Apart from sulking about my sore hands (caused by over enthusiastic weeding) I am ready to take on the August garden, whatever the weather - as long as there isn't another snow storm! Big hint - some spring flowers would be nice!

 The only colour in my garden at the moment!
Potted Chrysanthemums

Tuesday 1st August

Sorry to still be going on about that snow, but I'm still cleaning up after it - I've been doing this for at least six weeks now. My latest victims are Iris confusa at the side of the Island Bed. None has had the energy or breeding to 'bounce back', as it were, from their horizontal flattening. This is not a good look.

I am pleased to report that the Wattle Woods are almost ready for new planting. The new path is in place, edged with logs, and today I will make decisions as to where to plant the spare flaxes. They should eventually provide good shelter - if I put them near the fence-line.

Dog News

+5 Some breaking news, appropriate for The Year of the Dog. Yesterday, for the very first time, Rusty the red border collie, a two year old male dog - ahem - lifted his leg at a telegraph pole on the road. He has been ridiculed all his short life for peeing like a girl. Many warm words of praise, patting, and so on followed this momentous event. 'Hey? What did I do?' wondered Rusty, rather puzzled. Hee hee.

 That beautiful clean dog-nose!
Rusty by the Water Race

Today I am going to garden gently. I will still get everything done. Then I will burn all the rubbish, including a patio pile of Compassion rose prunings. What a beautiful climbing rose - I hope my enthusiastic pruning has been OK. How can one rose create so much mess?

Almost Late Afternoon...

I'm just back from a dog-bicycle ride, and very tempted to go apres-gardening. But if I do an hour of rubbish burning my gardening day would end on a high note. Hmm...

 A pretty shrub all year round.
Choisya Sundance

I've planted lots of flaxes in the back of the Upper Wattle Woods, where I am proud to report that three Wattles are still standing. Three's not exactly a crowd in this case, but definitely enough to be called a 'Woods'. But this garden has changed its character - it's now oh so sunny, even on a winter's day like today, and I'm not sure about its suitability for more Rhododendrons. I may need to think more about sunny shrubs, like Choisya Sundance (my latest favourite). And there are always Hebes, brilliant gap fillers. How about more roses? Hee hee... I keep going around in circles.

 Two of my most favourite native plants.
Renga Renga and Phormium Tenax

Thursday 3rd August

Ha! Today is the day my surplus New Zealand flax pieces go to a new home. I am off to put them all into labelled bags (easier to carry than pots). My permanent marker pen is twitching to write names like 'Boring Dull Green', 'Big Monster's Mother', 'Super-Floppy' and the like. Hmm... Might put the new owner off! Moosey, behave! Sorry, you much maligned and misunderstood Phormiums!


Yesterday I went intrepid-walking in the Southern Alps foothills - dripping wet, some snow underfoot, through the absolutely beautiful beech forest at Craigeburn. I love my country and its forest plants! Alas, decided not to take camera, because of wetness. There was a lot of track damage - some huge black beech trees had been brought down by the snow and were blocking the trail.

Womanly decisions - to do the Moulin Rouge High Kick Routine (which is alarming when wearing tramping boots) over the tree branches? Or the Wriggly Hip Moves underneath? While preserving female dignity and not overexposing muddy bottom to fellow male walkers? Hee hee. So much fun, especially knowing that there was a warm car and a change of clothes waiting.

 I like these plants for their foliage.
Bergenias in Winter

Right. So today I need to do two days' gardening work. I'm off outside. Where are my gardening cats?


I have run out of - steam? oomph? gas? I've been in the garden for less than three hours, and that includes sitting down to lunch on the Stables Seat. Hopeless! There is a small amount of sulking involved (sore hands), and I have defiantly gone apres-gardening in my winter black needlecords. What's up? I need to get a grip. Ouch! Sore hands again.