Supposed to settle down...

Gardening weather is supposed to settle down this week - yippee! This time last year there was a mini-heat wave. I do not require East Coast Australian temperatures - just some summer days in the balmy twenties (Celsius) would do.

Saturday 8th January

The Moosey animals continue to ignore the drizzly weather - yesterday we had chooks airborne, flying over the Island Bed (like fat-bellied feathered aeroplanes), and the kittens enjoying their first compulsory tree-climbing experience. Up and down and up and down the Liquid Amber - lots of fun for two fearless kittens, learning very quickly about maximum trunk slopes. Much preferable to them climbing up curtains or human legs (ouch!).

 The kitten is nearly eight weeks old.
Tiger the Kitten by the Decking Pots

It's now day fourteen in the Summer of 2004-2005 Most Valuable Cat Competition (puppy and the poultry get temporary cat-status). Mugsy the cat has absolutely no points as yet, while Smoocher the ginger kitten is in the lead. Points in the MVC Competition are awarded for the quality of the company that the cat (or quasi-cat) provides, both inside and outside the house. It occurs to me that rooster is thus disadvantaged, as he cannot come inside, and possibly therefore should be awarded a mobility bonus...

Irises :
Maroon is an unusual colour in the flower garden - but I love it.

Yesterday, inspired by the gardeners at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, I cut up the patch of big bearded maroon irises. This is the time of year that it is done, in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. I hope to replant the pieces today, and then deal to the others.

The trouble is that persistent rain is predicted. Often our weather comes in second-hand from Australia - blame the Aussies?

 A brilliant perennial which brightens up the garden.
Magenta Lychnis

Garden Visitor from Colorado

I had a human garden visitor yesterday - and for once the showing of the garden went really well! Something to do with the lawns freshly mown and the edges all done. My visitor liked the brilliant electric blue delphiniums and the flowering lychnis, and asked intelligent questions. I noticed how silly my impassable paths were, though - perhaps I could do some path-clearing in the drizzle today?

The path through the middle of Middle Garden is completely blocked, and the new winding path through the Hen House Garden has a creepy perennial flower growing over it (plus assorted weeds). I am bossy enough to barge on over and through, but visitors are naturally more polite. The Middle garden path requires removal of possibly a Spiraea shrub - can I be bothered?

I may garden in the drizzle today - we'll see.


I am back - it's started raining really hard. I have broken up and put in pots several large clumps of irises - the pots are colour-coded (maroon in the brown pots, pale blue in the green pots, yellow in the pink pots). I will replant them in a few weeks when their new locations are decided. Should I actually have an iris garden? This would be the ideal and logical time to begin one...

Sunday 9th January

Aargh! Another garden visitor is shortly arriving! She will be able to see my morning's hard work - the Hump path is clear of gum leaves, and I've weeded and planted things (Nicotiana Sylvestris and Iris confusa) alongside it (the path). I found some pottles of lemon basil which I thought were salvias - oops! They are also planted (rather a long way from the other herbs). I have put on my garden tour-guide shirt. I've worked really hard! Now I need lots more New Zealand Natives for this area of my garden.

 These are probably the most famous of the David Austin  yellow roses.
Summer Graham Thomas Roses

I will show her my Graham Thomas roses (flowering brilliantly - you can see them above) and steer her away from Dublin Bay (hopelessly rusty, no photograph). My summer garden has more to it than roses, though...

Sunday 10th January

No gardening as yet today - it was raining earlier this morning (I notice things look brighter and clearer now). I am back from a Rusty puppy-walk, and the kittens are (with encouragement) doing some real tree climbing practice.

 This perennial is possibly a Rheum palmatum.
Ornamental Rhubarb

Duck in the Glass House!

I've gently chased an adult duck out of the glass-house (Why? Don't ask!), and collected the day's egg (thank you white hen, laying in the big terracotta pot behind the trendy super-stylish variegated Cordyline). There's nothing left to do except weed somewhere interesting (perhaps by the water race) and wait for the cricket. Life is so simple!

I am off to wade along the water race (in the water - how brave!) and slice weeds off the banks. This will keep me captive and focused - it's hard to wander off when one's bottom half is wet.