Last Week of the Year

My summer holidays so far are full of kittens, food, and mind-gardening! Today I get my presents - a trailer-load of soil conditioner, and a printer for the Moosey computer. Photographs of kittens and roses can deck the walls! Real gardening can recommence!

Wednesday 28th December

Today I want to complete the weeding underneath my thirteen beautiful rose archways in the Hazelnut Orchard. I have four to go - I'm up to Chevy Chase the cherry rambler. That should be the 'cheery' rambler - this may indeed be the same rose as the rambler on the back fence. And I like it again - how fickle!

 Hebes are beautiful shrubs - but they do need watering!
Summer Flowering Hebe with Conifer

Then I am going to continue scooping stones off the water race bottom to place on the Dogpath. Then I stomp on them ceremonially with my river shoes. Death (well, possible suffocation) to all Dogpath weeds! For example, there are some odd looking grasses generously providing me with years of seedlings. As has the little Euphorbia called Fens Ruby which New Zealand mail-order gardeners went gaga over some years ago - if it comes specially imported from England, well then - it must have good breeding! Invasive? Nothing British could ever be called 'invasive'! What about 'colonial'? Oops.

 Whose name I think is English Garden.
David Austin Rose

The Garden Benefits...

The history of world expansion and settlement aside, the Moosey garden benefits from its (pardon the pun) British roots, while celebrating and nurturing the native. Except those sad New Zealand plants by the water tank, and those sadder Hebes in the Hump. Actually, any native which is not a Pittosporum struggles to live well. Water! Irrigation! What is needed is simply some Head Gardener commitment.

It's all very well going potty over David Austin English roses - giving them the best soils, and the easiest garden positions to grow in. Hee hee. While the natives get the rotten spots - stony ground, gum tree roots, sandy soil and so on. Sounds very much like the settlement of New Zealand some hundred and fifty years ago by you-know-who, actually!

Aargh! Enough historical nonsense. I am off for a morning swim, followed by coffee and soil conditioner. Back soon.

Thursday 29th December

Oops - I ended up doing no gardening yesterday. Which made me feel somewhat empty - as if the whole day had gurgled past like my water race, and absolutely nothing had changed.

 Clary sage is a great short-lived perennial for textural interest.
Pastel Pink David Austin and Clary Sage

Ha! I'll bet that a few of the Moosey weeds will have grown! I seemed to spend hours playing with the kittens - we are now going outside, hiding in the catmint, and venturing across the scary HOUSE LAWN. Beige Puss is still a bit ugly from the ravages of ringworm, but his drugs are working and his fur is regrowing. Sensitive photography is required. Little Fluff-Fluff just charms visitors and family alike. He has the cute-calendar-kitten look.

Today we are supposed to be cleaning out rubbish from the Stables (ouch), some of the house cupboards (more ouch) - as well as helping younger son shift flats (even more ouch). This from the team who attacked the kitchen pantry on Christmas evening, rationalising, tidying and filling half the wheelie bin with junk. Do I want to spend a whole summer holiday day carting junk? Hmm...

 Photographed covered with morning dew.
Foliage - Lupin Leaves

Back to the garden. I have had a quick pre-breakfast garden rubbish burn-up (no wind, no fire ban). My rubbish pile does so spoil the rural ambience of the back lawn - lazy ducks, burbling water, lovely mowed green grass...

Friday 30th December

I can't really keep writing in my gardening journal when I am doing hardly any gardening, can I? Like yesterday, when all I did was to stand in the water race for fifteen minutes weeding, and now today - I have put the hoses on and shifted them once! Amazing accomplishments! I should write a book...

Fred the Lamb:
Fred! It's high time you were weaned off your bottle...

The sounds of the countryside - next-door is having a new well drilled, and Fred the lamb has decided that he requires liquid lamb lunch. It's a hot, hot day, for Mooseys, at least - why, it must be pushing twenty eight degrees Celsius! Far too hot to practice Cesar Franck's overbearing octaves and dastardly diminished chord progressions...

Saturday 31st December

The burning question - will there be any gardening today? Eek! I have turned into a holiday slug - eating berries, drinking orange juice, reading books, snoozing, and playing with the animals. Stumpy the cat is off to the vet this morning - she's unwell, and has been camped on a cushion for the last 48 hours. She hasn't tried to sit on my journal-writing lap - something is definitely wrong!

 Ha! Two Christmas presents in one photograph!
Beige Puss, Pig and New Christmas Weed Container

Right. Off for a walk, with water-bottle and sunscreen - before the sun gets too high in the summer sky. When I return - will there be gardening?

Later... A simple answer of one word, an answer which is often misunderstood, but not in the down-to earth context of Moosey gardening - No! None! Not a bit! Oops. What a shocking way to end the year 2005. I blame the cricket (which we won), and the new kittens.