It's July already...

 On the grass by the water race.
Crowing about the Great Winter Weather

It's July already, and so the second half of my gardening year begins - in brilliant warm sunshine! How long can this mild weather last?

Thursday 1st July

Today I must make sure I finish the patio garden clean-up. It's disheartening, knowing that huge improvements are going on in distant places (i.e. behind the pond), when the immediate approach to the house is so messy.

Catmint needs cutting right back, as do the huge Nicotiana Sylvestris plants. The house borders need to be weed-free, so I can spot (and photograph) the small winter crocus flowers.

I should have some pansy seedlings to plant here, too - pansies by the house are beautiful in early spring (which I am already imagining, even though we haven't yet had a proper winter).

I will report back in a few gentle, sunny, successful hours...


I've finished the behind-the-pond planting, filled up four more wheel-barrow loads of rubbish, then worked on the patio garden. The little blue crocuses are there - lots of them - looking very delicate and miniature. The rooster and hens followed in my chopping wake. They got really excited when I swept the path - small things please small minds...

Poultry in the Pond Paddock

All rubbish has been burnt, and I am inside, apres-gardening, listening to Vivaldi. How did I ever think I'd get sick of semi-retirement? I love having the time to garden pretty much every day. I love the way time doesn't seem to matter as much.

Sunny Weather!

I also love this amazing sunny weather we are having. It's confusing some of the plants here - for example a big bearded iris has decided to produce three buds on a large stem, and several roses who should know better are in flower. Remind me to appreciate the mild sunny days while they last!

 Name unknown.
White Rose Flowering in July (Winter)

Friday 2nd July

Today may become a day of relative rest. It's spitting rain, there's a southerly storm due with 'snow flurries' to 500 metres (a bit high for us). So I though I'd stay inside and draw up some major gardening lists - perhaps order seeds from the catalogue, that sort of thing. Then if I get hopelessly bored I could tidy the glass-house. We'll see.

Ha! I've been gardening for the last FOUR hours - what a legend! My great winter clean-up has relocated into the Wattle Woods. I have weeded, cut down some overhanging Wattle branches, and cleared the main paths. This area needs rain - the ajuga which covers so much of the ground is wilting a little. There are nice foliage plants in the top part of the garden - variegated carexes, hellebores, and black mondo grass, as well as the usual flaxes, Renga Renga, and assorted hebes (all of which have been pruned).

There were also some huge Wattle and Tagaste seedling trees. Everything is now burnt, and I am feeling extremely proud and tired (and clean). Tomorrow Stephen has promised to experiment with hoses and pipes, in order to create a natural wriggling stream down the back of the Wattle Woods. Yippee!

 A wintry blue...
Little Crocus Flowers

Saturday 3rd July

I am up early - ridiculous - with my head crammed full of gardening ideas. What shall I do first?

Probably waiting for daylight would be sensible. Dare I write a small list? Will I take notice of it? The immediate house area still looks awful - I need to sweep, clean the moss off the cobblestone approach path, fix up unsightly pots that are not winter foliage features. I need pansies to plant (typically I haven't as yet sown any). Perhaps I need Polyanthus plants? Eek! - A visit to the dreadful commercial hopeless-gardener's nursery?

Mid-Afternoon, Raining, Apres-Gardening...

I pulled out a lot of weeds and cleared a lot of things - particularly the patio pots and the pot circle around the big gum tree. With newly mown lawns and clipped edges the house in winter looks much better. Unfortunately it rained before I remembered about the moss-remover.

The Pump-House :
The Moosey Pump-House dos a great job - but it's quite a rustic building.

So far no luck on the wriggling stream. Stephen needs a longer pipe, and is starting to talk alarmingly in the negative about creating a 'lake' around the Pump House (obviously this is not desirable). A subtle approach will be needed - but I'm not sure what. Hmm... Another good day in the winter garden, though...

Sunday 4th July

Again I'm up ridiculously early - this time there's a slight frost, but the sun is just up and shining through the Hump trees. Chooks on decking raiding the cat bowls, dog snoring in front of the TV, gardener all wrapped up in thermals and a woollen jersey - it's going to be another beautiful day. This time last year the garden was covered in snow...

 Tussocks and Phormiums are OK with frost.

I am trying to be encouraging regarding the small stream. I keep saying phrases like 'It must be possible...' which should offer a design-challenge to the resident engineer. My next plan is to try siphoning water with a garden hose. Ideally there could be a small manageable pond for the wriggling stream to run into. It must be possible...

I'm back, much much later. I need to make a list - I have had a spectacular day.

Things I Have Accomplished Today

You will see from the last entry that the small stream (Mark One Version) is wriggling its way through the Wattle Woods. I have dug out a very rough hollow for the destination, and tomorrow morning I will see what has happened. Will there be a bog? This is most exciting.