Getting the garden ready for Christmas...

I am still getting the garden ready for Christmas - weeding the banks of the water race, watering, trimming the edges of the borders. In three weeks time absolutely all parts of the rambling, random Moosey garden will be incredibly beautiful.

 Flowering bravely in the summer heat.
The Last Rhododendron

Monday 5th December

I am allowed to start a new journal page, with several conditions attached. In fact, a list might best organise me. I will try and be chronological and serious. Here goes.

Part One - Keen and Energetic

  1. An early hour spent in the water race weeding.
  2. Put hoses on in Wattle Woods and Hump.
  3. Then a bicycle ride with puppy - the long country block, on my own puncture-repaired bike!
  4. A hot coffee and a breakfast break.

Hmm... There's more...

Part Two - Losing Momentum?

  1. Shift hoses, collect two barrowfuls of mess, dump on burning heap.
  2. Plant new hostas, lavenders and red flax.
  3. Put second new red cordyline in a pot - in a bucket - whatever!
  4. Another hour to hopefully finish off the water race weeding.

Blimey! This is getting a bit long and serious. There is now a fifty percent chance of delivery, but I will keep going.

Part Three - Desperately Trying to Keep Going?

  1. Off for a swim, followed by a late lunch (suggest strawberries).
  2. Back into the water race for final weed-pulling, if required.
  3. Cesar Franck piano practice - movements one, three and four.
  4. A late afternoon road walk with puppy while tea is cooking.
  5. Chicken salad, half a glass of red wine, read book, relax, smile.

Ridiculous. That's three lists, not one!

A Typical Gardening Day?

 It is time for some photographs of our little disabled cat Mugsy.
Mugsy in the Grass

A typical day in the life of the Moosey Head Gardener - no details spared. Spend a summer's day with this self-famous garden personality. Will she remember to plant the hostas? Will she cut fresh flowers for the house vases, even if this item is not on her list? And what's wrong with the second movement of Cesar Franck's violin sonata in A Major? Hee hee.

Tuesday 6th December

How can I possibly keep up this extreme list writing standard? Getting to Part Three was a bit of a killer (memo to self - never, ever write a three part list again). Well, I did absolutely everything, except pot the red Cordyline and take puppy for a road walk. I followed most of the instructions faithfully, apart from reading my book at breakfast. I am an absolute legend - a well behaved gardener who sticks to the list is a rarity.

Freestyle Gardening

Today I will only talk about the flowers, roses, shrubs and grasses which are looking lovely. No set tasks, no timetable - today is freestyle gardening. I will find something unusual to do, which doesn't involve weeding in water.

 Just beautiful.
Kronenbourg Rose

New Roses

The new roses in the Birthday Garden are fun to watch - the fragrant butterscotch coloured Roydons, and the hugely over-confident Kronenburgs - now there's a huge rose with excess attitude! The standard olives are flowering, too - very pretty. My favourite flaxes are also flowering - they shoot out long spears with the oddest flower-heads, covered with dangling bean-like shapes. Actually, flax flowers would make jolly good ethnic style necklaces! I'm impressed with the basic green cordyline flowering by the garage - tiny cream flowers on a maze of little stems.

This is obviously the grass-flowering month! All the odd fat-leaved green grasses I grow (and which self seed generously) have scary seed-heads. And the Gunnera on the water race edge is fat-leaved and happy. As a self styled expert on waterway plantings (in other words, I have been weeding the banks of the race for the last few days) I must say this odd perennial looks good! And while all this frenetic, sunshine drenched summer flowering goes on, the last of the rhododendrons struggles to stay pink and beautiful in the Driveway. What a time for the garden!

And what's wrong with Cesar Franck's second movement? Just a surfeit of semiquavers, and a jaunt into some excessively sharp keys - nothing that a pair of rested, weeding-free hands can't fix!

Wednesday 7th December

I've fed the puppy-dog. I've fed the cats (ocean fish with mackerel and bream). I've fed Fred the pet lamb. I've made a pot of tea. First slurp - magic! What will I do today? Yesterday it drizzled and rained all day. Puppy and I went for a rather wet walk, then I visited my seaside gardening friend. All her daylilies are in full flower - my larger hybrids are only just starting to show buds. She's told me about a recently bred wine red Cordyline which grows trunkless, like a thin red flax fountain, and has the cutest flowers - I think I might buy one!

 Summer sunshine, and bright yellow flowers - perfect!
Yellow Pansies and White Annual Daisies

Rusty's Graduation

I am trying to improve Rusty's canine self esteem. He has been called a puppy for far too long now. He has graduated, as of today, to being known as a puppy-dog. His maturity and obedience should thus improve.

 Rusty the dog when he was small.
Puppy on Middle Bridge

Not Enough Puppy Pictures...

I remember when he was a small, new, Christmas puppy - falling in the water race and his stubby little feet not touching the bottom. I really didn't take quite enough photographs of such moments.

Today I have simple plans. I need to rake rubbish out of the Hump, where the new Pittosporums are thriving (but not much else is). Do I furiously water the misplaced Hebes, or do I shift them out? I also need to clean up rubbish from my water race clean-up. Easily done, but gumboots will be required to combat the wet garden greenery. But first, the bicycle ride around the long country block, followed by the ceremonial christening of the new twenty dollar piano stool. This will obviously make the Cesar Franck sound so much better! I will certainly be more comfortable in my pianistic discomfort, if you know what I mean.


A revelation! Whatever I do first in the morning seems to go really well! My clean-nailed fingers did two successful hours piano practice. I can play it! Whole sections of the Franck work perfectly!

The Puzzle of the Edges

The Moosey garden lawn edges are perplexing, though. How can the edges of the Hen House lawn have blades and seed-heads which are over knee high? When did these particular grass blades grow so tall, when the rest of the lawn hardly brushes my ankle? Hmm... Anyway, I have trimmed them, and switched on the drippers to water the Hazelnut Orchard roses. You can tell it's summer now - the yellow shrubs (Senecio, Hypericum) are starting to flower. There are sunny yellow daisies everywhere.