Enjoying the garden...

By this time last year I had returned to full time work. This year I am free from all that! I am so enjoying the garden as the summer days of February come to an end.

Saturday 21st February

There are a couple of odd things to note before I list my modest gardening accomplishments achieved this morning.

Firstly, two hundred sheep have arrived - their job is to munch down the back paddock so the contractor can re-sow it. They poured down the drive yesterday like a thick creamy-grey river. Of course two decided to leap the wrong way at the water race bridge and headed off towards the glass-house. There was much confusion as they saw the flock disappearing without them.

 There's a subtle scent to Eucalypt flowers, too.
Flowering Gum Tree

This morning the large gum tree by the garage seemed to come alive, singing and humming with the noise of thousands of fulfilled bees. It is in flower - a beautiful sight and sound.

I have done the following, in no particular order:

And finally, yesterday we won the cricket - AGAIN!!

Sunday February 22nd

The ducks are gone! Completely disappeared. Is this some built in duck-sense? - like an-end-of-the-duck-shooting-season-duck-instinct? Anyway, my efforts to capture them quietly in photographs have failed. My garden is totally duck-free. Today I am going to do more work on the Dog-path and the Hazelnut trees. I will also go down the back to visit the two hundred sheep visitors - Mooseys will look like a real farm!

 Dudley is a friendly springer spaniel.
Dudley the Next Door Dog


My garden may be duck-less, but I have had lots of animal company while weeding along the Dog-path - first Jerome the cat appeared out of the undergrowth, then a family of bravely zooming fantails flitted and squeaked through the lower branches of the Pittosporums. Taj-dog sloshed in and out of the water race, and finally I had a long visit from Dudley the next-door dog. Who said that gardening was a lonely occupation? And how much fun would a new puppy be?

Now I am resting inside with a refreshing cup of tea. I may do some major weeding of the steep side of the water race - the water has been shut down to a trickle, making for easy access.

I plan to totally strip a test area between the Plank and Middle bridge with the spade, transplant in some tussock seedlings, and see how easy it is to keep clear. Of course if the water flow goes back on...

Much later...

Yes, the water was at full flow when I returned to weed the water race. So I sloshed around in rolled-up jeans and sliced and pulled. I am very uncertain how to maintain the weed-free look, though. I will have to think about this very carefully.

Monday 23rd February

When I first woke up this morning I tricked myself that I had a whole week of teaching work to mentally prepare for. Hee hee! It's a good idea to remember that sinking feeling - it should inspire me to get outside and garden.

Home Grown :
Purple beans and tomatoes from the summer vegetable garden.

So what should I do first today? Spray (eek!) the remaining water race weeds? Rescue more tomatoes (my first reddish one had the inside pecked out) from the birds? Pick some plums and make some jam? Check the visiting sheep in the back paddock? Rake? Weed? Dig? Read? Dream? Drink lots of tea?

Hmm...I weeded - gently - and cleaned the rhubarb patch - and thought about making rhubarb AND plum jam.

Tuesday 24th February

I have just finished weeding another Dog-path. Success! The path is now visible and passable. I am inside for a well-earned rest (and hopefully some cricket watching, weather willing). I like retirement gardening - it's nicely measured and balanced. I also reckon that it's healthier for knees, legs, hands and mind.

Wednesday 25th February

I have been on Rabbit-Vigilante duty today, after seeing two happy relaxed rabbits yesterday afternoon on the top of the house lawn (I chased them nextdoor). So I've been gardening in the Island Bed, noisily, to make the statement that this garden is inhabited by people. Jerome the cat also played her part by following me around and flopping into the garden for several cat-rests.

Friday 27th February

I've done two hours of hazelnut tree weeding. Actually I've been a bit lazy in the garden these last days, but who cares?

 These are a beautifully subtle colour.
Pink Iceberg Roses

Saturday 28th February

I think today is the Moosey website manager's birthday (in London, birthday fun capital of the world). Yippee! Happy birthday Bx from Moosey (in West Melton, rain capital of the South Island of New Zealand). There will not be much outdoor gardening done this weekend - nursery visits may be substituted, but alas with no spending of money. Goodbye February.

Sunday 29th February

Oops.. I forgot that February had its extra 'leap day' today. First I did some general weeding around the Frisbee Border, then I worked over by Rooster Bridge and listened to us batting in the cricket.

Gardening Magazine :
I do not mean to imply that this magazine is always boring...

Now I have retired inside to read the latest New Zealand gardening magazine. My goodness, if my ramblings are half as boring as its latest issue I promise to stop immediately! Am I being over-critical? The whole point of a magazine read is to inspire and refresh a semi-bored gardener, surely.

And again, goodbye February.