Blame the New Zealand sun!

 All my foxgloves are flowering.
Magenta Foxglove

The harsh New Zealand summer sunlight does exist! Today the weather is overcast and the garden looks beautiful. This is exactly the same garden which glared at me, looking washed out, hot and bothered, in the hot thirty degree sun on Friday.

Even the lawn, which is not as green as I'd like, looks fine this morning. Whereas on Friday afternoon, walking around with a visitor, the scene was dominated by dry patches of brown, gum leaves, and general scruff. Aargh! Reach for the camera? I never take photographs on bright sunny days anyway! So the deeply colourful summer garden look is an illusion. A business venture for sun-bright-defeated New Zealand summer gardeners - green tinted glasses! Put them on and your lawns instantly turn into cool spring green!

Yesterday night's rain was brilliant - three quarters of an inch, according to the Moosey rain-gauge which lives in the Stables Garden. This should combine well with my rescue watering mission in the Hump. I will run the hose in there again today, and complete my clearing and weeding. I am so impressed with the Pittosporums. Unassuming, quiet, undemanding, they certainly deserve to be the plant of the month!

Not Enough Red Roses?

Puppy and I are now off down the road for a walk, and then I have the whole day stretching out in front of me. I will sort out that Hump Garden and burn all raked and removed rubbish (blessed gum leaves). Then I will have a serious look at all my roses - I don't think I have enough red ones! Hee hee...


I have retired inside, absolutely covered in forget-me-not seeds, rather damp and dirty. My rubbish fire is smoking away, and I've been pottering around shifting succulent pots out of the glass-house and filling the wheelbarrow with weeds on the return journay. Efficient, minimal walking - wheeling with a purpose! The sun is peeping through now, and I'm off to shift the hoses. I love the birds after rain - they chirp and twitter loudly, with unbridled joy. Hopefully soon my poultry fence will be erected - I miss the melodious crowing of a Moosey rooster. How difficult should it be to build a fence?

Rose Dilemma

There are definitely a lot of pale roses in my garden - apricots, creams, lemons and pinks. I think I need some deeper colours - just in case that harsh sunlight comes back!

 Filling the gardens so beautifully with their spiky flowers.
A Mixture of Aquilegias

Tuesday 15th November

This morning I must plant out my cornflower seedlings, my lettuce seedlings, and my pelargoniums. Then I must weed in the middle of the Island Bed. Dreaming about the roses I haven't got is unproductive. Money spent upgrading my red rose collection would better be channelled into buying a truckload of soil conditioner for those poor battling Pittosporums.

Smoocher :
Dear Smoocher! My lovely orange catlet...

I've been reading over my old journal entries about the lovely, short life of Smoocher the ginger kitten! What a cat he was, and how we still miss him! Every morning we have our Smoocher memorial Cats Breakfasts, though the gourmet has been replaced by the mundane (tuna and sardines). Bless all the departed cats of gardeners for their wonderful memories.

Wednesday 16th November

Hopeless! I couldn't find my hand digger, and ended up going in to work anyway for a tutoring session - a festival of calculus, with some of my best students. Today I am home. I have huge plans, formed in a gardening panic late yesterday on a dusk walk with puppy (we were looking at the Hazelnut Orchard roses and picking peonies from Middle Garden). Aargh! The edges of the lawns are longer than my hair, and the weeds by Duck Lawn are lush and green - unlike the lawn itself. I started then and there bending and pulling in the fading light, trying to avoid the self sown nasturtiums. This morning it is my first job.

 I hope I've got the name of this little shrubby perennial right!
Red Potentilla

In fact I have a very full timetable today. It is to be the first of my well-structured, fully retired days - I need to practice for next year, hee hee. There will be puppy walking, maybe a bicycle ride, swimming in the slow lane, journal writing, seedling planting, watering, reading, eating healthy food, playing Bach on the piano, relaxing in the Moosey office - I love doing all these things! If there was cricket to listen to my day would be complete. On second thoughts maybe not, since we seem to suck at cricket at the moment.


Three hours doing edges and weeding. I've cleared completely around the Pond Paddock, and also Duck Lawn. It should now be compulsory to sit (surrounded by beautifully trimmed edges and weed-free garden borders) and have a hot relaxing cup of coffee, and maybe read a holiday book. Will my busy schedule allow for this? I am impressed with bicycle riding with Rusty the puppy. We zoomed down the road earlier, and zoomed back, and he just kept going in a straight line - he was a really good, focused dog. This is the first time I've ridden with him.

Right. A well-deserved, journal-free break will now be had.

Thursday 17th November

I'm just back from another zooming bicycle ride with puppy. Ride like the wind! Now I'm having a late breakfast. Pathetic, I know, but I've peered into all my rubbish dumping places, even raked hopefully through the rubbish fire, and still my hand digger is lost. I have pottles of seedlings to plant - today, being overcast, is the designated day. The purple Ajuga is going into the new Birthday Rose Garden underneath Roydon (I think it's a New Zealand variety). I've picked some for a vase and the fragrance is amazing! What beautiful sweet-smelling rooms I can have this summer!

 This rose is wonderfully fragrant.
Hybrid Tea Rose Royden

Yet again, in the year 2005, I am an Ellerslie Flower Show No-Show. Why don't I ever go to this New Zealand gardening event? Would it be too commercial for a sensitive, down-to earth, bargain-bin gardener? Hmm... Webmaster even rang from London to tactfully suggest I could put in an apppearance. Trouble is that I'd much rather spend the money on truckloads of compost.

Enough twittering. Off to purchase two hand diggers and a two dollar cocktail dress (I'm serious - I have a formal Christmas engagement, and intend to make an extreme apres-gardening fashion statement, op-shop style). No photographs will be allowed.

Afternoon Tea...

My cornflowers, lettuces, and pumpkins are planted in or near to the vege garden. Puppy spent a happy hour choosing pieces of firewood from inside the woodshed, carrying them onto the back lawn, chewing them for a while, then abandoning them. Must remember to clean up his mess! I also planted the Ajuga reptans Black Scallop (by the way) and variegated Pelargoniums in the gardens by the Stables.