Hotting up!

Summer temperatures are hotting up, as are summer lists of things to do. Already there are casualties, like bolting spinach, and a pair of grubby, stained sunhats. Cream might not have been the best colour!

 This is the first garden a visitor sees.
The Welcome Garden

Thursday 14th December

My Welcome Garden work continues - but now I have bags and bags of newspapers, and I've run out of covering mulch. It's a conspiracy, and my weeds are the winners! But this area is slowly but surely getting cleared. It's the first piece of planting that a visitor sees. My Welcome sign looks nice - well, I think it does!

Parts of the garden by the water race are full of leaning, swaying magenta foxgloves - whatever happened to my refined tastes for white and apricot? I'll need to reintroduce some quality seedling strains.

 A beautiful pair of colours, in one flower!
Bi-Coloured Lupin

Penstemons and Lupins

The Lychnis is flowering now, and there's a beautiful patch of cherry red penstemons in the Stables Garden. The lupins are almost finished. I think my garden would like more penstemons and lupins - I keep forgetting to propagate them. Memo to sensible, forward-planning self.

Friday 15th December

Today almost cuts December in half. Eek! So far today I have done my triathlon practice (bike, bike, bike then jog, jog, jog) and picked up the lovely Daughter of Moosey from the airport. Welcome home! Arriving from her tropical island home (in the Maldives) she is shivering and putting on extra layers of clothing. Why? It's a beautiful New Zealand summer's day!

Garden-wise I'm allowed to have a day off. Walking around to enjoy the roses, picking flowers for the house and feeding the chooks are activities which are allowed, as long as the walking tempo is andante.

Later I might trim a few edges, and check if the roses in the Hazelnut Orchard need a little light watering. These summer days near Christmas have their own special holiday feeling.

 One of my new archway roses.
Sombreuil Rose

Saturday 16th December

I'm up quite early, with lots of energy to plan a big day in the garden. I should start getting it ready for Christmas - but what should I do first? I have to make a list for the weekend.

Mid-December Weekend List

Absolutely all my seedlings need to be in the soil. Spinach bolting before it's even been planted is not a good look!
The Welcome Garden has to be completely cleared. A Welcome Garden has to reflect the gardener within - it should look serene, well-organised, and thoughtful.
Piles of newspaper and rotting hay need to be on the garden decomposing, not lazing in the shed.
I am prepared to grow roses. So it follows that I am prepared to look after them during summer.

Weeding is taken for granted and requires no comment. And at some stage this weekend, and only if I feel like it, I will finish scraping down the new garden seats, and possibly start painting them. They're wooden slatted, reminding me of Samoan chairs. So I have bought some turquoise sea-coloured paint, a most tropical look. Yippee!

Poor B-Puss

Right. My rooster is crowing - I'm off to make a pot of real Sri Lankan tea. My cats are waiting for breakfast. Daughter of Moosey, a young, fresh-faced mini-me, is totally confusing my dear cat B-Puss. Jump through window... Hello, mother - Aargh! You're not my mother! Intruder alert! Run!

 I love my eccentric white cat so much!
B-Puss in the Garden

Having recently survived house painters, garden visitors, and a quick stop-over by the Moosey House Guest, B-Puss thought things in his house were back to normal. So the B which should stand for 'Brave' yet again stands for 'Bothered' and possibly 'Bewildered' - but certainly not 'Bonkers', as was suggested by the House Guest (an Australian).

Later That Day...

Hmm... The cricket (that's New Zealand) isn't going all that well. A bit like my gardening - though I have been busy weeding and planting out seedlings (flowers and vegetables). I've chopped down pieces of the Crepuscule rose where trunks have snapped and cracked in the wind.

 But I love the cheerful colours.
Weedy Euphorbia

Full of high hopes I took all my tools, and my cricket radio, over to Duck Lawn whose borders were resplendent with spectacular green weed patches. The two gardening cats followed me - B-Puss back to his brilliant self. And almost immediately I thought of a nice cup of coffee, some late lunch, and perhaps a wee sit down inside. Hopeless.

But wait! There is still hope! I have decided to return for one last stand - or that may be one last sit. I will work for one hour only. My garden needs me, and I must respond.

Sunday 17th December

+5 My chooks love my home grown (gone to seed) spinach! And this morning I woke to gentle rain, which has been caressing all my newly planted seedlings. Yippee! Daughter of Moosey is cooking French toast for breakfast, using those rich yolked Moosey eggs. Apart from the cricket (aargh!) things are looking good. So after some breakfast munching I will complete the clearing of the Welcome Garden. Stern words - I promise to stick to my list (see above), not to deviate from the list, and not to edit the list by rewriting or replacing all or any of the items.