I wonder what's changed in the garden...

 The bread is for the birds.
Winter Gardening Essentials

I'm back! - after a flax-free (i.e. New Zealand garden-free) week spent on holiday in Sydney. Hmm... I wonder what's changed in the garden.

Sunday 18th July

OK - I'm up early on my first morning back - all keen, full of ideas. I love my flaxes and my animals. I even love (hmm...) my crowing rooster! I am so looking forward to rediscovering the joys of the Moosey garden.

Sydney mornings were a little warmer than this - I am back to the reality of FROST, and WAITING AROUND for the sun to get up high enough. I must be patient. I have a great modular plan for the wriggling stream which involves black polythene. I have diggings to dig and plants to shift. What should I do first?

Eek! Will the new Pseudopanaxes behind the garage be terribly frost burnt? Will the pond be iced over? Will the ground stay frosted and frozen ALL DAY? Will more Camellias (aargh! must photograph them...) be flowering? Will my black polythene plan for the new stream work?

Thrilling questions, some of which will soon be answered...

 Beautiful baby pink.
The First Camellia of 2004


A brilliant homecoming day - cold but sunny - I worked in the Willow Tree Garden weeding and cutting down perennials (now the clumps of daffodils have air and light to breathe and grow). What a peaceful place this is, with the small circle of lawn and the stream burbling by. My new rhododendrons look quite 'buddy'. I have chopped up the Calendulas to create a patch of self-seeding mulch, ditto the lime green flowering Nicotiana Llansdorf. I didn't see any of the animals all day.

'No' is the answer to all except the last of the frenzied questions above (I didn't try out the stream idea).

Taj in the Snow :
Aargh! No snow, please!

The weather report for tomorrow says it's supposed to go southerly, with snow to 200 metres. We live about 100 metres above sea level - Eek! Will the Moosey garden transform overnight into a white winter wonderland, like last year?

Monday 19th July

Nothing like snow! Not even cold! I've spent the afternoon weeding and pruning in the Willow Tree Garden (with chook and cat company). This clean-up is nearly finished, and most of the roses along the water's edge are pruned. I forget how lovely this garden area is - out in the open with lots of fresh air and space - the plants in their curved borders, the green lawns, and the trees looking so beautiful. If all goes to plan (i.e. those new rhododendrons start flowering) it should be absolute magic.

 Looking good!
The Willow Tree Garden after its Winter Clean-Up

Tuesday 20th July

Another fine and frosty morning - what should I do in the garden today? I'll have to wait an hour... And talking about fine and frosty, apparently the weather in Sydney turned nasty and wintry the day after we left! Hee hee...

I am off to do a Camellia flower inspection. Back soon...

 She is good chook company...
White Hen


I spent two happy hours with chortling chook company in the Dog-path Garden. I've just been weeding, hard pruning and shifting roses. I have a little water's edge section to complete - that's tomorrow's job. The poultry think I am lovely (and not at all boring) as I rake up the dirt and expose so many grubs, so they have been faithfully by my side. The bracken weed around the Dog-Path seat hasn't been completely eradicated (oops) - but I've severely trimmed the rainbow coloured Coprosma. Now there is room both for flaxes and for people who choose to sit here. I'm trying for the first time ever to groom the nearby Variegated iris clumps, using my bare hand like a comb (hopefully there's nothing too sluggy and squishy in there!) - so far all is well.

Wednesday 21st July

Aargh! The sky is blue. The lawns and paddocks are white! Frost! There will be no early morning gardening today.

Thursday 22nd July

Aargh! Cold southerly rain!

Friday 23rd July

Aargh! A whole day at work! Bring on the weekend.