Finish the mulching!

I have to finish mulching (manure, newspaper and old lucerne hay) the Moosey garden by the end of July. That's approximately one garden area per day - eek! So far only the Willow Tree garden is done.

 This small clump live in the house patio garden.
First Spring Crocuses - with Bee

Maybe I am taking my winter mulching mission too seriously. I certainly have a problem with supply and demand. The Moosey House Guest (who is Australian) needs to read (therefore to buy) more New Zealand newspapers. I could pay money and order in a truckload of compost. I could sneakily use some of the proper hay bales which are kept for the sheep just in case it snows for a week... Aargh! And one of the thorny snags of Moosey mulching is that the ground first has to be weeded. I have my standards! This may be why it takes me so long...

Groaning about Ground Covers

Today I also have to finish removing the ghastly ground cover Hypericum from the pond side border. I was so stupid to plant it here. I've read warnings in garden books about the indiscriminate use of ground covers - I should have taken notice! There are nicely behaved ones, though - the Ajuga in the Wattle Woods does a great job. Oops - I've just remembered the Lamium by the house which somehow has crept away and spread all over the compost heap and the adjacent garden - wonder how that could possibly have happened? Overall, I think I'll give ground covers a wider berth in the future.

 On the winter house patio, sitting on a stylish home-made chair.
Stumpy the Cat


I have almost removed all the Hypericum roots. I worked for two hours. My back is sore. My hands are sore. Gardening is supposed to be soothing for the soul, but ripping and digging out ground cover Hypericum is definitely not! It would be easier if I could blame the previous owner (as I can with the invasive Lamium). On a nicer note some new arrivals are coming tomorrow to Moosey's Country Retreat for Unwanted Roses, donated from friends at work.

Wednesday 27th July

OK. So why does the mulching have to be finished this week? And what about my sore back? I have to do wobbly arabesques just to pick up things. How can I achieve anything in the garden? I have woken up slightly grumpy, plan-less, feeling rather sorry for myself. I'm also feeling a bit sad because I've just written Smoocher's page - I miss my little ginger cat. It might be best if I start the day mindlessly burning the rubbish pile. I am not allowed to write anything more until I am in a better mood. Sorry for the grumps.

Two Hours Later...

I am so much better. I have burnt the Hypericum rubbish, spread lots more mulch, and pruned the roses by the pergola. Redcoat had the hugest suckers, and I trimmed back the Woodshed Rambler - hope it will be OK. I have lunged sideways and arabesqued forwards to go easy on the sore back (pity the knees don't work properly!) - now I've decided responsibly to come inside and have a break. Hello to Stumpy the lap-sitting cat. Hot coffee, nice! I am going to shower, put on a cheerful apres-gardening shirt, and paint daylilies in the Moosey office. Life is good, and I am very lucky.

Thursday 28th July

Where are my mail order climbing roses? They should arrive any day now. The thirteen (well, actually twenty-six) rose arch pipes are at the 'benders'. I could start digging the planting holes, and clearing the weeds away...

Rose Thorns :
I never prune my roses all at once - there are far too many of them.

I intend to have a mini-mulching session this morning before I go in to work. I will also prune some more of the roses. Do I prune roses correctly? I always start off carefully, assessing shape, angling the cut just so, and end up with the hedge clippers, eyes shut! I end up more obsessed with the burning of the mess than the task itself.

Garden Journals

Sorry about being as droopy as a sedum in the shade yesterday. There's a fine line when writing a garden journal between brutal honesty, sunny humour, serious garden news, happy blithering, and absolute nonsense - I'm afraid the Moosey journals too often contain that last ingredient! And I am going to take the advice of friends and shift some of my sedums, too! They need to be in the sun. Right. Enough happy blithering. It's time for some brutal honesty and some serious garden news (that is, my garden is full of weeds and needs mulching).

 Waiting for the new roses and the new avenue of rose arches?
Puppy Waiting by the Hazelnut Orchard Gate

One and a Half Hours Later...

I have been mulching in the rain (which makes a lovely connection). I have lucerne hay sticking to my socks, in my hair, and all over my avocado green gardening jersey. However I am more of a success as a mulcher than as a painter. Aargh! I can't get any depth in my work - perhaps I need to leave realism well alone and find my own style? Hmm...

Friday 29th July

Oops. No gardening today (blame Bach and Brahms, and my very slightly sore back). No roses have arrived either - but six new special variety Hazelnut trees (pollinators) have - they're waiting to be planted this weekend). I am so looking forward to the climbing rose avenue.

Saturday 30th July

Right. It is early, misty, and I have made a pot of hot tea. My back is much better - see, it was sensible having a dig-free week. Today, however, I am back - with renewed vigour, turquoise thermal legs underneath my Doctor Livingston shorts, and a list as long as your arm. A list which, if I should write it down, will need a brand new journal page. So the plan is to sneak in the list items gently, subtly, and let today's accomplishments flow naturally - like the river where I will get stones from, and the Hump path which I intend to swap firewood edges for the aforementioned stones...

Today does have rules, though. A little money can be spent at the big local garage sale which I'm allowed to visit with wallet. There can be no indiscriminate bending of the sore back - I must either lunge sideways, arabesque forwards, or sit down in the soil. I must burn all the rose prunings I create, and more hay mulch needs to be dragged down from the back sheep paddock. As each page of the Saturday paper is read, it will be immediately swiped for the mulching process.

 Sitting in the winter sunshine, keeping a cat-eye on things...
Tiger the Cat

It's now mid-day, and I've produced two barrowfuls of prunings, trimmed back the Calamagrostis grasses by the wood shed, and tried to trim the dead wood out of the middle of the cherry back fence rambler. Ouch! That's quite enough action for a recently sore back. Tiger the cat has been keeping me company, zooming up and down the apple trees.

Breaking Bulbs and Breaking News - Early Spring Flowers!

The pink Camellia near the septic tank is flowering! Finally! As are the white hellebores by the Wattle Woods seat. However the number of spring bulbs fit and healthy and ready to flower has decreased just a little (I trod on some while lunging into the ornamental grasses with my secateurs).

Sunday 31st July

OK, so it's the last day of July. Time is zooming by and the days are noticeably longer - by about 40 minutes! First thing this misty morning puppy and I walked through the Hump to check on the Pittosporums. We passed some lovely lime green Hellebores flowering. We also passed firewood path edges which should have been replaced months ago with river stones.

Weeds! :
The cutest weeds are the worst - like this creeping green one. Ouch!

And weeds! Just little, surface weeds, you understand - arguably the very worst type! Here is my first garden activity of the day - I can see myself sitting on my bottom, with hand digger and yellow plastic weed bucket. I am now visualising the resulting weed-free garden. Ha! Successful psychological gardening, from the comfort of my own home!

Aargh! I've just noticed the big Wattle trees are flowering - masses of yellow up high in the soon-to-be-blue sky. I've obviously been spending too much garden time with my head down!