Off to bed...

 Bravely flowering in late Autumn.

The merry month of May has started. I'm hoping to have a good first week in the garden. It's time to seriously start cleaning up the perennials and putting the garden beds to bed, so to speak.

Saturday 1st May

I have so many things to do today! Where to begin? Make a list? Too right!

Oops - might have been a little over-exuberant up there - can only find three items for list. Hang on - I've thought of some more...

This is getting much better! I am off to town (see number 2 above).

 With tree stump sprouting.
The Willow Tree Garden


Right - we are back from town after some rain gardening. The Hebes (Wiri Spash) are in, and the compost-mulch is laid. I've also planted a new flax and a small Pittosporum by the gate. Interesting - the town garden has some of that dreaded oxalis weed, and the soil seems much heavier than mine.

It's still drizzling lightly, and I'm too tired (up early to watch the rugby this morning) - I may have an old lady snooze. That will mean that my exuberant list has been a complete fraud.

Even Later...

I did about an hour and a half clearing in Middle Garden (using the keep-the-gardener-dry arabesque technique). If I am prepared to get wet and muddy tomorrow I can make a better effort to do the things on the list.

Sunday 2nd May

Right. This is an ultimatum. It will not be too wet to garden properly today. I am going to complete the activities written on my list (see above). I will get muddy and damp and really grubby. This will not bother me. I will not get cold, however, because I will be working so hard. Nothing more will be said until I return, wet and triumphant.

 Miscanthus, and a New Zealand weeping grass.
Grasses in the Elm Tree Garden


I am actually not wet at all - the sun is shining and I've cleared the Elm Tree garden and part of the Apple Tree Garden opposite (death to all lilac phloxes that get in my way).

It is seriously hard work, and already I've lost one of my gloves. However, things are moving. I have changed out of garden-dirty clothes, and after a well earned lunch break I will return. It's too windy to burn yet - that will hopefully happen at dusk.

Rooster and the hens are enjoying me digging and poking around - they are not far behind, checking out the newly exposed earth for - worms I guess.


This would have to be the first proper gardening day I've had for ages. It's 5 pm and I've only just come inside - the rubbish is burnt, many varied perennials in the JAM garden are now cut back, large patches of lilac phlox have been ripped out, flaxes have been groomed, Elm Tree suckers cut out, weeds pulled ...

Monday 3rd May

I have to go into my work for a little quiet money-earning later today. So to warm up the morning I have just been back into the Hump, spending an hour sawing down the Tree Lucernes, clearing and making room for the Pittosporums in here. I have had a change of heart regarding Pittosporums - these much maligned tree-shrubs! And I reckon I can pull the trailer down there by hand, and get it loaded up when I come home, before tea. Excellent use of a semi-work day.

 I take a photograph every year - it's nearly winter, and this rose takes no notice!
Late Flowering David Austin Rose

Tuesday 4th May

I am a part time gardening legend. This means that I've only worked for about two hours, but I have a trailer very full of rubbish, and more of the Hump has been cleared. It's so deceptive in there - at times like this the soil seems quite moist (hence my great rhododendron growing debacle). I have to remember how distressingly dry it is in summer.

Wednesday 5th May

A whole day to garden - blowing in the wind (gusts of up to 140 km per hour forecast). Watch this space - it depends if Mooseys is classified as 'Inland Canterbury', since we are approximately 35 km from the sea. For the last two nights there have been huge noisy wind blasts - I wonder if rooster got blown off his roost high in the Gum tree?

Remember last week when I was going around madly photographing autumn leaves, thinking that this mania would never end? Natural intelligence has just kicked in - slowly - as most of the red and gold leaves have been blown off their trees. The wind has turned the autumn trees into bare sticks and limbs - an amazing analytical discovery - there are no more autumn leaves to photograph!


It's been a slightly odd day, but a really nice one - a quick trip in raging blustery rain to the hospital for a check-up (excellent results), and then a good hour clearing and re-aligning the path in the Hump (in the good company of rooster and the hens).

Pink Camellia :
Another slight problem is that I really don't know any of the Camellia names. Hopeless.

I also spent an hour spent hunting through my printed photograph albums for pictures of Camellias. Eek - why did I agree to write about these shrubs? I have some beautiful specimens, I look forward to them flowering in spring, and I take ABSOLUTELY no pictures of them.

Then I watched a British scenery programme on video... Such is the gentle mid-week life of a semi-retired gardener...

 Just beautiful!
Dogwood Autumn Colour

Thursday 6th May

Hmm... I have to go into work briefly this morning (just a little money earning). The later gardening day looks promising, though the ground is very wet from overnight wind and rain. I am off to check on the rooster - didn't hear any crowing at all last night - perhaps he's been blown away? Oops... back soon.


Rooster is fine, but he hasn't crowed for over 24 hours! Is this a problem? He seems normal and happy enough. Is he spending the long dark night clutching his tree branch in a terror-filled trance, mesmerized by the high winds? Hmm... (by the way, I didn't end up doing any gardening today - lots of blustery wind is my excuse too).

Friday 7th May

The great Hump clean-up continues - five barrowfuls of rubbish are ready to burn. Unfortunately it's too windy, though the temperature is really mild. I have retired inside for a cup of tea. Good news (?) regarding rooster - he has started crowing again (at 5:45 am). Odd bird. Apparently he was banished from next door's hen-house for - you guessed it - crowing all night and waking up the household.


I've been back, and have cleared four more large piles of rubbish. I will need burning help tomorrow - and hopefully no wind! This area hasn't been cleaned out for years, but there are lots of honesty plants, ready to do their magic next spring. I'm tired.

Even Later, in Complete Darkness...

Ha! I am the bonfire queen. The wind stopped at dusk. I have been burning for an hour and a half. Now I'm totally tired - but what a successful way to end the gardening week!