Discipline is required - the weather is beautiful, there is no wind - and I am feeling very garden-lazy. I have one week to get the whole Moosey garden ready for my special garden visitor, and there is far too much garden chaos.

Friday 17th February

The paths are messy, The Plank is closed for repairs, most gardens are too dry, the lawns look dreadful - I feel moderately disheartened (as well as lazy). And to think that those Australian gum trees are almost totally to blame for everything!

 He is in the Dog Kennel Garden by the Acorus grass!
Puppy Investigates

There's a general scruffiness to the garden in February - and head gardeners with random habits and good intentions get dreadfully exposed. OK, so raking the lawns free of gum leaves is repetitive, but it certainly helps the house gardens regain that elusive, heart-warming garden ambience. And watering the plants in pots should be a dreamy joy, not a chore. That's what people who don't have to do it twice a day in the blustery wind will say, anyway!

Head gardeners need to be bold and tireless, and determined to sort the scruff out! When the going gets tough the tough get gardening - that sort of thing. Humph...

Later, Apres Gardening...

I have been very productive. The trouble is that no-one would possibly notice what I've done (I've been trimming old flax leaves, chopping out unwanted tree seedlings, pulling out Lychnis, and gathering up strips of bark from the lawns). For example, the deep dark interior of the Jelly Bean Garden is now cleared of rubbish - but no-one ever goes in there! And no ducking is required to walk from the glass-house to the washing line - the offending apricot tree branches are gone. But who will notice?

 I took this photograph just before I pruned the hanging branches of ther apricot tree.
From the Glass-House to the Washing Line

I would really like to have my garden looking well composed. It should look as if a thoughtful, energetic and thoroughly organised Head Gardener works in it every day. Tomorrow will be better - a new day, a new attitude.

Saturday 19th February

Did I say a new day, a new attitude? Yes! Right! Here goes! Well - the sun is shining, the kittens and cats are fed, the puppy is up and fed, I have my between-seasons gardening shirt on. I know what I'm going to water first (the pots underneath the gum tree). Aargh! Did I mention 'gum tree'?

How quickly the mood changes and the first cup of tea turns cold. A mood-microwave is needed? Pop the gardening mind in and warm it up? Works with the cup of tea... More likely I think a list is needed. A no-frills, no-boasting, plain and simple list - easy to understand, easy to put into practice.

No-Frills Plain and Simple Gardening List for Today

  1. Water all the house pots twice.
  2. Rake the Wattle Woods paths once.
  3. Rake the Hen House paths (already half finished).
  4. Rake and water the Wattle Woods Gardens.
 This pair is in Jeremy
February Rose and Flax

And when finished, take squillions of photographs of the Moosey garden gnome lounging in the Libertia, fossicking in the Flaxes, romping in the Roses, mooning(?) in the Monarda - as a reward. Readers (and others vaguely interested) beware!

 This is a lovely mid-summer flowering plant. It
Variegated Liriope

Much Later, Watching the Cricket...

I have rediscovered my gardening confidence. It was easy - firstly there has been no wind (a psychological boost when one is raking up leaves) and secondly the Wattle Woods have been cleared in an unusually well-organised fashion. I started by the water race, and worked my way down to the Pump House - resisting all temptations to leap around randomly. So simple!

So for today there's only the Hen House paths left to clear - then I will actually have done all items on my gardening list! This must be a first! With tight discipline and good gardening common sense the Moosey Garden slowly prepares itself for the special garden visitor.

I am off to shift the hoses. Even my watering programme for today has been logical and sensible. Hurray for the new model, rational, organised, intelligent Moosey Head Gardener.

No Gnome Pictures Yet

Sadly for connoisseurs of artistic garden imagery the sun is far too bright for successful garden gnome photography - at the moment...

Sunday 20th February

Has anyone any idea how jolly difficult it is to photograph one solitary garden gnome? Gnomes don't have a great variety of poses, for one. And it looks very, very artificial - as they lean against a succulent, or peep out of a hosta - almost as if someone deliberately put them there!

The Moosey Gnome :
The Moosey garden gnome is a long surviving member of the garden team.

My garden gnome only has one facial expression (funny, that) - a sort of 'ooooh' look. Now I know why sensible (?) people have a whole clutch of them. I've abandoned him in the new rockery.

But back to the garden. The big irrigation went on last night, and after tea (in the middle of the cricket, which we eventually lost) I trimmed lots of the lawn edges. It's a miracle - my raking plus the munching of the ride-on mower have left the house gardens free of gum debris! Please! No wind before my special garden visitor arrives!

Today's Gardening Plans

Today my gardening plans are just as simple as yesterday's winning formula. I'll work my way logically through the Hen House gardens with the rake. I'll continue watering the back of the Wattle Woods at the same time - multi garden-tasking! If I get time (and have spare energy) the new garden at the back of the pond will also get raked and sorted. But whatever I do there will be a positional sequence of gardening events. Ha! No sidetracks or tangents allowed!

 These grow along the side of the garage.
Dwarf White Agapanthus


Whew it's hot - about 29 degrees. I have retired early today, after successfully clearing the Hen House paths, and doing some back lawn edge trimming. Just imagine if my garden was seriously open to serious open garden visitors! Aargh! All I would do would be weed, clear paths and trim lawn edges. I suppose the rest of the garden would speak for itself - but these three activities would give it clear diction. A messy garden would mumble too much!

I have a few plant flowering details which I need to report on. Perhaps a short, succinct, numberless list?

And some of the plant contributors to February's scruffy look need to be listed for posterity - like tired ragged Hostas, Heuchera with burnt leaves, Roses with blackspot, Daylilies which have finished flowering, and random flopped-over Dahlias.