I wonder...

I am seriously starting to think about becoming a full-time gardener. Wonder if I should do this? I am very tempted.

Saturday 14th June

Today we planted 200 hazelnut trees. Well, to be totally accurate, I helped with about 100 of them. I also cleared the path which will cut through the Leyland hedge to a gate in the paddock fence. Now I am sulking with a slightly sore arm. It was nice being out in the wide expanses of the middle paddock though, and I'm looking forward to planting the extra trees (apples, etc.) which I've mentally chosen. This time of year I am reminded how much I like the humble Silver Birches - their trunks look gorgeous, in other people's gardens.

 Looking pensive....
mugsy the cat

I'm sorry I'm a bit grumpy. I am now going to sit down with my slightly sore arm and watch a rugby test match - the All Blacks playing England. National pride is at stake. (oops - we lost)

Sunday 15th June

We planted 200 more trees. That's all we did today. Weather report: balmy, spots of rain late afternoon. Arm report: a bit sore. State of mind report - have been sulking all week, still sulking. Hopeless. Son Eggy has presented me with the following newspaper headline - TRADE SCHOOL FOR GARDENING - which he has sellotaped into my teachers plan book. Humph...

Saturday 21st June

I think it's the shortest day. It's really warm outside, and several odd things are flowering (like the Mexican Orange Blossom).

Flower Carpet Roses :
A lot of my white Flower Carpet roses are grown from cuttings.

The first blossom tree is in flower, and the white flower carpet roses are in absolute full bloom. Crazy! I often wonder what it is like for roses in places like Sydney where winter temperatures are about 20 degrees.

So how do they know when to stop blooming and take a rest? Guess they don't. A clearly defined winter such as I'm used to here makes one's gardening choices simpler. No extremes - like snow... And the frosts (only one so far) aren't severe enough to get the plants (or the head gardener) panicking.

 Will they survive?
Winter Pots


But - talking of frosts - there are still pots of pelargoniums and helichrysums languishing under the big gum tree and colonies of large leafed peppermint pelargoniums covering parts of the bank of the water race. All self respecting dahlias have gone black and died, though.

Sunday 22nd June

Yesterday I did some meaningful clearing by Duck(less) lawn, spreading ash and newspaper and pea-straw and nasturtium clippings. I pulled out 200 gorse and broom seedlings - hey, haven't I done this before? Then I burnt more of the willow prunings and retired inside to fall asleep on a chair in a semi-sulk.

Today is the beginning of my new attitude. Sulking is banned! It's time to get over myself and get back to being positive (my hospital treatment finished on Friday, so there are absolutely no excuses). There is no such thing as the winter blues for keen gardeners. Today starts with planting more hazelnut trees. This is a gentle, easy thing to do, and it's nice working in the wide open space of the middle paddock. Taj-dog enjoys pottering around this space, too (particularly rolling in the little patches of sheep poos - gross dog).

 Contemplating his future...

Visiting daughter flies back to Sydney today. Darn it - there goes my gourmet apres gardening cook! And visiting son Eggy (who had his 30th birthday a few days ago) has presented me with the following note:

 Actually a whole row...
Ha! A Hazelnut Tree!


I have planted three rows of trees, and also zoomed like a maniac around the local nursery in the descending gloom of closing time. Tomorrow Stephen promises he will return with the trailer and bring all the new plants home.

New Plants

I am quite excited - as well as flaxes, a new rhododendron, and some roses for the new walkway through the hazels, I have bought a rather expensive Cornus Variegata which I think is called the wedding cake tree. I'm not sure where I'm going to plant it, but at $50 it had better behave! The plant beginning with B is a large rhododendron called Blue Wave.

Sunday 29th June

I've actually spent the last four days more or less in the garden. That is, I've pottered and planted, then zoomed inside for a sit down and a coffee, returned outside to find something else to do. I had two days off work, and all four days have been balmy and mild. I've planted the new Eggy Garden near the Willow tree, laying down mulch and horse-poos. I've also cleared out some of the mess by the hen house. June has not been very cold, and there's a false sense of security - I could retire and do the garden every day!

 This is one of the most peaceful spots in the garden.
the hen house in june

Actually, plans are forming for retirement, and this time they are deeper, unemotional, and very serious. Having been "sick" and now having come out the other end of the treatment system, I am looking more and more at a reduction in stress. Can't really get stressed out there in the garden - the gorse and broom seedlings are annoying, but can be removed, painlessly. I can't ever remember breaking down in tears over moss, or nasty grass, or the rampant growth of a hebe. Thinking very seriously!

Meanwhile the hazel trees are all planted, and the weather next week is supposed to be really cold - snow down to sea level - oops! I have one week to survive until my official holiday. I have loved seeing all my nice family people this month.