An impressive super-list?

I thought while I am pruning the roses - that's all the roses - this week, I could do a count of them. Perhaps I could write all their names down in an impressive super-list!

Monday 15th August

I hope it's obvious - I plan to finish this rose task this very week. Pruning time is the perfect time for rose decisions. I will check all planting positions, and shift any roses that have become too over-crowded.

 One of the subtle late winter colours in my garden.
Viburnnum Tinus Flowering

For example, unknown-but-suspected David Austin Pink Rose Number Three now cowers underneath an ever enlarging pink rhododendron in the pond side border. I could also identify and burn any bad-doers. Eek - doesn't sound very nice - I thought gardening was the gentle therapy? I should just stick with the list, so I can numerically boast?

Pet Competition Problems?

The Most Valuable Pet Competition has taken a seriously dodgy turn - overnight Taj-dog has lost nearly 50 points (how can this be possible?) leaving that blasted gang of chooks in the lead. I suspect some corruption, perhaps a bribe by the poultry-fanciers of London. I have complained to the highest (who has desperately tried to justify the chook promotion in the Moosey forum), and can only repeat what I have said before - please don't vote for the poultry!

 A beautiful dog in front of the first daffodils.
Rusty the Puppy

It's far too nippy yet to go outside - I'd forgotten what late winter frosts were like. That means I have at least an hour and a half before the ground thaws out - a whole hour and a half to listen to Bach piano and twitter on in this journal! But I can't honestly think of much more to say! Help us! Quit while I'm ahead?

Readers could react in many ways if the flow of words actually stopped. One would be relief, but one could be panic - has the Moosey mind been creatively broken by too much weeding? Will she ever write again? Will the pink spring blossoms burst from their buds? Will the small clumps of miniature daffodils ever be noticed and appreciated in the largeness of the garden? Hee hee...

Tuesday 16th August

Yesterday I ended up doing something relatively embarrassing, in the gardening sense. Knowing I needed to be pruning roses, I wandered out responsibly to prune the little climber Clair Matin which lurks in the Apple Tree Garden. It grows in the shade of a giant spreading nasty tree with spikes and little red berries, and branches which join at ridiculous angles - like ninety degrees.

I was only going to trim the rose - honestly - but I felt really sorry for it. Two hours later, two huge branches of the offending shade-causing tree were lying in spiky pieces on the grass by the washing line. My little yellow bow saw had done it! Now, in a typical morning-after fashion, I am feeling rather sheepish, faced with the sensible removal of a lot of incredibly large bits of tree. I'll have to burn the small bits, and prepare the large pieces (as thick as an All Black's thigh) for firewood.

And I should try and do all of this before the critical eye of non-gardening partner alights on the mess. Being male he shows little faith in a random gardener multi-tasking. 'When are you going to plant the first pair of climbing roses?' was his only gardening question this morning. As the resident constructor (and welder) of the first of thirteen rose archways he is indeed allowed to ask this. So it would be politic for me to get totally rid of my tree mess, wouldn't it. Hmm... I think I'll better make a smoky, scratchy start. Gloves! Secateurs! Back soon.


Ha! A recipe for success - for every five medium branches, rake up two wheelbarrowfuls of dry gum tree rubbish. Carefully secateur and saw the tree into pieces of no more than one metre in length. Place on fire alternatively with layers of gum tree rubbish. Burn for one hour. Stack any tree branches fatter than a finger in the woodshed, on the left, where the wet wood goes.

 Yippee! The first of thirteen.
The First Rose Archway

Wednesday 17th August

Oops. The perils of global twittering - non-gardening partner arrives home last night and immediately asks 'What tree?' Busted! I start explaining that the sawn-down tree was weedy, possibly even on the official list of undesirables...

Today I will continue the clean-up by burning more of the anonymous tree - maybe it is a Pyracantha? I will also do some rose pruning in the Birthday Rose Garden and start writing down my official rose inventory. Names? Names? Eek! Today will be straight-forward and workwomanlike, and much will be achieved.

And to herald the Year of the New Rose Arches I will take puppy with me and ceremonially plant the first pair climbing roses in the Hazelnut Orchard.

Later, in Darkness...

I have burnt all the tree bits! And I have weeded the garden by the Pergola. Puppy has helped me - we are both legends, though I've noticed two rather alarming holes in the vege garden.

Thursday 18th August

Today's a bit of an anti-climax, after my super-gardening-effort late into yesterday evening. I have to go into work. I have to prepare for work, scrub my gardener's fingernails, etc. Humph.

Yesterday was magic - with the Daphne fragrance everywhere, the gentle light gradually fading, the first blossom trees looking huge, filling the sky in front of the cheery yellow Wattle Tree flowers. Puppy was happily pottering around (I have to stop him chasing the ducks - we have a brave duck group trying to take up residence again for spring).

 They are the brightest yellow.
Sunny Wattle Flowers

What shall I do today? Puppy and I are about to go for a long road-walk. That may be the end of today's freedom. Ah, but there are no bounds to mental gardening!

Please Don't Vote For The R * * * * * *

I almost forgot - the Most Valuable Pet Competition is certainly hotting up. I am hoping today to legitimately remove the r * * * * * * - the domestic male avian often reared for a pot-roast - from first place. Go Taj-Dog, you legend, creator of the Moosey Dog-paths, and grandfather-figure for a short two weeks to Rusty the puppy! You see, if I actually spell out the name of the said potential pot-roaster, then his group entry automatically gets a vote. Not that I would ever pot roast him, you understand!

Jerome the Grey :
Jerome and Stumpy are both quite mature cats - they would be at least thirteen years old.

And apparently there was massive block voting for the two grey cat sisters Jerome and Stumpy, which aroused the suspicions of webmaster-son and partially caused the jiggling of the competition points last weekend. Hmm... It wasn't me...

I like to think the votes came from two real grey-haired old-lady sister gardeners (and cat-lovers) with super-sneaky computer skills! Grey power!


How I feel sorry for puppy! Here is the sum of our conversation on our long and supposed-to-be-lovely morning walk. 'No, Rusty! No chasing the ducks. No Rusty, leave the ducks alone! No! No chasing the ducks! No! Rusty! Come here! No chasing the ducks!'

+1I won't pre-empt a flood of sensible analytical answers by asking why he wants/needs to chase birds and ducks. It's only fair that he gets a bonus point in the pets competition for putting up with my nagging! I am so very ashamed that I laughed when as a little flying ball of puppy-fluff he first chased r * * * * * * across the house lawn! Is it too late for change? I'll bet he'd be scared of a goose (not that I am getting a goose, mind you).

 Winter colour...

Friday 19th August

A magical, mild, mid-August afternoon! I am so lucky to have the time to enjoy just sitting in my garden. I have been reading, and Rusty the puppy has been playing with his new toys (I paid $2 for a squeaky red devil, four ugly teddies all wearing head-gear, a replacement string of plastic sausages, a stork and a knitted rabbit). I did one barrowful of weeding along the back fence underneath the Mermaid rose (ouch!).

Then I dragged a new garden bench out of storage in the hay barn. This is to be the Willow Tree Garden's new seat, but I've given its position little thought and it just looks silly - I'll try out a more inspired placement tomorrow with my book. The nearby honeysuckle I planted to cover the largest tree stump in this garden has done just that (and more), and needs to be vertically challenged.

Oops. I know I should have been pruning the roses. I should have planted my new red Flower Carpet rose (a thorny, vicious gift from a lovely friend) and potted up some new Heuchera plants. Instead I have been lazy, dreamy, and totally wafty - delightful!