Picnics underneath the blossom...

Ha! The Clematis is flowering, as are the big Japanese Flowering Cherry trees in the Pond Paddock. It's time for reading and picnics underneath the blossom - never mind the garden maintenance, or the new garden needing to be dug and planted! Eek!

Friday 7th October

There! From dreamy visions to weedy, diggy reality in one paragraph. That blossom is just bursting out of bud, though, and I love my Clematis (I can forgive it its thuggery and strangle-all-in-sight nature, just for a couple of weeks).

 Well worth growing.
Variegated White Honesty

So today, as soon as I have drunk my cup of tea, communed with the cats and walked the puppy, I will complete the Water Tank Garden digging. Not a giant work in progress - rather a small garden band to hug the tank, like a flat collar of greenery.

The plants are waiting patiently - a low Pittosporum hedge, plus assorted green and red plants (native Myrtles, Ake Ake, and - you guessed it - red flaxes). I have, as per instructions from the London Mooseys, included a squat, fat conifer - good luck to you, Mister Blobby Conifer, surrounded by New Zealand Native toughies! Proper plant details, and photographs, later!

Mid-Spring Magic

Mid-spring is a magic time of the year. A couple of blue irises are now up, the Honesty looks so fresh and beautiful, and a number of roses have just one or two flowers open. Congratulations to Canary Bird (in the Jelly Bean garden) which is the very first rose to flower properly. The Gerbe rose which smothers the fence by my compost heap is huge with greenery and bud-filled branches. Hmm... Aphids? Must check, and do a little preventative spraying for rust. I don't trust the climbing rose Masquerade in this respect. One rusty hostess rose is one too many!

I think I will start the vegetable plantings this weekend, too. Potatoes first - the ground is probably too cold for much else. My lettuce seedlings are almost ready. I have one tomato plant so far for the glass-house, which I now promise (in front of - a million? - witnesses) to cherish, water, and not lose interest in.


I keep finding new Hazelnut trees which need pruning. Just one barrowful today - not good enough! Wait until the weekend - as soon as completely finished the orchard I am allowed to put up the remaining rose archways. Exciting!

 What a pretty cat!
Tiger the Tortoiseshell Cat

Saturday 8th October

Exciting in theory! I've got up very early, full of amazing intentions and plans - it's rather cold and definitely raining. Blast! I wish we could have warm rain! So this morning's plans have been put on hold. This weekend we do not need rain - the Moosey merino sheep are taken down the road tomorrow to be shorn on Monday. They are in the front paddock awaiting this yearly ritual. Wet sheep - no shearing!

Dog Versus Dog

Some exciting in-house (and in-garden) news - Rusty the red border collie is about to overtake the old dearly departed Tajdog in my Most Valuable Pet Competition, or MVP. It is the end of the country road for Tajdog - unless I visit his memorial Almond tree weekly and write about it. Does Rusty the puppy contribute so much? Definitely! We walk every day, and he provides such good gardening company. So the new-dog has become the top-dog in Moosey Folklore. It's my fault - I've been voting for Rusty in a mean-spirited attempt to counteract the peculiar popularity of the poultry. Sorry Tajdog!

 Dog communication is pretty subtle.
This Way? Taj-Dog and Rusty

It's still raining. Brr! What to do? Read my gardening magazines from my friend (thanks, Mary) in Seattle? Write copious lists? Work in the cold, grey gloom of the glass-house? I do have many more flowering annual seeds to sow, and I could pot up my one tomato. Clutching at straws, I think...

Sunday 9th October

It's a sunny, clear morning, and the Clematis is running rampant over the Pittosporums at the back of the Septic Tank garden. Aargh! What a foolish gardener!

Clematis Montana :
What a pretty monster Clematis Montana is - why do I keep planting it? I've even got one pointing hopefully up the gum tree by the garage. I'll forget about it, then it will go sideways and strangle the neighbouring lavenders and the agapanthus, in the blink of a gardening eye!

I have a stylish morning cup of tea - in my new white (bone china?) Chelsea Flower Show 2005 curved tea mug, with the Royal Horticultural Society's crest (actually it's a logo) on the very bottom. Which reminds me - I've been trying to make some plans to do some serious garden visiting. There are two annual events coming up - the Taranaki Rhododendron Festival and Hunters Marlborough Garden Tour.

Hmm... not quite as easy as it should be to get to Taranaki (for example, it's cheaper to fly to Melbourne, Australia). The Marlborough gardens look OK, but the tour I'd like to join is full. Perhaps next year these visits can be put on the Moosey calendar, pre-booked, and better organised by me? Or perhaps next year I could go to Melbourne instead! And perhaps in late spring I'd (foolishly?) rather spend time in my own garden. Everything is so beautiful! The roses, the aquilegias, the perennials fresh and appealing...

Digging and Pruning Will Be Finished Today...

Right. Today is a day of gentle action. I will finish the orchard pruning - there will be no more journal twittering until this is done. I will help with the sheep. And then? I WILL FINISH THE NEW DIGGING. Right. Now I feel strong minded and determined - the innate power of upper case letters?

Later...Great News! Garden Tasks Completed!

Today, with the minimum of fuss, three ongoing tasks in the Moosey garden have actually been officially completed.

  1. The digging of the Water Tank Garden is finished.
  2. Thirteen rose archways are in place in the orchard.
  3. The pruning of the hazelnuts is finished.

What a day of 'finishing' it has been. Also all the sheep have been moved down the road to the farm where they will be shorn tomorrow. A day of complete triumph! I am so tired, but so happy - tomorrow I can begin the planting of roses and New Zealand natives. I love my garden!