Holdiay picnics and barbecues...

Now the actual days of Christmas have meandered past, we can all settle down for some serious summer garden life - light weeding and trimming, serious watering, with a spot of holiday reading thrown in, accompanied by picnics and barbecues...

 Never ever used by a Moosey dog, though!
The Dog Kennel

Thursday 28th December

Let's not forget the taking of tea (real, from Sri Lanka) in leafy glades, enjoying the company of the cats and the dog. Sounds enticing and inviting? I hope so! Yesterday was my first such day for ages - an absolutely delightful feeling, and I seemed to regain my good energy and positive gardening spirit. I'm sorry if I have been minutely gloomy of late. Too silly, really.

Yesterday in My Garden

Five happy hours I spent, first clearing behind the pond, then in the depths of the dry summer Wattle Woods. I got the wee stream going - pretty much going nowhere, as all the water disappeared before the little pond it's supposed to fill. There's more to small stream-making than meets the eye! Then, after my five (not one, two, three, or four - but FIVE!) happy hours I sat on the house patio in the warmth of the late afternoon and read my book, surrounded by cats, catmint and pink Fairy roses. Lovely.

 Check out that lovely Wisteria!
Summer House

Then, like magic, barbecue food appeared! The cricket commentary (Australia playing England in the Ashes) crackled on. The Wisteria greenery overhead provided nature's shade-sail. My first real December gardening day was over - we won't mention the fact that the month of December is also nearly over. Nice, though.

B-Puss :
My darling cat Beige Puss - or B-Puss for short - now has his own page in the cats and dogs section.

This morning I am up at rooster-crow, writing and plotting. And I've been watching B-Puss 'hunting' pigeons. Again I doubt his suitability as a cat-stalker, seeing brilliant flashes of white zoom back and forth across the bright green lawn, low flying cat-comets.

Right. First thing today is a swim, then those new garden seats will get their final scraping before being painted. And if anyone here dares to discourage my use of turquoise blue paint - pouff! I'll simply blow their criticism into the gentle summer wind! I still like my terracotta fence paint, though I see some interesting colour combinations now that the fence-line roses are flowering. Graham Thomas - you are my 'Rose of the Day'. As I gaze out the office window you are there in flower, so beautiful.

 I think their colour is OK with the fence paint!
Graham Thomas Roses

Friday 29th December

I've made an editorial decision. If I write my journal at the end of the day I am usually really tired and relatively wordless. Though this latter state may have its advantages, I seem to sound gloomy. Whereas first thing of a morning I am full of it - energy, beans, whatever. So this is when I will write.

Another Yesterday in My Garden

Look, I only spent three hours, but they were summer sunny, and I worked really hard. The Apple Tree Garden is now clear of its spring flowering Campion weeds. And the Wattle Woods gum tree mess is raked, wheeled and - ahem - burnt. And while I did really well, the New Zealand cricket team did really badly. Blast!

Today I have great plans. My new garden furniture is going to be painted by non-gardening partner! While this is expertly happening I will continue the spreading of newspaper and mulch, and perhaps do some more weeding by the water race. My final batch of salad green seedlings is ready to be planted in the vegetable garden, too. And I'm sure I can find some more roses to dead-head.

 Beautiful flowers, which lift my sagging spirits - but enough of that!
Senecio and Hypericum

And let me mention those summer yellow daisy shrubs - Senecio and Hypericum - who are looking so bright and cheerful at the moment. Good morning to my Vivaldi lily, and the first of my home-grown Cosmos flowering annuals. Yippee! Summer in the garden!

Late Lunchtime...

Because it is my own personal gardening journal, I am also allowed to write in the middle of the day. I've done two long weeding sessions, and I've just slightly run out of puff. Unfortunately my chairs have not quite been painted yet (though I heard some industrious hammering sounds earlier). The local fire alarm went off, and my furniture painter turned into a volunteer rural fireman and raced off down the road.

+5 And I forgot to mention - Rusty the dog went to the vet yesterday morning. He had a grass seed jammed in between his dog-toes. He is now on anti-biotics and has perked up a lot, after being unusually sluggish and worrying his paw with constant licking. There are lots of jokes about his 'poor paw'...