My garden clearing programme...

 A large, somewhat messy plant.
Silver Astelia

The autumn weather is still mild and dry, and my autumn holiday garden clearing programme continues. The very first solo Moosey garden make-over has almost worked - thanks to my newly found home-made compost pile.

Thursday 21st April

Yesterday was rather garden-less - but today I will make up for it. I will do as much burning as I can possibly find to burn. In between the wheeling of loads of rubbish I will clear, weed, organise - sculpturally redefine? - the edge plantings of Duck Lawn. I will prune the white flowering Cistus - I like this shrub, but don't ever trust it to live longer than one season.

Self-planted rushes are growing through my plantings of silver Astelias by the water and are ruining 'the look'. It is also time to get the sharp shovel and remove some of the water's edge grass clumps. In keeping with my successful reclamation of the Hen House and Oak Tree paths, I will thus free the small Dog-path from vegetative blockages (sounds painful).

 The concrete trough by the Hen House is filled with colour (and fallen gum tree leaves).
Pelargonium Flowering in Autumn

The animals are fine after their vet trip yesterday. I did miss Rusty the puppy dreadfully, though! I realise that I explain a lot of my gardening strategies to him. He is also useful for testing out (at frightening speed) the new path routes. I further realise how dreadfully slow old Taj-dog (bless him) was! It might be time to find the 'photography of moving objects' button on my new camera - I've misplaced the manual, so regretfully I can't as yet do sound or short films, hee hee...

Autumn Arrives...

Yesterday I went around the garden to take a large batch of autumn colour photographs - I was specifically thinking trees. The flower colours (roses, dahlias, and Salvias in particular) were much more noticeable. Amazing!

Cercis Leaf :
Autumn leaves have the most amazing collection of colours, don't they...

But autumn is starting to show itself - a delicate golden carpet of small leaves is thickening on the driveway, and yellowed Willow tree leaves are blowing onto the new Birthday Garden in the wind. Only a couple of trees (the Cercis Forest Pansy and a Snakebark Maple) are actually dropping fiery red autumn leaves. Hmm - maybe I'm a bit early - maybe the weather is a bit warm... Let's keep that warm weather for a few more weeks!

Before I launch myself outside for hopefully six gentle, pleasant hours, I need to make an official statement. The Moosey House guest - he who takes the arty black and white photographs - is obviously settling in, and getting bolder (I blame the cricket). He is now asking for a new garden area to be designed, dug, weeded, mulched, and planted with Australian natives. He wishes it to be called the House Guest Garden. Hmm...

 This must be the  most dangerous rose to weed underneath ever!
Mermaid Rose Flowering in Autumn

Mid Afternoon...

I've removed a couple of large grasses (with extreme difficulty - the spade is rather blunt), planted the new Ligularia Martian Invader, and burnt at least ten loads of gum rubbish. I also chopped down and burnt the weedy trees on the water race near Middle Bridge - I have a horrible feeling they are called Deadly Nightshade and the berries (which are turning a cheery autumn yellow colour) are poisonous. Not sensible!

I've been working in my garden for just four hours. This will have to be enough - I can always return elegantly later with wine glass in hand and swoosh around testing out the new paths.

Friday April 22nd's a bit colder this morning - mind you, I am up rather early ready to charge outside and slice out some more waterside grasses. The rose pictures in my new Australian gardening magazine are incredibly seductive, though - it has a huge middle section of mail-order roses. There are some odd (ghastly, actually) bi-coloured standard roses - for example a white Iceberg and a bright red are both grafted onto the same stalk (or stem? or trunk? I'm not sure what it's called). Eek!

Striped Roses :
I do like striped roses, and I'd love to have more of them in my garden.

Then there's a picture of a rose called Hocus Pocus which looks interesting (its main colour a school uniform maroon, with streaks of custard yellow). I think there were some Hocus Pocus roses in the $10 rose sale - might be worth investigating - though suitably coloured companion plants might be a bit thin on the ground! So it would be a design blunder to just buy one of them? Hee hee...

I've resisted writing lists for seven whole days. I think it might be time. Here goes...

Friday's Continuing Gardening List

Hmm... I'm obviously really not in the list writing mood. I definitely need the incentive of a quick trip to the rose nursery. Today my focus... is the rose Hocus Pocus?

Early Afternoon...

Lunch - A yummy salad sandwich and a hot cup of tea. Achievements - Part of Duck Lawn's border is cleared of grass, assorted weeds, and nasturtiums (they'd don't survive the frosts). Another part of Duck Lawn is a tiny bit smaller. Several waterside rushes are removed. It doesn't seem enough for three hours work - hardly worth writing about. I checked my new paths in the Hen House garden - now they are definitely impressive! For once I have a network of paths which are passable, fit the wheelbarrow, and make topographical sense.

 The flax Tricolor, Pittosporums, and a yellowing Golden Hop make an autumn garden picture.
Autumn Textures in Middle Garden

Saturday 23rd April

This morning there was a rose-pink sunrise. The deciduous trees are definitely starting to change into autumn colour - the Dogwood tree over the water race is flecked with bright red leaves. When there is more light (Ha! Go photographer Moosey, who still can't find the misplaced camera manual) I will lean out of the upstairs windows and take some photographs. The Mermaid rose and the large floppy white dahlias will be in the foreground on the back fence. Hopefully I won't fall into the hedge.

Duck Lawn :
Duck Lawn is a circular grassy area which is usually covered in ducks in late spring.

What shall I do first today in my garden? Guess what I ended up doing yesterday? Oops! I enlarged the water race by Duck Lawn. I chopped a gentle curve into its bank, and threw up the resulting mud around the base of the huge Phormium Tenax flaxes. Puppy helped me - he chased floating leaves downstream, sloshed up and down, leapt out into the new mud and back into the rather cool water.

Gardening Manpower Required...

Today I will ask for help removing the large waterside cutty grasses. My spade just isn't sharp enough - I know these grasses are very shallow rooting when smaller, so the theory is they should be sliced out, rather than dug. Some burly manpower is required. Feet may get wet. Perhaps a chocolate bribe would be in order?

I'm not sure what part of the garden I feel like working in first. There is supposed to be a southerly storm (with rain and coldness) coming late morning. So if I do some mental projection and think what I'd want to be doing when the storm strikes, and go outside straight away and do it... But wouldn't it be more sensible to write in my journal later, when stuck inside during the southerly, rather than waste good dry hours twittering on now? Hmm...

 Their leaves turn pale yellow early in autumn.
Autumn Leaves on the Ginko Tree

Five Hours Later...

I am back. The storm has not yet arrived, so I have been clearing some of the house borders - chopping down phlox and aconitum, deadheading dahlias (it really works!) and weeding the back of the Jelly Bean Garden. The kittens, delighted that I have been close to the house, have been zooming around. I met rooster by Middle Bridge, looking rather bedraggled - he has lost some chest feathers. I heard him fall out of a tree a few nights ago, and it sounded like a rather heavy landing. I hope he is not hurt.

I have also burnt four barrowfuls of gum tree rubbish - surely the net amount of gum tree rubbish on the Moosey property must be decreasing. Now I am apres-gardening, Vivaldi violins are tootling on the stereo, and Stumpy the cat is on my lap. When will the dreaded southerly storm strike? I am ready!