Early cherry blossom...

Early cherry blossom is blossoming, spring blooms are blooming - how about some good quality gardening energy? Perhaps a quick spurt of shrub buying would help. This will of course be followed by frenetic hole-digging, and much bucketing of water...

 I think it is called Pink Dawn - will check.
My New Pink Camellia

Thursday 7th September - My Birthday Eve

Everything is going nicely. Rusty's dog-diet has been successful (he came back from eight days in the kennels shaped like a coffee table). Haru the pet lamb is drinking, and drinking, and it's hard not to over-feed her. My two gardening boys, cats Fluff-Fluff and Beige Puss, now accept my gardening lamb - with much surreptitious sniffing. Everything is rosy (well, not quite, but the yellow Banksia rose is working on it). The head gardener's dozy, lazy mood is gone - pouff! Just in time for my birthday tomorrow - yippee!

 I love these pink flowers.
Pink Azalea


Hmm... I've had a really nice day. I am well and truly back! First of all I bought a tree, choosing one that would fit in the back of my little hatchback car (this may not be the best of criteria). It's a Dogwood Satomi, and hopefully will fit properly into the Septic Tank Garden! Anyway, it's planted.

I treated myself to some birthday primroses - some pots with beautiful dusty blue flowers. They're planted by the patio steps, my cat mustering station. Then I transformed into a nurserywoman - I broke up a red striped flax and potted the divisions. I sowed some flower seeds and watered all the pelargoniums in the glass-house (it's almost time for them to come out and greet the fresh air and daylight).

Finally I swept and trimmed the entrance to the patio, picked fresh daffodils for the house, and that was that. I feel so much better! I guess I expect my gardening volume always to be switched on to maximum!

When working in colder, wintry temperatures one has to race around like a headless chook (Aargh! Sorry, imminent new Moosey chooks - it's just an unfortunate turn of phrase) to keep warm. Thus it feels that one has worked harder - trudged more kilometers, used up more energy.

Daphne :
What a beautifully fragrant shrub Daphne is.

The spring gardener moves a little more slowly, stopping to enjoy the blossom and the bulbs in flower, peeping at hosta shoots, smelling the fragrant daphne... She is mellower in mood, and possibly she gardens smarter. Ha!

A small revelation - taking care of little gardening details can be just as rewarding as grand gestures and massive large-scale work.

Friday 8th September - My Birthday

Ha! Good morning! And what a grand morning it is! A wonderful morning, in the grand scheme of things. What shall I do first? Some birthday vacuuming? Hmm... Doesn't quite have the desired effect. Some birthday weeding? For example, I could symbolically pull out 57 little gorse seedlings...

A big birthday bicycle ride around the country block with Rusty the dog? Sounds more like it. On Tuesday my friend and I are intending to bike on the new rail trail from Motukarara to Little River. There we will gently lower our sore bottoms onto cafe seats for caffeine-rich lattes, then bike all the way back to the car. Today's journey will be good training.

 One of my new birthday plants.
Dusty Blue Primroses

Things I Love...

I love my new patch of blue primroses! And I can see the yellow polyanthus plants underneath the driveway cherry tree from the house. This is the trick, really - when I was madly planting mass purchases of daffodils I tended to put them in the faraway gardens. Nice, but not able to be seen from the house.

Spring :
In my garden spring is a dreamy sort of season, and the gardener seems to have lots of time to enjoy its changes.

And I love my family (eek - scary daughter is trekking in India), and my friends (thank you Liza for the wonderful gifts), and all my animals, and my garden, and the bush-clad mountains and foothills that I go walking in, and Bach and Brahms (even if I get sore hands)... I love spring. And I love birthdays! London son has just read the birthday greetings from the Moosey forum family, and has sheepishly rung me up - he had forgotten!

Saturday 9th September

I had a great birthday day, eating far too much chocolate cake and drinking far too much coca cola. Consequently, during much wide-awake time in the middle of the night, riddled with caffeine, I was able to create an unusually large plant shopping list. Today I am off to the nursery on a birthday spending spree - London son has organised a credit, with his usual daffy instructions (honestly - when do thirty-something sons actually grow up?). To quote:

Try and get some plants you haven't already got! Don't turn up with 5 hebes, 4 flaxes and 3 roses like last time. And you have to get at least one red cordyline and one conifer.

 She still comes gardening with me.
My Old Grey Cat Jerome

Hmm... Blasted red cordylines - I even saw some on that sweet TV programme 'Rosemary and Thyme' last night. Right. Following on from the success of planting colourful plant patches (like the primroses) I am off to the nursery, with the trailer. Hee hee, Here I come, wonder what I'll buy? I definitely want some fragrant plants to keep up the good air when the Daphne stops.


I am back from the nursery - make that two nurseries. I bought lots of great new plants - starting with two Maples, a variegated Cordyline and a Choisya Sundance for the back of the Septic Tank Garden. These are all planted, and the surrounding gardens weeded. It's a nice, fresh look, and I love the creamy stripes on the cordyline.

New Maples

This garden is sheltered and protected from wind and the summer sun, so I hope the new maples will be happy here. They are an Esk Sunset No.2, and a weeping Eagle's Claw Maple. The yellow rhododendron with the ancient Greek name is busy flowering in its new corner spot - it's inspiring, echoing the yellow and cream daffodils.

New Rhododendrons

I have three new rhododendrons (Ilam types) destined for the Wattle Woods, a tray of cream and blue pansies, and some more primroses (this time a lemon yellow). Roses, too - I have allowed myself to buy two new roses, a marshmallow pink standard called Anniversary (fair enough!) and Rhapsody in Blue, which is talked about so much in the forum. These are off to the airy sunny spaces in the Dog-Path Garden. And yes, yes, yes - under extreme sufferance I have a red cordyline and a conifer. And a stray Rosemary and a Maori Maiden (she's a red fountain-shaped flax).

Right now this extremely sleepy head gardener (who has munched her way through the remains of her chocolate birthday cake) is about to have a well-deserved afternoon snooze on the bed. Tomorrow will be soon enough to plant the rest of the new purchases. Hopefully we can get our new chooks tomorrow, too. Birthday hens! A new birthday rooster! What excitement!