Summer continues, and many of the roses are flowering again. I am trying to be a good responsible semi-retired summer gardener. Did I say responsible?

Thursday 22nd January

Right - it's time for a bit more discipline. Yesterday in a routine maintenance session I thought of lots of things in the garden that I should do systematically, now I have more time. The trouble is that if I write a list in my diary, I'm just as likely to be bloody-minded and ignore it. No discipline. But it's worth a try. I should also list floral and foliage happenings. Lists are the answer. Perhaps I need a list of things to do in a given week? Or I could get a garden year-planner for the wall above the computer? What about daily timetables?

Small thought - is this what I gave up the stresses of teaching for? Hee Hee... Back soon, maybe with a list of accomplishments.

 This is the rose I bought and planted after September 11th.
Golden Tribute

Three hours later...

Ha! I don't need to write a list in order to feel good about myself as a gardener. I've worked for three hours, clearing and raking and tidying up the house borders. The decking is swept. The pots are organised. I've put on the hoses to do sneaky watering for five hours, and have retired inside for lunch. The Bach Preludes and Fugues are rattling away on the stereo, and I am eating yummy cold quiche. I guess I am pretty happy with things today. And very lucky.

Even later...

I've been really good, and have worked for another two hours. I've been doing fastidious things like trimming old flax leaves, and pulling out Lychnis, and cutting out tree suckers and low lying branches in the Pond Paddock. I am a summertime gardening legend.

Friday 23rd January

The summertime gardening legend continues. Three hours working pretty hard so far today (mainly in the shade) raking up gum rubbish (strips of bark and leaves) and generally cleaning up. The hoses are on. It's very hot and windless. The small tussock garden directly in front of the Hen House has benefited - all the grasses have had pudding-basin haircuts.

Gardener Writing :
I love writing my journal in the garden - but this is the computer age, after all...

However the summertime gardening legend could get very boring, unless the writer/gardener gets a bit more creatively descriptive - starts talking about plants and garden views and interesting unusual garden things, etc. Hmm...

Saturday 24th January

What shall I do first today? I'm heartened that the results of my tidy-ups can be seen from the house balcony - without wearing my spectacles. It must be fun doing this type of thing specifically for a real garden open day. Or would it be? Hmm...

 This is a new view of the roses on the pergola.
View From an Upstairs Window

I have been further re-reading my old diaries. As I get older I have more and more to say (about less and less, probably). I can vividly remember the old gardening sessions I have described, as if they happened last week - is this necessarily a good thing? I'm not sure whether gardening time should go slowly or quickly, if you know what I mean. Anyway, today I will find lots of cool things to do out there before it gets too hot. Then I will simply sit down and weed a shady part of the garden.


I have been seriously clearing behind the garage - this is a new area, filled with old wooden posts and assorted junk. So far I have half a trailerful of serious rubbish. I have checked with Stephen, and am allowed to create a garden here. It will be totally in shade in winter. Cool! A seriously large plan for my late January - February gardening time. Have retired inside to drink iced water (a wonderful drink) and rest up. But I will be back...

Sunday 25th January

I have come to an agreement with the resident ducks (two mallards). I stay at least one bridge away from them and all is well. Today I've been poking around the Plank, while the ducks have been doing whatever ducks do around Middle bridge. A perfect sharing of the garden, and too far away for duck photography. I don't like being the Duck Garden Devil - I have been forever bursting in upon them all week, with resulting duck-panic.

 Random rubbish.
Watch This Space

I've been continuing the great clean-up of rubbish behind the garage, filling the trailer with old iron things and rotting planks of wood. I got fed up with that, so after a few hours I moved to the water race to weed the gardens around the Plank (which has gone really wobbly again). I don't actually know what to do with the space behind the garage, so I shall continue clearing it. How exciting - a new space! Trees? A rockery? Natives? A new place for my compost? It's rather a long space, and at the moment houses a collection of large craggy rocks, small stones, the dog kennel, an old heavy steel barbecue, and the old white bath from the bathroom. Perhaps I could create an artistic garden which combines all these random elements - that would be a challenge!

It's much later, and I have spent an alarming half hour leaning out of upstairs windows trying to capture some new angles for my photographic record of the garden. Interesting...

Monday 26th January

Right. What shall I do first today? I feel a bit stiff after all yesterday's hard work. I'm not exactly sure what to do behind the garage, but I'll try to finish the clearing today. I remember quite liking the bath being painted cherry red (must have seen that in a glossy magazine). Can you have a dog kennel surrounded with garden? Maybe the new puppy (we are thinking of getting a new dog - maybe a border collie) will live in it? Anyway, it's time to stop rambling on and get out there before it either gets too hot or starts to drizzle (pessimist).

Later, Apres Gardening...

I am a serious hard working gardener. There may not be much to show yet for my serious hard work, but I have made further inroads into the messy space behind the garage. Again I happily shared the long back lawn with my two duck-friends, though Jerome the cat couldn't resist waddling slowly along the grass to them to investigate (they slid effortlessly into the water before she reached them).

 This is the view I have been sharing with the ducks.
The Plantings by the Plank

I have contracted myself to do some serious hand weeding in the Hazel orchard next week - each of the young trees needs a clean circle of soil, and it's not easily done chemically. I disapprove of chemical weeding, anyway, so have decided to put my principles into practice. I reckon if I do a row a day I will have earned full rights to be semi-retired. And I can't resist mentioning that on this particular Monday last year I was in hospital. Ha! I am so very lucky (remind me I said that after I've weeded around 750 small hazel trees)... Moosey the Intrepid Gardener is let loose, semi-retired, on the year 2004.