In the mood...

The first week of the new gardening year continues. Finally I am in the mood to garden - settled weather would help! How about some sunshine?

 This always flowers after Christmas.
Vivaldi Lily

Wednesday 5th January

It feels like I'm starting over. Welcome, again, to the 2005 Gardening Year, which re-starts today. The sun is shining. I think it's summer! I feel almost healthy. What should I do first?

Some Summer Weeding?

There must be more to do than weeding. As a recently sick person (now feeling much better) weeding isn't really creative enough. Besides, the recently cut (and now healing beautifully) finger cannot be risked yet in any weeding rougher than Grade Two.

 The beautiful rose is the old-fashioned Raubritter.
Summer in the Elm Tree Garden

Some Summer Digging?

Interesting - and very possible - since it will be in the shade behind the pond. I could also get some wheelbarrowing help (perhaps I could have a finger relapse). And after I've cleared huge tracts of land I could buy truckloads of New Zealand Natives (the plant-flavour of this gardening month)... which then suggests the following:

Some Summer Plant Purchasing?

Alas, this cannot really happen, due to budget restraints, unless I can live on courgettes, lettuce, and potatoes for a month (this sounds a little flippant when I think of the fate of others at the moment - sorry!).

Some Summer Watering?

Yes, but this can go on behind the gardening scenes, and should - one cannot spend a whole day merely shifting hoses. Watering must be multi-tasked.

Some Summer Weed Spraying?

Get real! Right. I am off to the shops to buy some pairs (plural, very impressive and responsible) of gardening gloves. The healing finger will be protected. Then on my return I will start! Yippee! The head gardener is back!

Late Afternoon, After Six Hours of Sulk-Free Gardening...

Please note the above! Finally I have had a good gardening day. Time trickled on and on and I just kept going. I did weeding, pruning, raking and sawing, plus some burning. I got my Wattle Woods stream going again, and did a lot of clearing by the Pump House - I actually can't remember the details! But I feel a sense of achievement for the first time in ages (I've lost one of my new gardening gloves, though - oops).

Lawn Mowing :
Freshly mown lawns make the whole garden look better than it actually is!

I couldn't interest Stephen in helping to empty the wheelbarrow, but in lieu he zoomed around mowing the lawns (this is obviously an acceptable avoidance tactic).

Now I am apres-gardening in my blue and black rugby shirt and indigo jeans, drinking some beautiful iced water (thank you to the local aquifer), and feeling tired and smiley.

Thank you, thank you! Summer may have finally arrived!

 If I keep putting the word summer in the titles of my photographs, perhaps the weather will take the hint!
Summer Daylily

Thursday 6th January

Oops - Drizzle! Talk about one day at a time! Today I am semi-inspired (yesterday was rather extreme). I'm ready and prepared to garden, but am I ready and prepared to get damp, muddy, or plain wet? Hmm...

I AM going to go out there! My target area this morning will be Duck Lawn and its bordering gardens. The squat green flax (phormium cookianum) dominates this garden beautifully - green is a brilliant design colour in a garden border, and I should never ever forget this. Of course my cute coloured hybrid flaxes are great, but hurray for plain honest green! Actually there are some great little shrubs here - hurray for the little hebe and the white Cistus, Queen of the Bargain Bin Shrubs! I will gently trim and weed and appreciate them all.

 The flax is in flower, and often is visited by the bellbirds.
Summer Green Flax

It occurs to me that if I am prepared to get damp I might as well do the Full Wet Gardening Monty (i.e. stand in the water race to weed, hereby soaking feet and legs). Out I go, courageously.

 Pictured in front of the flowering Hypericum.
Chook Company

Much Later...

I have had a brilliant day. Not only have I got wet in my own garden, but also I have been for a return visit to the Christchurch Botanic Gardens (with my walking friend). I am actually quite tired.

I took lots of photographs of the long perennial border (which has a much more stylish yellow Verbascum than I grow - it has lots of thin flower stems all coming off the same stalk). I don't want a strictly herbaceous border, though - everything looks rather floppy, and there's rather a lot of dull but necessary green (stems and leaves, for example).

Chook Company

And today, for the first time in many weeks, I had very good chook-company. My random rooster gurgled happily and followed me along the water - we had quite a good conversation about blue pansy mulch, actually.