My country paradise...

Right - visiting rooster and the hens are fed (mixed veges, cooked potato peelings, porridge), the log fire is burning, the sun is shining - it's the start of another week of beautiful autumn ambience in my country paradise. I hope that today is as gently satisfying as all the April yesterdays have been.

Wednesday 14th April

It's quite different being semi-retired in Autumn. In previous April holidays I'd have a sense of panic even in the first heady days of freedom - having to make every moment count, knowing that far too soon I'd be locked back into working through the hours of daylight. I love Autumn gardening.

 Locust tree with its bright yellow Autumn leaves.
Autumn Gold

It's so much nicer now. I've got two catalogues to read if I feel like a break. I'm saving my favourite magazine Fine Gardening for later when the sun's gone down.

Time to report on the cats and dog - and other animal friends in the Moosey garden.

 Enjoying the Autumn sunshine.
Mugsy the Cat

Actually the cats have been hopeless in the daytimes - carpet-sleeping all the time, following the sun around all the rooms.

It's time to decide what to do first in the garden today. I'm going to try to have a complete day out there without getting tired - maybe I'll actually get the water race weeding finished! The secret will be mental, so I may need some tricks and incentives. This weather is so enjoyable it seems wrong to waste it. I'm off.


I've been in the water race, wearing thermal socks and long-johns, and the water has been pretty cold. I have incredibly white, clean feet, and more water race edges have been cleared of weeds (the clover from the lawn is the worst).

I've also planted a Beverly Hills Hebe (impressive name!) and two small Myrtles in the new rhododendron garden, and organised manure and mulch for the plants.

As a reward I am allowed to take the dog for a walk (one hour's worth) to the shop - reward??? I'll have to buy some chocolate.

I'm back (the dog wouldn't come), and about to return to the garden to work until sundown. That's the plan, anyway. I have a list, which is as follows:

Pretty simple, really.

Thursday 15th April

I burnt stuff alright - including TWO hand diggers and my favourite pair of gardening gloves. Ouch!

Autumn Leaf :
This is one of my favourite autumn leaf pictures. And that sunshine looks really warm!

Today I have decided I deserve a lazier day. So far I have fed the hens and rooster (I really must source those birds - where do they come from?) and taken silly photos of autumn leaves and the same assorted features that I always take photos of. It's 10 am and I haven't yet hit the garden - I'll take a hot cup of tea out to the Stables seat and ponder. If I then get inspired, well and good - if not, I am probably due half a day off.


I got inspired. I've cleared parts of the driveway border and trimmed a Feijoa tree. I've just been working very slowly, having fun - nothing too strenuous - for three hours. Funny what you do when you don't plan anything or write any lists...

 All the leaves are falling.
Autumn in the Driveway

Friday 16th April

It is so much better being semi-retired! I'm enjoying the little things - like feeding the rooster and hens (the menu has been quite odd, though, as I'm using up old tramping food left-overs). And I don't feel I have to squash everything into a single day. I think my garden is looking much better (in a deep down sort of way) than usual for this time of the year.

Face the Music

I'm also appreciating some time for reflection about being a bit sick last year - time for facing the music and moving on, if you'll pardon my slightly mixed metaphors. It's not about self-indulgence, either. I just feel very very lucky, and having more time in the garden is the best reality check I can think of!

Enough deep and meaningful waffling. I am about to have a cup of tea. I think I'll decide after that what I do first. Lucky me!

 What a nosy bird!
My Rooster


Legends of gardening are created slowly, with much repetition. I decided to clean up the house gardens, starting with Stephen's Border. I raked, weeded and chopped. Then I wheeled. Finally I burnt. Some things change, some things stay the same...

But now, something quite different - I am off to plant the Hebe garden at my son's flat in town. I wonder if I should take any bags of horsepoos - hmm, might be a little too country for the neighbours!

Saturday 17th April

This is a day to enjoy the garden rather than work hard in it. It's a sunny, twenty-one degree, calm, peaceful, quiet Autumn day in the country.

Ha! I tricked myself into doing three hours gentle chopping and weeding around the house gardens. Dahlias, dead flax leaves, plus lots of gum tree leaves raked from the house lawn are ready on the burning heap. Time for well earned rest with cup of tea and book, before compulsory burning session.

 For my garden...
Horse Manure

Grumpy, Apres-Burning...

If I worked, say, for six hours each day, and burnt, say, ten wheelbarrowfuls of rubbish each day, would I actually get the garden into good order? How long would it take? Humph.

Sunday 18th April

It is drizzling, so we are going to go down to the Nursery to buy some bags of Compost - just starting off the day on the appropriate gardening note.

We are back, and I have conned Stephen into helping me collect the following:

Excellent gardening progress has been made - imagine if I had a minion who I could organise and boss around all the time? Hee hee...