April. Aargh!

April. Aargh! The slow burning, clearing rubbish month when the garden settles - no wind, gentle colour changes, and the Moosey lawns go green again. Hurray for my foliage plants!

Saturday 1st April

Right. It is not easy writing with two purring cat-let kittens, tummies filled with fresh beef, both sitting on one's lap. B-puss (that's the white catlet incorrectly named Beige Puss) is licking the typing fingers clean. Nice. Fluff-Fluff the Fearless (and slightly Flatulent) is stretched out over the writer's knees. He starts slipping, then he self-arrests with ice-axe claws. Ouch!

 I still miss dear old Taj-Dog!
Taj-Dog's Almond Tree

Today I have important things to say. It concerns my Autumn burning. I have analysed the situation, in order to to a) organise myself and b) stop moaning and going on about it!

Burning Analysis

There are several ways of ensuring that the dry Moosey garden rubbish gets suitably burnt, quietly, efficiently, and without groaning. Eight different dump spots exist, where gum tree debris and other assorted non-chippable rubbish have been piled up over the preceding months.

Objectives and Goals

The objective is to completely burn all of these eight burning piles, by carting the rubbish to the official burning place by the water race. One can set burning goals, and/or measure the success of the burning day in three ways - the hours spent burning, the barrowfuls burnt, or by the complete cleaning up of a dumping spot. Non-flammable gardening clothes are also needed, along with strong gloves, a rake, stout footwear, and absolutely no wind. And did I mention energy and motivation?

Much, Much Later...

Humph. Half the rubbish collected at the fork in the Driveway has been loaded into the trailer and burnt. It is barely satisfying. C'mon, Easter plant sales - I need a reward! Something rather odd happened this morning. I 'found' a plant nursery down a small local gravel road - except all the plants looked abandoned, planter bags were a bit weedy, and there was no human in sight. It looked like stock purchased from a gone-out-of-business nursery business. There were heaps of roses - definitely old stock, still in their bags from last spring.

 My cerise dahlias flower on and on and on - until the first frost.

It was like a dream - an imaginary, ghost-nursery. Perhaps tomorrow I'll return and find bare paddocks, empty glasshouses with broken panes, and tyre tracks... Hee hee! Or I might find a new nursery owner who will be delighted to take my money! I can give the roses a good home, and fulfil my Daughter of Moosey birthday obligations, both at the same time.

Sunday 2nd April

The Chipper is coming over at nine o'clock! Aargh! Chipping and burning, at the same time? Plus carting and stacking firewood? What a Manly sort of gardening day, involving big machines, things that run out of petrol (like the chainsaw), and large trailers (which I will refill with rubbish). Where are the sons of Moosey? Come home and help Mother on the farm, lads...

But I jest. The puzzle of the imaginary nursery is solved - I've found a large notice in the local paper announcing a plant sale, starting just before Easter. So all the scruffy-looking stock I saw will soon be available. I will practise my famous Bargain Plant-Hunter's Pounce.

Birthday Rose Garden :
The Birthday Rose Garden still hasn't received its present for this year, 2006. Oops. That means that its owner is also giftless - for the present, anyway!

Thinking about the roses I saw while trespassing yesterday (oops), would Big Purple be a nice addition to the Birthday Rose Garden? Or a little blackspotted cutie, David Austin's Dove? Possibly both? Today, however, remains roseless. As well as doing masculine gardening, I must try and get out behind the Willow Tree Garden to do some gentle, womanly weeding. Striding around carrying logs and dragging tree branches must be balanced by little flowery tasks - like transplanting some of the self sown Calendula seedlings, or giving the tussocks a haircut. Sounds good!

 Making fragrant mulch out of the hedge clippings.
The Chipper


Humph. It is later, and I have been burning and chipping for five hours. I am sick of burning and chipping. I have a trailer load of Leyland Cypress chippings to spread on the garden. I have almost cleared the side mess by the fork in the Driveway. I think I might convert this whole area into a new, Welcome-To-Mooseys Garden.

Just let me get my hands on some sale price Pittosporums! Here I am again, attempting to create a garden not only underneath gum trees (aargh!) but close to next-door's pine trees (another aargh!). Absolutely no rhododendrons are allowed. Wait a minute - how tough are conifers?

I may have given the impression up there of a lone weak-armed woman, struggling desperately with tree branches and tractors, rakes and things mechanical. Not completely true - the owner (thanks, neighbour!) and non-gardening partner, both strong men of the land, were in charge of the chipper. Phew. Glad I cleared that up!

Monday 3rd April

I do not feel like burning today. But I am going to finish clearing the Welcome Garden. I've been sorting out compostable from burnable rubbish, and I'm going to scrape off the remains of the scruffy grass. This tough garden will be watered when the big irrigation runs. This could be a first - a new garden area cleared and ready, before the plants are purchased. I am starting to feel most professional - perhaps a paper design plan will be next! Pity that rhododendrons would suffer here - they'd look so lovely! An edge planting of Renga Renga with some bright Calendulas would be nice...

 The colour orange glowing in the vegetable garden.
Orange Calendula

This whole random Welcome Garden idea started with Garden Club - as I imagined groups of floating ladies walking slowly up my drive, looking right and left in anticipation. It might be nice to have a rustic signpost at the Driveway fork to direct the eager (but completely imaginary) foot traffic...

Not That Much Later...

Hee hee! A reprieve! There is sadly, oh so sadly, too much wind for burning. What a dreadful pity!

Much Later, Apres Gardening and Swimming

Things went well this morning, as I raked up dry rubbish in the sun and pulled out the old stumpy grass clumps. I kept testing the feel and shape of the Welcome Garden - wandering off to the front gate, then back again. Rusty Dog kept me safe, barking (eek) at passing horses, dogs with walkers, and the rural delivery mailman. Then I went swimming (1.3 kms) and bought some groovy zip-off tramping trousers, a wind-vest, and a solitaire one-woman thermos. All these items will be consumer tested later this week walking on the peninsula, and if I like them they will be taken on the Moosey Grand Garden Tour in September. Yippee!

The Welcome Garden :
Rusty the dog welcomes you to Mooseys.

But back to the latest new garden area. Yes - it will be a huge improvement. But, be warned! By mid-afternoon, there is complete shade - think 'dry shade'. I must, must, must choose sensible, appropriate plants. I must not stand here in moist or dripping weather and 'see' a rain forest - no gorgeous ferns and rich rhododendrons are allowed.

Another Retirement - Thank You to Bex

I'm sorry to say goodbye to Bex, who has willingly and wondrously managed the Moosey website for the last four years. Huge thank yous to her for putting the site up where it belongs. And for putting up with the Head Gardener's fear of the Forum, general randomness and flightiness, and for rambling on and on - and on (like a single-minded old rose) in the Moosey journal. A job well done - I wish her all the best in her new life Post-Moosey.