Well organised?

 Smoocher is slowly getting better. He is a beautifully natured cat.
Smoocher on the Patio Table

May reaches an end, and everything in the garden seems to have gone really quiet. So far there have been no real frosts to spoil early morning gardening plans. I've already folded over all the Gunnera leaves - how well organised is that?

Thursday 26th May

I have just spent the loveliest afternoon pottering in the garden. I had extreme animal-company - a bouncing puppy, plus the two kittens Tiger and Smoocher. It was calm, quite warm, and there were heaps of twittering birds. No chainsaw noise, no hot cars zooming down the road, no telephone ringing about work... magic!

All I did was to weed in the middle of Middle Garden, where there is a rather haphazard path. This is Golden Hop territory, where limbed-up Pittosporums quake at the thought of those pale tendrils creeping along and upwards next spring. Two delightfully dark-coloured rhododendrons live in here, too - rich purple, and deep magenta, both take a bow!

I successfully pulled out at least one hundred gorse and broom seedlings, and squashed several patches of daffodils just starting to peep out of the dirt. After my week of work routines I feel recharged and normal again - with muddy knees, leaves in hair, and dirty fingernails.

 Looking beautiful - I mean the red border collie pup, as well as the flaxes!
Rusty and the Water-Side Flaxes

It's a pity my delicate financial affairs won't run to some large bags of new spring bulbs - I might have to rethink the 2005 no-daffs policy. And isn't it time I bought some new tulips? I know I'm rude about them, but their colours in spring would be wonderful.

Chelsea Flower Show Envy

A little bit of hemispherical envy - the Mooseys in London have been to Chelsea, the famous Flower Show. Apparently this year an Australian entry has won a gold medal. Australians always win gold medals! Good on them - we will redress the imbalance in the rugby.

Chelsea VIP :
Lots of very important people - and gardeners - go to the Chelsea Flower Show.

It puzzles me, though, that wandering around the Chelsea Flower Show for just one day has meant a complete lack of London-New Zealand communication for at least the last six days. Six days? Were there lots of lists needing to be written? Huge decisions as to the weather, and whether to wear the green - or not?

Perhaps there was serious training for the Chelsea visit in the days leading up to the grand opening - with son of Moosey striding through and around all the little parks he could find, casually photographing insects? Being thus rendered far too tired to mail his Moosey gardening mother? Humph!

 Complete with resident fly.
White Nicotiana Bravely Flowering

Friday 27th May

Oops. A confession. I've been home from work for ages, and I've accomplished the following:

  1. Sat on the seat by the Stables and read some of my book.
  2. Taken puppy for a long walk.
  3. Made a cup of tea and sat and read some more.

It's just been one of those peaceful, illusionary days (daze, more likely!) where I can't really think of anything that desperately needs gardening. This comment is certain to return in the weekend and bite me on the bottom! Oh well - I've spent quality cat-time with Tiger, Mugsy and Stumpy. Smoocher is having his vet day and will be home soon, and Rusty the puppy behaved.

Saturday 28th May

It's a mild morning, it's the weekend, and Smoocher is back, full of cat-energy. I am off outside to rake more fallen leaves - the Moosey House Guest has kindly given me all his black plastic bags. He wonders why I am making leaf pillows... Anyway, I need to get going out there before anything nasty happens (like a southerly storm which will blow all my leaf piles away). Forgive my haste - I will return.

 More late autumn leaves which need raking up.
Rusty in the Driveway


I need to wear my spectacles in the garden - it is painfully obvious there is so much of everything to do! I need to get better organised. Today I have cleared the driveway border - chopping down perennials, dividing and replanting blue Scabious plants, and digging out fountain grasses which are just too big and too old. I now have eight big plastic bags full of leaves - what on earth did I do with the leaves in years past? I know I didn't burn them...

I have semi-retired for the day, and soon I will get ready for the rugby. This is the Super 12 final, and is taken very seriously. There will be a roast dinner, and wine, and much cheering for the Canterbury Crusaders.

A Little Later...

I've just been wandering around the garden trying to take some photographs of the late May colour. Humph! There isn't any. There isn't much light, either - it's as if everything has a pale-blue watercolour wash over it.

Question: Why are there so many pictures of the pets in the May journal? Answer: Because there's nothing else happening in the garden to take pictures of!

 They are the only interesting things in the garden at the moment!
Why Are There So Many Photographs of Animals?

Humph. I ended up taking textural pictures of the wood stacked inside the woodshed, noticed the masses of weeds in the next-door vegetable garden, and sneaked guiltily back into the house. Tomorrow I will get down-and-dirty and organised.

Sunday 29th May

By the end of May I should have finished the following garden tasks, which I saw needed doing on my foiled photo walk yesterday:

Today's Garden Goals

Cleared the vege garden of weeds.
When this is done I can put down mulch and write long lists of vegetables I actually like to eat.
Dig out the large Miscanthus Zebrinus behind the glass-house.
This could be annoying. Some random thoughts - sharpen the spade? Possibly get help? Anyway, replant the grass further away from the Cotinus.
Continue to trim and clear the JAM garden behind the glass-house.
There are toad lilies and sprawling sedums to chop back, as well as weeds to remove. Self seeded foxgloves growing in the pathway can be transplanted too. Perhaps the path also needs transplanting...

I will wear gardening gloves at all times and use a hand scratching fork. I will stay outside all morning and get really muddy. I will even take out a thermos of hot coffee for my morning tea - thus successful preparation will equal successful gardening.

Late Lunchtime...

Ha! Two words (9,7): G . . . . . . . . L . . . . . . Clue: What I have just been, working hard in the garden for three and a half hours without stopping once. I have decided that I will, definitely this time, remove all the lilac phlox from the glass-house garden. I am going really well, weeding and clipping.

Lilac Phlox :
This perennial really is annoying and invasive. Pretty coloured flowers, though...

Puppy Rusty has been munching a bone on the grass, and the two kittens have been tree climbing. The top of the JAM Garden is almost finished! I have dug out everything in the process of removing the phlox (daffodils, and possibly some blue hyacinths), and when I return after a short break I will replant the bulbs.

But wait - there's more! The vegetable garden is done! Now I can walk past it to the woodshed with pride. The little brick paths curve this way and that, and I have collected a bucketful of purple potatoes for sprouting next spring. These are my stylish heirloom spuds. Right. The gardening legend continues...