It's started!

Spring officially starts in New Zealand on the 1st September. I've read that in England it's three weeks later. That must mean that we get much warmer spring weather - and better gardening weather in general?

Saturday 2nd September

Welcome to spring! I've spent my first major day in the garden doing little annoying chores like weeding, painting the last bits of the fence, raking gum tree leaves off the house lawns, and carting logs around. Haru the pet lamb has been keeping me company - she is almost one whole week old! My two gardening boys (cats Fluff-Fluff and Beige-Puss) and Jerome the Grey are getting used to this new bouncy, leggy, woolly animal.

 My old grey striped tabby hiding in the flax.
Jerome the Cat

Today I took photographs of my Camellias (my big white is flowering), and of the Wattle Woods rhododendrons. A warm garden welcome to my new pink-flowering rhododendron called Graham - you didn't waste any time showing off your true colours! Quite beautiful. Pretty boring name, though - I much prefer my friend Liza's rhododendron descriptions. How about a name change to Pink Delight? Sounds like something sweet and yummy to eat...

New Poultry

Tomorrow we are going to pick up the new poultry - some black bantam hens and a silver striped rooster. Their netting run is almost finished, and their hen house awaits. Yippee! I am looking forward to well-behaved chooks, after that scavenging gang of itinerants who used to drive us all silly. Aargh! We won't go there...

Writing My Journal :
Far better to write at the beginning of the day - full of energy, full of gardening plans...

When I write my journal at the end of the day I often can't help its tired, energy-lacking feel. I can sound gloomy, and unhappy - no way! Never! I don't mean to. Take today - I have worked very hard, and I love my spring garden.

Sunday 3rd September

I have so many things to do today! And, cross fingers, I am full of energy. I'm allowed a really quick resume of the day's proposed activities. We are going to get the new trees, and a rhododendron and the rose Opulence are being lifted from my friend's garden. When we return I will sort out the Septic Tank Garden - yesterday I raked up the rubbish, today I will tie in the rose canes and plant some shrubs (and one lucky tree) near the fence. That's my beautiful newly painted terracotta coloured fence, by the way!

 Lovely colour!
My Newly Painted Fence

Then the garden by the washing line needs weeding. This is the season when the washing goes on the outside line, by the Daphne (beautiful fragrance), and the yellow Banksia rose (covered in buds). One small problem - the rose is leaning heavily on my fence and a washing line post. If I keep on going I can get the Elm tree garden weeded too. Wonder when the washing line will fall down? Oops.

I am nervous about the arrival of the poultry. Will they get bored, stuck in the hen house for their first days? I'm not sure that bird brains know what 'bored' is, so I will stop worrying and stick to my tough-chook-love programme. Their run is almost ready, with two metre high warratahs enclosed with chicken wire. Fly up and over that, if you dare, new Moosey rooster!

 Beautiful pink!
Early Spring Blossom

Monday 4th September

How oddly the waves of spam ebb and flow in ones mailbox! A month ago I had daily encouragement to become my own travel agent - I was a medium-aged adventurous woman, still going places. This week it's diet pills and free complimentary make-up. I am apparently fat and vain, and going nowhere! Hee hee - gardening is its own drug - but imagine being able to hallucinate the exact size and spread of ones newly planted trees? Or take an energy enhancer which actually works in the garden, not hours later? Something like super-charged spectacles? Or motorised gardener's weeding gloves? Hmm...

Chook-Less and Tree-Less

Yesterday energy enhancement was desperately needed - I'd totally run out of puff by the early afternoon. It was so annoying! So we didn't get the trees, because I felt 'too tired'. How much energy is needed to sit in a car and be driven to the tree nursery? The trees are already purchased, labelled in their pit of sawdust and dirt.

We didn't get the chooks, though the hen house is now completely landscaped and fully functional. I didn't even do any fragrant weeding by the Daphne. Perhaps I was distracted by my approaching birthday? Or emotionally drained because the All Blacks lost the rugby? Whatever, I will have to make up for it today. I will write a triumphant post-gardening list of accomplishments, much much later this afternoon.

Tuesday 5th September

Ha! Since I last wrote in this journal I have accomplished the following, in no particular order...

  1. Used up all the fence paint (but I need a little bit more).
  2. Burnt the rubbish heap.
  3. Laid more newspaper in the Welcome Garden.
  4. Fed the lamb (she's lovely) about ten times.
  5. Weeded, weeded, and then weeded some more.
  6. Planted abandoned shrubs - Hebes, a brown Corokia, and some trailing Rosemaries.
  7. Taken Rusty the dog for two bicycle rides.
  8. Prepared lupin cuttings.
  9. Planted trays of pansies.

I have been trying to finish lots of little things all around the place, generally tidying up, that sort of thing - tasks suitable for gardening with pet lamb.

Early Blossom :
The first trees to burst into blossom are the prunus trees.

Spring has burst forth - the early blossom trees are covered, and there are cute patches of yellow in the gardens, in the lawns, and along the front fence. Haru the lamb has a new trick - bouncing sideways and zooming off after the dog when he's on a pigeon chase. Dear little lamb!

I might have this afternoon off. I wish I could find my loppers. And it's about time my mental attitude did a bit more spring blossoming!