Spring colour...

It's September! This is the last September before I become a retired full-time gardener. Already there is spring colour - crocuses, daffodils, camellias - and the garden is ready to burst into flower. The rhododendrons are covered in buds. I can't wait to rediscover their flower colours.

Wednesday 3rd September

I've been home from work this week, just a bit sick with a virus. Today I've been doing a little weeding and have taken a few photos. Lots of spring plants are sitting quietly, ready to flower.

 Daffodils are a welcome sight in the cold pre-spring weather.
Daffodils on the Fence Line

Already some of the fence-line daffodils have started. I have also found a patch of huge white crocuses which I don't ever remember seeing before. The lawns need mowing. The second rose arch is screwed together (thanks Stephen) and installed behind the glass-house. The seedlings in the glass-house are doing really well - tomorrow I plan to go outside as early as possible to work with them. I am feeling much better.

Thursday 4th September

Amazing timing - I've just come inside after pottering outside for about six hours (gently), and the southerly wind has just started blowing. There is rain with cold temperatures forecast, but we'll see if this eventuates. I've been going very slowly, sitting down as I weed (since I am still technically a sick person).

I've cleared most of the paths in the garden by the hen house, trimmed some more unlucky Pittosporums, burnt the rubbish, lifted some badly misplaced Cannas, and planted some miniature irises.

Glass-House Seedlings

I have also spent a few hours in the glass-house pricking out cerinthe, marigold and lupin seedlings (to mention but some). I'm glad I've taken this time off - I have a tendency to rush back to work, thinking I am irreplaceable. Those days are gone - I now know that while I may be missed by some of my students, the life of a school goes relentlessly on, no matter who is or isn't there.

 This clump of miniature daffodils is one of the happiest, never failing to flower.
Miniature Daffodils

Simple Gardening Pleasures

This week I have enjoyed gardening on a small scale - gardening at its simplest, with no grand earth-moving schemes or huge wheelbarrow runs. I've found patches of miniature daffodils, self-sown seedlings of the spikey hen house plant, plus a few of the Korean Angelica (which, I might add, I found mentioned in a coffee-table gardening magazine the other day -  very much the plant of the moment in Europe  apparently - Moosey riding the European garden style-wave). And this reminds me - I have just heard from an Australian gardener called Moosey, just two years younger than me - we could form a most exclusive Moosey Gardeners Club. What a small, wonderful gardening world.

Friday 5th September

I will only be able to garden this morning - this afternoon I am flying up to Wellington for work. I selfishly hope it rains lots while I'm away. I'm not sure exactly what I'll do in the garden this morning - maybe spread some horse-poos and pea-straw on the Hen House Borders (now that they are freshly weeded).

London Son :
London son - AKA the Moosey's Country Garden webmaster!

My London son has organised a birthday present - money to be spent at my favourite nursery - but I'll save that for when I get back.

There will be no gardening this weekend, but I've enjoyed catching up on soul and health this week. Gardeners need to recharge their batteries!

Saturday 13th September

Wellington was cold! I met one of my internet gardening friends (she is so nice!) and looked at her garden - lots of natives, and cool blue pots with stones for mulch. I have brought home a small tough carpeting dianthus plant which is to be introduced to the Laundry Garden. I tried to walk through the Wellington Botanic Gardens but it was too drizzley and windy.

 Wonderful foliage and flower plants.
White Bergenias

Now I have survived a week back at school (and have got a cold and an annoying cough). As a result today was rather mellow - pottering in the glass-house, buying a set of three huge pale terracotta pots for $40, picking up some incredibly smelly horse-poos from down the road, weeding a little, and burning the clippings from the Olearia hedge. I have four new garden magazines to read (thanks to a birthday last Monday), $200 to spend at the local nursery, aching legs, and a slightly raw sore throat.

 I've moved this pot to the side of the house to give some height and colour to Stephen's border.
Flax in Blue Pot

The plants in the glass-house are doing very well. I've put some of them outside under the table - a rather crude form of hardening off, but I do it every year and they usually survive. The lupin cuttings look healthy and I have already imagined them growing in eight different places, so tomorrow I am going to slice off some more. I hope they flower well. I will also try and strike some cuttings of the low blue penstemon which makes such a good filler. I bought two petunia-like plants which look awfully garish in colour, and two tomato plants which I will probably grow in the glass-house in really large pots. The garden looks lovely and spring-like - the lawns were mowed while I was away, everything looks so fresh and green. Tomorrow I will try to work harder. I have one week to last until my holiday.

Sunday 14th September

We are off to the nursery! The light rain which is falling at the moment is supposed to stop by lunchtime. There is still a lot of the Olearia hedge clippings to clear up and burn, but the view from upstairs now is stunning - the flaxes and trees over the water race are beautifully framed by a neat straight hedge-top. The nursery plan is flexible - new roses are allowed as long as they look really beautiful. Back soon!

Later, apres gardening...

I have made some choices for my birthday plants - there is a rather nice new flax, plus a weeping pear tree (I have always wanted one, I think), and some rather nice natives - Myrtles and Pepper trees. I also may get a couple of red Cordylines for my new pots. There are lots of huge rhododendrons at the nursery, but I think I've got enough at present. I spent most of the afternoon clearing the muddy dog-path over the water race (with a spade sideways) and trying to collect up all the remaining Olearia clippings to burn them - got a bit tired and went inside for a short snooze. I can't wait until I am retired properly - then there won't be the need to race around like a lunatic all weekend trying to finish all the gardening jobs at once. I am about to go to bed with a hot cup of tea and the third of my birthday gardening magazines. I wish I'd worked harder today but never mind. There are five sleeps until my holiday.