Blast! It's still raining...

Blast! It's still raining, it's the start of the weekend, and I have huge, huge plans - which do not involve getting wet and muddy.

 It is far too wet to garden!
Abandoned Wheelbarrow

Saturday 21st May

To mud-garden, or not to mud-garden - that is the question. Gosh, I don't quite feel inspired yet. Perhaps a cup of hot coffee is needed to wake up the gardening brain.

Several warm, non-muddy alternatives spring to mind:

Nursery Visiting
There may be nearby plant nurseries having secret sales. They will definitely have tables of Ericas (winter flowering, but do I like Ericas?) and trays of seedling pansies (forced to flower indoors, their stems looking oh so soft) to buy.
Seeds for Spring
I could check out the local internet trading site for heirloom seeds. Thus I'd be getting my spring seeds early, and maybe I could sow some now in the glass-house.
Ordering New Roses
I could take my rose catalogue terribly seriously, and actually place an order!
Pink Iceberg Rose :
I like the series of Iceberg roses very much. They flower later than many of my other roses - filling a gap.

I could (for example) chose all the new David Austin roses, and enough Burgundy Icebergs for a rose hedge. I've already got the brilliant Pink Iceberg (I love it) - and of course there are normal white Icebergs dotted all over the garden. And what about some rose standards? Where would I plant them? Would this minor problem even matter?

I have already taken puppy for a walk down the road, carrying the big black umbrella. Hmm... Like trekking in Nepal? Good leech-free rain? Rusty the puppy bounced over all the puddles - his fur is getting longer and fluffier by the day. Now Smoocher the sort-of-sick kitten is zooming around the house like a totally well kitten, with lots more normal cat-energy. The tin du jour (Smoocher is on a gourmet cat-food diet) is 'Chicken Hearts and Liver Feast'...

Oh well - We'll see what the morning brings.

 Stumpy the cat is one of my grey-power female felines.
Stumpy on the Snoozing Table

Early Afternoon, with Stumpy the Cat Sitting on my Lap...

Would it matter if I actually did no real gardening today? It's stopped raining, but I don't feel like plodding around in the mud - I prefer the thought of reading and drinking lots of hot cups of tea. If my conscience troubles me I could always write a bogus list. Taking a series of evocative damp-day photographs might be a suitable lazy activity. I could take puppy for a slightly drier dog-walk - or we could go to the river to collect some river stones (there'd be no need to actually lift them out of the trailer and put them onto the appropriate path edge)... Hmm...

Sunday 22nd May

My goodness I need to get organised! It's another grey day, with drizzle forecast. All I did yesterday was to take stylish semi-abstract photographs of fallen autumn leaves and sad roses desperately flowering, their petals soaked with the rain (30 mm) we've had.

Good morning to Stumpy the lap-cat again. The early morning ritual - I sit down to write my diary, and Stumpy appears from nowhere. As soon as I've checked in and slurped my first cup of tea I am off down the road with puppy. Smoocher the kitten has happily eaten some raw beef (spiked with his medication). The tin du jour is Red Tuna Flakes with Crab-meat.

 Autumn leaves again - this time on one of the Pond Paddock trees.
Autumn Leaves

Gardener Needed - Apply Within

Enough animal stuff. Today I need some garden achievements to talk about. They do not have to be excessively muddy or extreme - I do not have to dig for six hours, or remove any large shrubs or trees. Some gentle, subtle tasks are needed to put me back on track. I need to come out of the gardening closet - or something like that...


I am a partial drizzle-gardening legend. I am feeling rather humbled that Smoocher the semi-sick kitten has provided me with faithful and fearless cat-company for over an hour. I have been swapping firewood (garden edging) for river stones, and generally organising (there's that word again!) the end of the Willow Tree Garden. Smoocher has even been gently riding in the wheelbarrow.

 So I'll know at least one Camellia name this coming spring!
Being Organised - Camellia Label

But I am concerned by my extreme ingratitude to the relatively mild, moderate, nothing-too-excessive gardening weather that my area of New Zealand seems to get. My gardens have never floated away in a devastating flood, like some in the North Island. And to give support to Australian friends like Alice (grimly gardening in drought) further complaints about 'rain', 'too wet' or even 'drizzle' are absolutely and totally banned from this diary.

Great sock news though - not only are my new gardening socks (a rather large and mildly expensive bulk purchase) a perfect fit, but they stay up, properly, in my gumboots. Yippee! I am ready to return in foot-comfort to the Willow Tree Garden (I have ten pairs of them).

Monday 23rd May

Now I have a 'problem' with Mugsy the cat. Eleven years ago the vet warned me that her road accident could cause a change of personality. Well, after eleven happy years that time has finally come - Mugsy is now continually growling at anything and everything. She growls at her cat-bowl. She growls at the fridge. She growls at legs walking past. She sits on a lap in front of the fire and growls at the owner's knees. Eek!

Mugsy the Cat :
Mugsy is a two-tone cat - orange and black.

So she is off to the vet this Friday for a growling check-up. I have extra paid work today, which is probably just as well. I couldn't possibly comment as to the reasons why I might become a growling gardener if I stayed home. Ha!

I will concentrate on creating mental garden lists of things to do when the you-know-what stops you-know-whatting - and earning money for the vet bill.


The sun was feebly shining when I got home. But all I did was rake up leaves. The autumn colours really trick the eye - at first they all look rather pale and washed-out. Then the subtle shades and tones seem to leap out - after five minutes raking I'm seeing bright burnt oranges, deep burnished reds and sparkling yellows. Puppy rather enjoys these leaf-collecting sessions - today he did bouncing circuits around all the piles.

Wednesday 25th May

I saw the Chelsea Flower Show on the local television news last night. There is no New Zealand designer garden entry, so the news item was (parochially) rather small. I spied a few important looking older men in sensible gardening hats, and what looked like an Armistice garden with red poppies swaying in a gentle London breeze. So does this mean that the Moosey Team have already been to Chelsea? Are they important enough to be among the first to get to see the exhibits? Or has the Flower Show been showing for days now - is this old news? Eek! Sometimes my little southern island seems so far away from the rest of the gardening world.

 The leaves have all dropped now and have been collected into bags.
Flowering Cherry Leaves in Autumn

There's hardly anything in the Moosey garden to take photographs of any more, now that the autumn leaves are virtually all down. I have done no gardening for days. All I've done outside is collect pinecones and rake leaves into piles. My goodness I need to get organised! In five(?) weeks time we are going on a mid-winters holiday to Samoa. I know very little about tropical flowers and plants - I have five weeks to transform myself into a well-informed botanical expert.