Wet roses, new animals...

 Six weeks old.
Tiger the Tabby Kitten

Christmas is nearly here - the garden is full of wet roses, and the house is full of new animals (kittens and a puppy). I've finally got the Christmas tree - naturally, it's alive, in potting mix.

Thursday 23rd December

Between the frequent showers of rain (aargh!) the birds in the Moosey garden squeak and chirp so loudly - they, like the head gardener, enjoy coming out of shelter and being in the garden. I can hear them now - I wonder if this can be a gardening morning? I do hope so - yesterday we were mainly house-bound - very boring for the puppy.

The many flaxes in the garden have started to flower - they have ridiculously beautiful flowers, and the resident bellbird (or is there a pair?) drinks the nectar. It's soaking wet everywhere, though - rooster looks like he's been downsized, and his tail feathers are dragging on the ground.

The roses are drenched. When the weather dries out the Iceberg roses will look a mess - at the moment they just look cute and natural. And the lawns will grow really fast with some sunshine. That means mowing, and doing the edges all over again!

Animal Report

Hurray for the white hen who has finally emerged (after sitting on nothing for about six weeks) to range free and be normal again. All these animals are so much fun! And I know I don't talk much now about the old dog, but gosh I still miss him!

Puppy and the White Hen

Today's Gardening Goals

Right. I HAVE TO do some gardening this morning, even if it's wet and muddy. I will just have to get muddy and wet myself. I must stake the heirloom tomatoes. I wonder if I should take off their laterals? I must weed in the Hump where the new native plants are. OK - just these two things. Set achievable goals, right?

 Pansies are brilliant self-seeders in my garden.
The Origin of Blue Pansy Mulch


So why, when I have written up two very clear goals, do I then proceed to garden somewhere totally different (i.e. around the Frisbee Lawn, for two hours, much achieved, looking much better, weeded, aquilegias trimmed, the thug clematis montana cut back, variegated honesty pulled out and seeds scattered around, foxgloves ditto, chopped up and applied blue-pansy mulch...)?

OK - Are these the actions of a calculating, clever gardener with a delicate hint of the rebel in her? Or just a scatty old lady with too much time on her hands and not enough human company?

Fine. I'll stop twittering. I'll water the (extremely small) Christmas tree, then go sit on a shady seat and read my book.

Puppy-gardening is brilliant, by the way. We are well matched, Rusty and I. We share similar interests - digging, pulling, tearing, ripping...

Friday 24th December - Christmas Eve

It's still wet. Thus it has been a wet week. So this gardening diary should be very empty, right? No way! Not with the new animals to look after and spend time with and twitter on about. The kittens are great fun. It's more serious with a puppy, and some mornings I'm saying 'No' in my terribly serious voice every minute.

 Kittens love roses!
Smoocher the Ginger Kitten

I have made some conceptual decisions which have become Moosey policy - new animals will only be photographed in a garden setting, with at least one rose or plant recognisable. Older animals cannot be left out of this process - they must get equal publicity.

Cat Photography Policy

This should cover problems of saturation kitten-and-puppy photographs, and possible cat-jealousy from Stumpy, Jerome and Mugsy. The trouble is that the older cats don't actually do much (except arrive from nowhere when the kittens are being fed).

 Got to keep her quota of photographs up!
Mugsy the Cat - Christmas 2004

While the on-again off-again rain has stopped real gardening, I still have my garden plans. I've decided to return to the Christchurch Botanic Gardens with a dictaphone - this should be hilariously good company for my walking friend - I will be muttering madly (like a professional, I might add) while she tags along behind carrying the thermos. I am not going to do any moving pictures though - Moosey voice-overs are for the future.

Today I'm going to stake my heirloom tomatoes. Then I will do some mud-weeding around the new natives in the Hump. If I don't do both of these things I am not allowed to write another single word in this diary. Ever.

After Lunch...

Be very wary... for I have done the staking and weeding mentioned above. My personal threat to silence myself has worked! And so I can reward myself with writing lots and lots of trivial details about the Moosey Christmas.

 Casino is pale lemon and starts flowering well into summer.
Climbing Rose Casino

Happy Christmas Eve.