No feeling sorry for self...

Right. Back to basics. No sulking. No daytime TV watching re-runs of James Bond movies. No feeling sorry for self. Much slashing of overgrown flaxes. Much stacking of logs, and much burning. Much sniffing and sneezing? Maybe - but no moaning!

 Beautiful colours in winter.
Flax and Hydrangea

Frosty Fashion

Today's frost isn't nearly as bad as those earlier in the week, and today is definitely a new day. I have decided that my cold is infinitesimally better, just as the days are infinitesimally longer, even if obviously colder. Fashion in the garden is on the - back burner? So we will have the 'thermal longjohns worn cheekily underneath beige safari explorer shorts' look for the next weeks. There will be some indelicate stripping, I tell you, when that rubbish fire is in full flame!

Now I am going to wait an hour or so for the frost to thaw, drink loads of vitamin drinks (and tea), and plan exactly which flaxes are getting the chop. My mind is made up - there can be no going back - if a flax has lost colour, stripes, form, and proportion then it gets the chop. Fair enough criteria, even for a spiky sentimentalist - my New Zealand native plant heritage programme will not be compromised! Actually, I might pop down to the nursery for some proper replacements - that would cheer me up even more...

Friday 30th June

I am feeling better. Ha! Must be the 'Lively Blonde' shampoo (which promises to revive my sun-kissed highlights - nice!). And my 'Spring Rain' shower gel (which is sluggish, nearly frozen in its squeezy bottle). And my super get-rid-of-cold tablets (I know, I know). And the warmer winter day - no frost for once!

But I am back - the gloom has lifted! I might try to finish clearing the Wattles today. Only a quarter of the chain-sawing has been done, but if I totally clean this mess up, then the area will be ready for a fresh onslaught this weekend. I am also going to make it up to Rusty (it's boring for dogs when the head gardener lolls on the couch all day) - later we will bike around the biggest country block.

 Neglected in the snow.
The Moosey Gnome - Winter 2006


Wow! I have just explained to Rusty that he has spent six hours being a gardening dog. He has been digging somewhere, rolling in something unsavoury, chasing planes, helicopters, and being teased by crafty blackbirds (must be females, hee hee). What a day! It's getting too dark, so we will walk down the road for his special dog-focus time.

A Garden Gnome Make-Over?

I've made a start on getting rid of the oversized grasses in the rockery. My garden gnome can breathe again - or be seen again, which may not be a good thing. All his clothes have peeled off in the wet snow (he was submerged for two weeks underneath a Beverly Hills Hebe - not quite the Californian ambience he would have been expecting).

An ethical dilemma - do I replace him? Ignore him? Or paint him? I rather fancy the Johnny Depp Pirates of the Caribbean look - could look odd in a rockery? His nose is probably quite the wrong shape...

I've also ripped out two more dodgy flaxes, both of which were in the Elm Tree Garden smothering the perennials and roses. Ha! This is a summer garden again. And absolutely all the movable, stackable and burnable stuff in the Wattle Woods is - you guessed it - moved, stacked and/or burnt.

'Our gardens, like our lives, are growing things, and evolve not just because of our plans, but mostly despite them!'
-Writes my wise friend Nancy.

I am at peace again with the gardener inside me (certainly the Moosey nose is much less sniffy). A new friend has offered some rather amazing words of encouragement - very simple, very obvious, but I've been using them all day, and they've helped!

There is, too, a type of silly grief gardeners feel when large trees unexpectedly fall down to die. Yet I'm 'killing' my oversized flaxes with a satisfied gleam in my eye. Oops!

Gardener Hard at Work

Tomorrow the chain-saw will be working again, and I will have human company. I've peeped in at the rhododendrons underneath the fallen Wattles - they look remarkably damage-free. I find it a bit scary working in there underneath all that huge mass. I will play my part, though, clearing and burning, remembering the circle of life, and thinking maybe that I could plant some new rhododendrons, now that the Wattles have gone... Hee hee. Must balance the garden maintenance with some creativity!

Goodbye to cold, wet, grumbly, snowy, wintry June.