Climb, sprawl and scramble...

 Early summer in the Dog-Path Garden.
Foxglove under a Shade Tree

More and more roses climb, sprawl and scramble through the Moosey garden. Summer must be here - I'm watering every day and I'm busy planting all my flowering summer annuals. And I just love all the roses!

Wednesday 24th November

It has been raining heavily! This is a good thing (not for the big bearded irises, which all fall down - my house is full of rescued irises in vases). The chooks are very wet (and consequently thin), and there is much preening of feathers going on. The new puppy comes tomorrow - what excitement! How will the cats behave? And dear old Taj-dog - what will he think? (Do dogs think? - Of course they do!)

To think that yesterday I finished planting my vegetable garden, and now it is watered by the rain. What inspired timing! It is crammed full of lettuces, potatoes, and heirloom tomatoes, and the odd bean - plus two rows of garlic, and two courgettes. Funny thing - I distinctly remember planting (this was three or four weeks ago) spinach, parsnips, and carrots - and broad beans - hmm... oops...

Today I am going to contemplate and read until later this afternoon, by which time the garden will be flooded in sunshine. Then I may wander around outside gracefully and take some more rose photographs (aargh!).

Garden Energy versus Garden Improvement

I will pick up yet more horizontal irises, and think about garden energy versus garden improvement. I will also check that the Wattle Woods stream is flowing - ever since I put a photograph of the empty pond into this journal (intended as a wee joke) the blasted stream has stopped flowing every day. Ironic - the joke has backfired.

 Looking very beautiful...
The Water Race and Gardens

The Ellerslie Flower Show opens today in Auckland. I am not there. I have decided not to enjoy the Auckland rain, or see three special allergy-free gardens (for hay-fever sufferers) and a 'copy' of the New Zealand Chelsea Flower Show garden. I will not be eating, drinking, and being entertained at the special evening shows.

 Rusty the new puppy and Taj-dog the old dog.
Dog Noses

It's still raining. Good.

Friday 26th November

Yesterday it rained on and off. The garden certainly needed it. And last night after tea we went to bring the new puppy home. Rusty the red collie has officially joined the Mooseys Country Garden Animal Team. He is absolutely lovely, and really enjoys being cuddled.

Peeved Cats

The cats are - well, peeved, more than anything else. Mugsy has stared at the puppy and sniffed noses, while the grey cats have been much more circumspect. The two dogs have been zooming around together (though zoom probably isn't the correct word for Taj-Dog). Rusty has toys, and a sleeping basket.

Today it's quite cold and very blustery, and puffy white clouds are racing across the sky. I am going to have another relaxing day - I may cut a few roses for the house, check on the peonies and irises, take Rusty the puppy for short walks, that sort of thing. Then there's the cricket...

Saturday 27th November

First of all, the Moosey Animal and Cricket Report

Right. This will be the first 'Gardening with a new Puppy' day - yesterday it rained on and off, and the winds rumbled their bellyfuls (thanks, King Lear).

And Rusty the puppy didn't settle well in the night. Five a.m. this morning - a crowing rooster (which I am almost immune to) and a new puppy making lonely noises (which I am not).

 My old grey girl.
Hello Stumpy the Cat

Stumpy the cat is sitting on me and smooching (very unusual) as I attempt to write this - seeking reassurance? Jerome the cat brought me a rabbit again last night - second one this week. She carries it with difficulty up the pergola and across the roof to the upstairs window, then in she jumps landing with a huge thump. Rabbit deposited on carpet under the table, proud cat starts squeaking - this is at 4 am, just before the rooster-puppy serenade. Aargh!

The cricket is - how can I put it?... We are playing the world champion Australians - enough said. I blame my new cricket radio - it's 'on loan' from an Australian...

Garden Plans

I will attack the weeds in the end garden in the Hump. The rains have been a boost to the new native plants. Several Hebes are flowering - this must be a sign of affirmation. I will also sort out the names of my rugosa roses. Be warned! Rugosa rose pages will soon take over the web-garden!

Later, Apres Gardening...

I can't identify the rugosa roses at all. Blast! I wish I'd written their names down. For example, I'm sure I've got Roseraie de l'Hay, but the rose book says it doesn't set hips, and mine do - then there's a fluffy double pink one (haven't a clue what it is). The only one I'm sure about is Agnes, because she's yellow. I think there's a single yellow in the Hen House Garden which hasn't flowered yet. I'm hopeless. I need help!

 Soft pink flowers.
Cecile Brunner in the Driveway

Focused Gardening!

I did some really focused gardening - weeding in the Hump end garden, then planting out foxglove seedlings in the spaces (white in one patch, apricot in another, and strawberry in another). This is of course for next spring - thinking ahead! Puppy has had a good day. The cricket has been unspectacular, but we will soon be batting and then disaster could strike.

Sunday 28th November

Today feels like the start of real summer gardening. It's windless (for once), and too hot at mid-day to garden. All the leaves are shining in the sun, the birds are twittering, and buzzy things are zooming around. It must be summer! Am I ready for summer? No way! I need a few extra weeks.

I've done a bit of weeding in the Septic Tank Garden. I've cleared a patch to plant some pansies, and pulled out the heleniums which were spreading into the lawn. The roses are still beautiful - everywhere I walk there are subtle fragrances (I didn't realise that Cecile Brunner smelt so lovely).

In my fruitless hunt for Rugosa rose enlightenment I've found an old 1999 diary which is puzzling me - there are pages and pages of pen and pencil scribbling, none of which has been published yet. I sound just as dizzy and silly as I am now.

 Tajdog is in the new puppy bed.
Old Dog Asleep

Tuesday 30th November

Oops - Yesterday was a non-hands-on-gardening day (I had to go to work twice). I spent quite a lot of time playing with Rusty the puppy, though. I've found more old garden diary writings (the pen on paper type). I fear that in the Moosey archival interest I might have to 'do something' about them. The saddest thing is that I think I sound really funny!

Today I go to work for one hour only, at 11 am. That means I can get back to some serious garden work before and after. The roses are huge now - the smaller White Flower Carpet Roses have joined in the blooming festival. I'm so lucky - everywhere I look I see beauty, colour, space, and fresh air (hmm... not sure about that last item). I've got into that 'rose-tinted glasses' frame of mind, where I gaze around the garden with misty emotional eyes and decide that everything is complete (i.e. there's nothing immediate which needs doing). These are dangerous times for self-delusional gardeners!


I've weeded and done edges in the Pond Paddock. The cherry trees are spreading out much more than last summer, giving much more shade on the grass lawn. In fact, the side Pond Paddock garden bed is probably getting shadier. Hmm... There are quite a few roses in here - it may not be sunny enough for them! My new weeping red Maple looks nice, though - as does the new (ine coloured) flax called Merlot. What inspired purchases - if it does turn into a shade-garden, these two won't complain.