The plant sale season has started!

The plant sale season has started! Perhaps the small amount of paid work I've been doing has a purpose after all. I love the autumn sales - I immediately want new roses, and new shrubs - and new trees...

Friday 11th March

I've already been to work to earn some money. Now I'm off to a nursery sale preview, as a valued customer (hee hee!). Then I have a Latte Club lunch. Then I have to call in at another nursery where I am about to spend large amounts of money (not my own). And the cricket is going really well. What an exciting day!

 A lot of my daylilies seem to have two disctinct flowering times.
Yellow Late Summer Daylily

The great nursery spend-up is for my place of work. Moosey the Gifted Amateur Garden Designer has been asked to prepare several sketches for new planting schemes. Naturally there are weeping coloured flaxes everywhere, my favourite Renga Rengas and Carexes, and lots of Hebes and roses. And trees! Eek! I have large crosses which represent well-behaved trees which do not attack drains. Any unbalanced gaps will be filled with small leafed Pittosporums (which I have drawn as puffy clouds). Some existing roses will be moved around a bit (this coming winter), and existing lavender bushes are coming out. Ha! My plans are scribbly and impressive, and the local nursery gets some very good business. As long as I don't lose my nerve...

By the time I return my head should be full to overflowing with plants and plantings (and I should be comfortably full with lunchtime sushi).

Later, after the First Autumn Nursery Plant Sale...

I am back, with a car full of plants strictly for me (oops). I love this silly sale season! I have bargain bin hostas, pots of Renga Renga, nine little-leafed Pittosporums in big bags, and a sad little Maple tree which I felt sorry for. I am awfully tempted to plant them all really quickly, so I can return to the same nursery with the trailer tomorrow.

Forgive me if the today's garden writing only concerns my spending money on plants. I am feeling quite garden-lazy - this is perfectly OK on a Friday afternoon. It's hard work, though, spending money at the nursery (hmm... there must be a rose sale I can go to in the weekend). And remember that I (aka Moosey the Great Garden Designer) still have my official spending spree to look forward to. Aargh! The mental strain of buying dozens of coloured weeping flaxes! And flowering Cherry trees! Dogwoods! And Hebe hedges!

 The perfect location for large flaxes!
The Plank and the Water Race

Saturday 12th March

There I was, at 4 am early this morning, with rooster crowing faintly from next door (lucky neighbours), thinking about all my new plants - and feeling decidedly nervous. Then I started thinking about the plants I'm buying for the Moosey Designer gardens at my work - and felt even more nervous! Do I really know what I'm doing? I'm not even totally sure where north is!

New Zealand Natives :
Most new Zealand natives are evergreen - and some of the hybrids have very colourful flowers.

And as for the real Moosey garden - I started thinking about putting all my new plants in the New Zealand native area at the end of the Hump. Would they grow here without water? Was I being totally silly? Was I wasting my time trying to plant this area at all? Four in the morning is not a good time for casual, happy-go-lucky gardening planning.

Garden Visualisation Exercises

At 4:30 am (rooster still crowing in the distance) I tried the hardest I've ever tried to visualise all the new plants in the end Hump garden, three years into the future. This involved a sort of mental squinting of my inner eyes (hard enough when actually in the garden area, let alone in a distant dark bed), and several moments of intense mental concentration. At 4:45, absolutely totally awake, I gave up the visualisation exercises...

I reckon psychologist-motivators could make a decent living from ageing lady-gardener clients. Rugby goal kickers are 'taught' to successfully visualise a rugby ball going between the posts - so surely ageing lady-gardeners could be taught to 'see' the rhododendrons and the copper beech tree seven years on. And how about some guilt-removal mind exercises, to be self-applied after one has bought masses of sale price plants on a whim?

 One of the Pittosporums in the Dog-Path Garden which I
Limbed Up Pittosporum

Enough of this nonsense! The best foil for self-inflicted mental gardening over-load is to get the shovel, put the hoses on, don the gumboots, and prepare to plant - properly, carefully, digging proper planting holes. I mean - they're only five dollar Pittosporums! Less thinking and more doing. Here goes.

Late Lunchtime - Progress Report

I have been working all morning in the garden area at the end of the Hump. I've totally re-routed the Hump path closer to the driveway lawn, and created a new, angled path entrance. The plan is that the garden lawn-side of the new path will be kept clear and watered, while the other side can be the start of the mess. I've been listening to the cricket and slowly planting my new plants. The new path angle gives me a smaller, more interesting, and more sensible shape for my new Pittosporum forest.

There's a small golden Totara tree and a large green Cordyline already in the middle. And small clumps of red dahlias trying to keep on flowering (I've pulled them out - oops). I remember how lovely this area looks in spring when the purple Honesty is flowering - so I've been careful not to remove too many Honesty seedlings. Funny to think that a few years ago this was the scene of my great rhododendron disaster!

 There are clumps of abandoned red dahlias throughout the Hump - all trying to flower.
Red Dahlia Flowers

The cricket is - well - going OK, and I've found a nearby rose sale (bush roses ten dollars each). There was no need to be nervous about today - being successful in the garden is as easy as taking photographs on my new camera (aargh!)...

Sunday 13th March

Ha! Today I am escaping from my scary garden, and my scary new camera - I am going to spend a day (all day) at the cricket. It's the perfect excuse for a lack of new super-duper image-taking - I could practise using the new telescopic moving object button taking pictures of Glen McGrath's bowling action or Stephen Fleming leaving deliveries outside the off-stump.

New Zealand:
Three big gardening cheers for New Zealand native trees, shrubs and flaxes.

My London relatives must be impressed with my attempts at personal long-distance garden advice - their New Zealand flaxes are possibly in trouble, flailing around in their London rooftop garden in the winter wind.

I don't think I've ever met a New Zealand gardener who winter-wraps his or her flaxes, though. Flax-wrapping must be a British thing.

Gardening in the Wind

Here one gets a little blase about wind gardening - after planting huge shelter belts and constructing head-high wind-cloth fences, that is. Mind you, when the Moosey garden is really windy my confidence can get quite low. The wind in the gum trees and wattles is so noisy! The garden takes on the ambience of an inner-city construction site. I feel small and relatively hopeless.

Right. Off I go, in the flesh, to watch cricket for six hours. I might take some garden magazines in case I get bored.