Mad dogs and old-lady gardeners...

Yippee - the long hot days of summer continue, and I am trying to garden logically and sensibly. Mad dogs and old-lady gardeners go out in the mid-day sun?

 Congratulations to the tabby kitten! Go Tiger!
Tiger - The Winner of the MVC 2005

Monday 24th January

As usual, I seem to have too much I want to say - about absolutely nothing? - we'll see about that! I could easily fill a page a day with all the terribly important details of my Moosey gardening experiences...


First, an official comment on the Most Valuable Cat Competition which finished this last weekend. Congratulations to Tiger the kitten for winning - you made it! You were my hot favourite all along, and I hope you enjoy eating your prize - Gourmet Fancy Feast of Giblets in Rich Rabbit Jelly (aargh!).

Actually all the contestants took the contest seriously this year, and tried very hard to keep in the spirit of the competition - pity about the bird-catching, though. Rodents only in future, please. And good on the gang of chooks for competing valiantly with the cute and fluffy.

Garden Plans

Today I will finish ripping out the old Lychnis. Suddenly my flowery gardens will turn from scruff into extreme elegance. Old Lychnis is definitely out. Then I will calmly glide through The Shrubbery and scatter some horse manure around. Water will follow, plus a layer of compost (obviously more aesthetically pleasing to the eye than naked horse-poos).

Then I may dead-head some more roses. I may even dead-head the dahlias (I tend to grow random dahlias in the house gardens). Then I will retire with iced water to watch the cricket.

 This is one of the dahlias which grows in the house patio garden.
Random Garden Dahlia

However, if cricket-sitting gets too boring, then out will come the trusty cricket radio and out into the garden I will go. Where exactly will I go? In my mind's eye (ear?) I can see (hear?) some gentle running water - the pond, maybe?

Gunnera :
Gunnera is a dramatic green leafed water-loving perennial which can grow really huge.

Hmm...It's an interesting point - I rarely take proper photographs of my lovely pond (beautifully landscaped with a balance of native New Zealand flaxes and exotics like Gunnera, Hostas, Filipendula and Roses). I fancy an artistic hovering-helicopter shot...

Blimey - far too much to say about less than nothing! Time to stop twittering and start doing.

Later, Mid-Cricket...

This is summer living at it's finest! A huge session in the garden, followed by a bit of homemaking (more jam), while the cricket burbles along like the Moosey water race - Mugsy the cat trying to sit on my lap and growl at the same time (sorry Mugsy, but the cat contest is over and you lost!), kittens squeaking and zooming, puppy snoozing keeping an eye on the fridge door... And the Moosey garden shining in the summer sunshine - looking good! Life is so simple sometimes. It is almost the second anniversary of me being really lucky, so please excuse the wine-waves of emotion...

 These are some of the gardens over the water race, with resident Pittosporums in the lawn.
The Shining Summer Garden

Tuesday 25th January

Today is another lovely summer gardening day. I'm going to do lots of boring gardening, the details of which are of no interest whatsoever (trust me). My garden work will be helped by the successful retrieval of my hand digger from a pile of old Lychnis dumped yesterday. It will also be in the shade and near water (sounds like a psychic 'predicting' the location of a lost summer old-lady gardener).

 Stephen on the ride-on mower.
Mowing the Lawns

Much Later...

Days like today are brilliant. I worked gently for over six hours - there may not be six hours worth of stunning results to see, but I feel so proud. I've spent the day doing lots of really little things by the water - blue-pansy-mulching in the Willow Tree garden, standing in the cool water weeding, nipping off old rhododendron flower-heads, cutting down the huge Clary Sages - and all the while keeping cool in the shade.

When the lawns are mowed (hint) I will finish trimming the edges and everything will be finished (for a couple of weeks or so). My goodness it's been such a beautiful day. Summer gardening (and semi-retirement) rocks! And I had chook-company all afternoon - I quite enjoyed talking to them... Now I am responsibly watering some dry things - I'm off to shift the hoses.

Wednesday 26th January

When one has had a seemingly garden-perfect day (like yesterday) - how to replicate it? Aiming high for two consecutive days of perfection? Eek! Isn't it better to bask in the memory glow, so to speak, than to launch into the sunshine and come back too hot, too tired, and disappointed? If I was a minimalist writer (never!) I wouldn't waste words (or energy) - I'd talk about a lazy day with a mid-morning latte (Where are my friends? I've been keeping poultry, cat, and puppy company for too long this month!)...

Things are getting far too complicated. It might be time to compose a short, succinct list and then shut up.

Short List

  1. Water the Hen House (it's the name of a garden!).
  2. Water the Driveway (ditto).
  3. Plant irises in Frisbee Garden.
  4. Sort out Middle Garden's path.

Enter the Golden Hop...

Yesterday as I was happily weeding underneath the Willow tree I discovered some rather dangerous little seedlings - of Golden Hop! Aargh! The terror of Middle Garden popping up innocently - what pretty little leaves! Middle garden is miles away (well, a long way away, at least). It's the Golden Hop which is blocking Middle Garden's path - again I remember the folly of planting Golden Hops with nothing but a fat old stump to climb up. And again I realise I've done nothing about the menace! Off outside I go.

 Jerome was placed 3rd in the Most Valuable Cat Competition 2005.
Jerome the Grey Pergola Cat


Half a day's good gardening with chook and grey-cat-company is better than lazy, lonely latte drinking! I'm inside to watch the cricket now, and there is once more a path through Middle Garden. And I've had a change of heart about the Golden Hop. It's certainly a beautiful ground-cover (and neighbouring-shrub-cover, and nearby-tree-cover, etc.) - and I really like the colour of the leaves! So there - it stays! I love my garden, I love summer, I love the animals, I love the cricket, and I love the Golden Hop.