I get too lonely? Instead of asking these deep and meaningful questions, I should be deeply and meaningfully watering the pots. I'll do that.

 This is the outdoor table that Stephen made.
Thinking about Retirement

Thursday 4th December

These past months seems to have flown by - it seems like only yesterday it was dark in the mornings. My gardening year seems to have been rather random, too - one day I've felt like I've been struggling, the next I've felt like superwoman. Some days I've lost sight of the garden and others I've seemed to have been totally immersed, without any external cares or worries. I'm actually quite excited about my change in circumstances. I wonder if I'll do all those responsible things well-behaved retired people have time to do (like sweeping the patios, grooming the plants in the pots, raking the gum leaves off the house lawn, etc). Hmm...

 This clump is in the front of the bay window - you can see it from the breakfast chairs.
Perennial Salvia Superbum

Friday 5th December

I have THREE working days to go. And it's the night before the weekend. I am feeling quite odd about this - my goodness - I wonder what will change and what will remain the same. Hmm... I need to buy some new apres-gardening shirts to celebrate. Maybe I should cut my hair a bit, to sort of start afresh...

Saturday 6th December

I wonder if this childlike countdown (THREE working days to go...) will amuse me in later months. Today is the first day of my weekend, and I have school commitments, driving students around - ha! This may be the last such interruption. It's warm and cloudy outside - the perfect combination for gardening, reading in the garden, taking photos of the garden, or watering the garden. Time for a few pre-retirement photos before I drive away.


I am feeling rather tired, and I haven't that much to say about today anyway. I bought some tomato plants and a courgette plant which I've planted, and I've wandered around the garden picking fresh bunches of flowers for the house. Now I am off to bed early. I should have had a sleep midday - never mind.

 Can a gardener have too many roses?
Roses in December

Sunday 7th December

I've had a much better day in the garden today. I've been digging - enlarging and reshaping the borders by the Willow Tree. The radio has been playing bits of commentaries of different cricket games. I've occasionally heard the bell-bird(s) singing high up in nearby trees. I've been watering and also doing edges. Although I've managed to lose my hand digger I've had a pretty satisfying day.

The roses are still amazing - with huge numbers of flowers. Several over the water race are blooming big for the first time. There is colour everywhere, with bright patches of pinky-red lupins and blue Penstemons. The daylilies are starting, and there are still huge clumps of mid-blue irises by the pergola. Also the self-sown foxgloves are rather fun - I like the apricot ones the best. Many of the flaxes are in flower too, with huge spears reaching out for the sky. There are also weeds - many such, and still I am finding patches of old withered forget-me-nots to pull out.


It's nine o'clock and I've just come in from an hour's weeding up the driveway. I managed to get a wheelbarrow-ful rather quickly - and while dumping it in the Hump discovered some rather sad dry rhododendrons. They are about to be moved over the water race into the new enlarged borders. Here they will be shaded from the afternoon summer sun, and also will get irrigated. A pity, but it's just too dry where they are.

Tuesday 9th December - Evening...

ONE day to go. Except that I will have to spend at least three extra hours clearing up and sorting out, filling up the car with boxes etc... My goodness. I haven't said anything at work - they are all so busy, hanging out for the holidays to start, they've forgotten that for me it's a little different. ONE day - yes!!! What an odd year it's been! Arriving home today the house smelt really nice - all those vases full of roses. Othello is one of the very best for fragrance, and the Compassion roses are some of the best looking (I have a large bunch, all with very long stems, in a rather large glass jar - simply stylish). I am about to have a cup of tea and read the new gardening magazine - or should I save it? Hmm...

 Stumpy the cat talks to me as I try and take her photo.

Wednesday 10th December - My work has finished.

Right - it's Wednesday 6pm and I am home from work. Work is over for the year. For me, retirement has officially started. I am feeling rather pleased with myself. It's been a long, satisfying day - starting with Jerome the cat bringing a rather robust mouse with a rather insistent squeak into the bedroom at five am this morning. I tried (like the mouse) playing dead, but the inevitable happened - Jerome lost concentration and jumped onto the bed to smooch, while the spherical mouse waddled in slow motion towards the bookcase and safety. Eek!

I'm now going to watch some TV and think about nothing. The cats will keep me company. Yippee!!!