I'll have to spend all my winter weeding...

Right. The Moosey garden is not looking its best. There is much maintenance work to be done and remedial action to be taken. Every garden border is full of weeds, weeds, weeds - and then more weeds. I'll have to spend all my winter weeding. Humph!

Sunday 17th July, Late...

I have been lured away from winter reality by the imminent arrival of the rose archways. My head has been overfilled with summery thoughts about the roses I've ordered - I can see them growing, flowering, dripping petals, wafting their fragrances about on the balmy summer breezes. See - I'm doing it again!

New Roses:
I will soon have many new exciting climbing roses to talk about. They are ordered and should arrive soon.

Which reminds me - in a moment of extreme seriousness last week I needed sensible information on old fashioned roses suitable for growing up archways. Naturally I checked in with Google, typed in my search, and started reading the first result. A daffy sounding gardener was twittering on, telling me she didn't know much about old fashioned roses. What a silly, I thought, then halfway through the second sentence, something clicked - the daffy gardener was me! Eek! Just wait - in a year's time I will definitely be able to rewrite that paragraph picked out by the search engine!

I need this next week's weather to be extremely garden-kind. There is so much to do! Until tomorrow morning, then, bright and early, when my first catch-up plan will be revealed in full glory. Please stop raining!

Monday 18th July

Heavy rain in the night - early morning drizzle - any moment now I expect the winter sun to break through. Even if it doesn't I'm about to start my first major weeding session - in the Hen House Garden. Winter gardening reality - everything forgettable to do, nothing memorable to write about.

Thus I am going to have a deliberately dull, boring day. I will collect horse-poos and newspaper, and continue my mulching of the the Willow Tree Garden. I am prepared to get muddy and to change my clothes often. And I may not write much afterwards! Right. Here goes.

 This plant is slightly frost tender, so I grow it in a pot by the garage.
Variegated Coprosma


Hmm. What can I say? I weeded for an hour and a half before lunchtime. Puppy enjoyed it. I got a bit wet. I hate weeding in the wet. Late afternoon - Ditto. I laid manure, newspaper and lucerne hay mulch. I weeded some more.

Puppy bounced and zoomed around the wheelbarrow, and tried to sneak bits of manure to eat (gross dog!). He manically jumped in and out of the water race - he is now very clean and his wet fur is very orange. The dog kennel owners (who puppy stayed with) said he was a very 'sensible' dog. I can't decide if that comment gives puppy a really lovely dog-personality or makes him a boring wimp!

Cat Health

Orange cat Smoocher isn't well. No appetite, no energy, sleeping (and purring) a lot, but not really eating. Oh boy! He goes to the vet later this week for his very serious blood test. Hmm...

Tuesday 19th July

It's raining down on my newly mulched water race bank by the Willow tree. It's raining down on all the weeds I've yet to remove. There are actually puddles on the driveway! The free-draining soil of the Moosey garden deserves rain, but as a gardener on official holiday this is not good timing! Later today I might go outside to get dirty, muddy and wet - puppy is a bit bored with the head gardener staying inside.

I do have a secret, sneaky, scary in-house plan for later, though. I have decided to try doing some retired-lady painting - art, that is. Both the Moosey sons are very good painters, so I intend to test out the concept of reverse-inheriting of artistic talent. I am armed with photographs of yellow daylilies and orange dahlia flowers, (I want to paint colourful summer garden things). Ha!

 Smoocher will have his own flowering cherry tree.
Goodbye Smoocher

And there's more! The spare room upstairs is being turned into a Moosey study. Being an obsessive mature lady gardener is suddenly becoming a serious business. All my garden magazines (I have hundreds) and my books (hmm... haven't bought any gardening books for a while) will be shelved, a desk will be installed, a rug and perhaps a little armchair - and of course the imminent Moosey garden art can be displayed on the walls. Thus I will have a house headquarters, where I can read books and write rose lists (hee hee) and stare out the window at the big gum tree in the rain.

Wednesday 20th July

No gardening today - it's still raining. I've been doing inside stuff - artistic daylily painting (going OK for a beginner), and reading the new Harry Potter book. The Moosey office is now partially furnished, with a green dreaming chair (comfy and nice), and a huge desk. I don't really feel like getting wet and muddy this afternoon. I am going to put some garden photographs all over the office walls instead.

Sad Cat News

Sad news - this morning Smoocher, our young ginger kitten-cat, the wriggly, wiry, climber of the Willow tree, was sadly buried in the Hazelnut Orchard. Smoocher the orange cat-walker - I will always remember our orange animals morning walks in the orchard. What a great little cat he was!

Thursday 21st July

We are off to buy two tall bookcases for the Moosey office. Finally I can sort out all my old gardening magazines - re-reading them would be fun - and my odd assortment of gardening books (I have many more than I thought). Then in this concentrated, rarefied library atmosphere my written reviews of gardening magazines and books might improve. They need to! As do my painting skills - the essence of my orange daylilies is proving hard to capture!

Smoocher :
Such a lovely kitten, and a brave young cat.

And I miss the orange cat! We (that is the cats and puppy) have just had a short memorial Smoocher breakfast - three gourmet tins du jour, plus real steak. The weather forecast for today predicts occasional showers, interspersed with large patches of real mud gardening. Gumboots are not to be worn in the kitchen.

Late Afternoon...

I mulched the Willow Tree Garden for about an hour and a half. How much more mulch can this garden take? Readers will be imagining mountains of waist-high organic matter - or an excessively large garden area. Neither is true - I just seem to be a slow mulcher (and I keep running out of raw materials). I also pruned the Dog-Path Garden roses (Benjamin Britten, Colourbreak, Brilliant Pink Iceberg, a standard freesia, and the super-smelly Sharifa Asma) - and remembered to wear gloves.

 Does the water in the race look cold? It is!
Willow by the Water

Then I got busy carting stuff upstairs to the newly book-cased Moosey office, which has been filled with splashes of winter sun! My Fine Gardening and The Garden magazines have pride of place - they sit at eye level facing outwards, showing off their splendid cover photographs. The New Zealand Gardeners have been banished below the knee-line (oops). My dreaming armchair has special don't-hurt-the-carpet feet. All I have to do is to nail up my garden photographs and find a rubbish bin. Perhaps I should have a plaque on the door?

Gardening Improvements?

And will this make me a better gardener? One who thinks ahead, stockpiling piles of newspaper and bags of manure in the off-season? One who can focus on one gardening thing at a time, and not wander off like a random, itinerant rooster? One who doesn't lose hand diggers and Stephen's sharp saw? Hmm...