More and more spring daffodils are flowering, and I've spied the first patch of blue Muscari in the garden - sheltered underneath a lovely red-leafed leucadendron. Is it really spring? I hope so!

Saturday 27th August

Late yesterday I visited my friend's seaside garden again - her plants are at least three, maybe four weeks ahead of mine. With no frosts, and the seaside hill micro-climate, spring has definitely sprung for her! Her two Magnolias are absolutely covered in bloom (one is a Magnolia Stellata, like mine in Middle Garden), and her Bergenias, unravaged by puppy feet, are foliage-perfect and flowering.

 I have never seen a flower this big before in my garden - something must be working!
A Very Large Blue Spring Crocus Flower

Puppy and I have done one short morning garden walk - last night a southerly storm blew through, and I've picked all the fallen, drooping daffodil flowers. Consequently the house is full of yellow! As soon as I've had my cup of tea I'm off to buy some potting mix and some clean, sharp secateurs (to make a sensible, hygenic start pruning the tree suckers in the Hazelnut Orchard). It's cold, fresh and damp out there - and it's the weekend!

 So yellow!
Miniature Daffodils

Make A List!

Then I will probably make the usual list, which will have things on it like 'weeding'. Aargh! I am not allowed to moan and groan a little about my sore hands. They are smelling sweetly (I am trying some new super-cream which is pepperminty) and - honestly - if all I've got to worry about are slightly ageing and tingling knuckles, I shouldn't even mention it! What's happened to the gushing I-am-so-very-lucky state of mind?

Needed Desperately - Garden Retail Therapy!

Right. I'm off to get the garden provisions. This past week has been awfully earn-money-instead-of-gardening orientated and I'm left feeling a bit peeved - some garden retail therapy might do the trick. I am going to check out a trailer of compost, and I might even buy a new ceremonial grumpy rose.

Lunchtime, Apres-Shopping...

I am a hopeless shopper! I could write a list of the things I saw but decided not to buy - like the roses Hot Chocolate and Margaret Merrill, a large blue and white Vietnamese pot, some seed potatoes... Anyway, I am back, pretending I have important things to write in this journal, just because it's a little damp and drizzly outside. I have also decided that my hands are sore from over-weeding - and therefore need resting. Hmm... I did buy a little caramel-coloured anemone-type dahlia, plus some organic carrot seeds, gloves etc. - How can I get inspired! How? Ask Stumpy the cat, sitting on my lap - what gardening should I do today?

Sunday 28th August

Yesterday I was so grumpy! Sorry about that. My web-master will not be happy - people won't read grumpy writing, he says. Well, I feel heaps better today - mainly because my hands (precisely, the knuckles on my fingers - let's get the details right, now!) are definitely not so sore. It's such a stupid little thing - I play the piano, I garden like a lunatic, I'm getting older (in years, not necessarily in maturity), and it's the tiny, ever so tiny spectre of medium-old-lady arthritis. Ha!

 Tools of the trade - but where is my hoe?
Lots of Gardening to Do!

Before I launch forwards, positively, fingers working much better (thanks to some weeding-and-pruning-free days) I will list my small achievements from yesterday. Warning - the morning is quite frosty, so I have at least an hour of thaw before I can go outside and successfully start gardening. Time for a lot of infinitesimal detail! Read on, intrepid readers, at your peril!

Yesterday Was Actually Really Nice Because...

I pruned suckers from two rows of Hazelnut trees.
With one slight 'oops' - also pruned two irrigation drippers by mistake. Many of the trees are now in bud. The orchard is waking up - very exciting..
I took some lovely winter rose photographs.
I love the lime green hellebores! And the pinks, and the whites!
I took puppy on the longest walk.
We are best friends. We talk. Well, I talk. Puppy listens? Hmm...
I took more photographs - there are Camellias in flower.
The big white Camellia by the Sleep-Out has ONE flower! And the mid-pink bush in the Wattle Woods is now completely covered.

Today will be even nicer because I have a lot of sensible things to do. They include potting up the newly divided Calamagrostis grasses (and the Silver Astelia that puppy did battle with) in my new potting mix, weeding with a scraping tool a couple of needy garden areas, pruning another couple of orchard rows (no drippers), and maybe planting the first ceremonial roses on the lone rose arch. Then puppy and I are going to the river for a lunchtime dog-picnic and stone-collecting session.

Wattle Flowers :
The Wattle trees have brilliant yellow flowers from late winter on.

What else should I try and finish today? There's the dry-stream bed in the Wattle Woods to clean up (hello, gum tree leaves), and the netting fence around the Hen House to erect. I hope soon to welcome the new rooster with the safe, warm feeling of home-sweet-home. I have a pile of prunings to burn - perhaps that could be the last task for the day, and I could cook sausages on sticks... Then there's the vege garden, needing weeding again. Where's my hoe? A hoe would be sensible to do this job!

Much, Much Later...

+1 Well, well, well - I have just had the best day! I've dug, weeded, planted, mulched, sawn down huge tree lucerne branches, and burnt. Now that list may look small, but my day has been huge! Puppy has had a great day, too - he is asleep on the kitchen floor. He has chased a hundred flying objects - including a pair of ducks in the water race, next door's pigeons, his very first low flying helicopter - and two jet boats on the river.

Now I am apres-gardening, clean and fragrant, with lotions and potions rubbed into hands and face. I have done such good gardening all day today - for example, the Calamagrostis grasses are planted, and the two rescued pink roses likewise. And I pruned another row of Hazelnut trees without nipping any of the irrigation hoses. Rusty the puppy has been such good company that he must be awarded a special bonus point. Yippee! My good 'I-am-so-very-lucky' mood is back!