A few more...

A few more tree branches to cut up, and remove. A few more squashed flaxes to remove (with kitchen steak knife and wood-shed axe). A few more unwanted monster grasses to dig out. Surely soon I can spend some time (and money) on new plants for the garden!

Friday 14th July

Winter is the time to check on the garden skeleton, to notice flaws in design and shape of garden beds, silliness of paths going the wrong way, and all that. And then to fix everything in the blink of an eye, before the analysis evaporates into the frosty air!

 Aargh! Another flax which is squashing its neighbour...
Flax and Choisya Sundance Shrub

Yesterday, like a gardener possessed, I spent four solid hours removing another original species Phormium tenax. For all I know, this monster has been growing quietly by the water race for - fifty years? More? Not only did I slash steadily and chop carefully, but also I cleaned up all the mess! This is a definite sign of gardener maturity.

I broke another steak knife, but this time I remembered to clean the mud off the axe. It's grand knowing that one woman with such little muscle power can evict such a monster.

 This one will be cut into pieces to be potted up. Pretty pink!
Another Flax is Out

Now, according to my management plan, there is just one large species flax to go - the biggest. Modestly telling non-gardening partner last night of my super efforts, I asked (in my sweetest voice) if he would help me with this last flax. He nose-dived into his engineering magazine. Hmm...

Camellia Colour :
Camellias are wonderful shrubs for providing spring colour in my garden.

Today after swimming I am going to the Camellia nursery - I will also look at small specimen trees. I'd like some spring-flowering ones - even prunus Nigra might be nice. Crab-apples, too. I require modest growth and absolute beauty in all four seasons - sounds almost personal. Then, as long as the predicted rain stays light and ignorable, I will dress in my thermals and start planting! I deserve this!


Aargh! Moments of desperate indecision and then lost confidence! I didn't choose the Camellias. I went in wanting furious unsubtle pinks, and then lost my nerve. My goodness, Camellias have rather scary, formal names - the only one I recognised was 'Bob Hope', and he was a bit red for my plans. I'm wondering if the named ones are important people like poets and writers (in which case I should have recognised one), or just the husbands and wives of the Camellia breeders... Not that husbands and wives of plant breeders aren't important...

I did see some nice small deciduous trees - particularly some maples and modestly sized flowering cherries. Tomorrow, I think, a visit with the trailer... In fact, the trailer could go to the dump full of rubbish (flax leaves) and then the new plants be picked up on the way home. Nice - a gardening loop...

Yellow Wave :
My favourite flaxes when small - regrettably nearly all the Yellow Waves have become oversized. Add the flattening effects of the recent snow storm, and one has a design disaster!

Dodging some pathetic raindrops I've removed an easy flax today - a Yellow Wave which had just got too big for its border. I've taken a series of photographs just for fun. This flax was Moosey-planted, and thus theoretically able to be dug out, with appropriate levering, spade rocking and stomping.

Two more big grasses are out, and I've pruned some more roses. I could have stayed outside longer, but my camera was getting wet - fair enough! And it's Friday, and I have worked really hard all week!

Saturday 15th July

Do I feel like taking the flax leaves to the dump today? Hmm... It's a wee bit drizzly. I could do some glass-house work - I always say that when the weather is rainy, and I never ever follow through! And, speaking of flax leaves, I've been looking through my older garden photographs - from the years 2002 and 2003. Granted, these have been beautiful flowery summer shots - with roses blooming, and soft perennial colours, and lightness and warmth in each picture. But the garden looked better then than it did this last summer - and it's all because of those dratted flaxes!

 One of the subtle late winter colours in my garden.
Viburnnum Tinus Flowering

Flowers and Flaxes

When the Yellow Wave flax in the Pond Paddock side border was four years smaller, things looked positively pink and fluffy. Does this mean that I need to remove yet another flax? Perhaps I need to give each flax a garden life of, say, four to six years, and then dig out and replace. I may have come face to face with an absolute truth of flower gardening with flaxes. Aargh!

In other photographs there was more room in each garden for my so-called 'filler' perennials. And more sun, more air - meaning that the roses looked better. Aargh! I mustn't get disheartened! I can take steps now to restrain any bulky, squashy, over-sized plants. I can prune! I can dig out! All flaxes can be replanted at the back of the Wattle Woods to provide low wind shelter. Nothing needs to be lost. These are not planting mistakes, designed to make me feel foolish and hopeless - it's just the natural ebb and flow of garden growth.

Big Red Floppy Flax

Right. The big floppy red flax going to be half-cut. Then we'll see if the other half of it can stay! Where's my kitchen steak knife?

+10+10 Later... Nope. It's been completely cut. Just too big, and far too floppy - such a pity. I've also done some serious clearing in the end of the Hump - the final tree branches have been transformed into logs, for winter firewood 2016. My two young gardening cats (Fluff-Fluff and Beige-Puss) were again brilliant company - they were unconcerned by the noise of the chain-saw. And then they accompanied me to my burning heap and watched me burning for two hours. How boring can that be, for a cat?

Great News - Moosey Merino Sheep are Stars!

The Moosey Merino sheep are to feature in a prestigious North American magazine called Early American Life. I am so proud of them, grazing peacefully in their newly fenced back paddocks, representing this great sheep breed.

 There are nineteen sheep in the small Moosey flock.
Before the Shearing - Sheep in the Yards

The ewes with their wrinkly woolly necks are the stars - no photographs as yet of our shy merino ram (Sir Charles). This is another great global connection for my humble little garden and its animal family. Go you ewes! Lambs are due in a few weeks - hurray for Sir Charles!

Sunday 16th July

I can tell the days are getting longer. It's lighter now in the mornings - I'm sure of this! Anyway, I started mind-gardening at 7 am and daylight appeared shortly afterwards. In this morning's virtual gardening exercise I happily completed the following:

  1. Sowed seeds from older packets, and posted new seed catalogue order.
  2. Put pelargonium stems into seed raising mix. Will they take root? Hope so.
  3. Potted up nasty grass for upstairs balcony and decking.
  4. Removed two more flaxes - from Stables garden - and potted up divisions.
  5. Pruned more roses.
  6. Took flax leaves to dump.
  7. Picked up assorted goodies (including trays of pansies) from two nurseries on return.

Then I was allowed back into the house to write all about it in my journal - a simple reward, really! Now let's see if reality can come anywhere close.