Photographs and memories...

Yippee! I am back! That is, the grubby, winter gardening version of me. The tropical island version, she of the flowing turquoise cotton shirts and funky beach board shorts, lives on in photographs and memories, and in a large scribbly notebook labelled 'My Samoan Holiday'.

Friday 18th August

So this morning I am up really early, ready for a winter sunrise (the sky is just getting pink through the Hump trees). I have lots of writing to do! And lots of 'doing' to do - what about all those lists, written while sitting on the verandah of the beach fale gazing at the beautiful Pacific Ocean? My garden will be swept away by gentle waves of (sadly, non-tropical) energy! I have so many lists - things to do first, things to do second, things for Stephen to do in the weekend...

Cat and Dog News

Rusty has come back from his kennels happy, bouncy, full of joy and love, and about 5 kgs heavier. In eight days his dog-body is reshaped - he is a coffee table again, obviously conning the kennel owners with his greedy appetite. Oh dear - this means the dreaded D words - Dog Diet!

 Now the oldest of the Moosey cats, Jerome must be at least 15 years old.
Jerome the Grey Cat on Knee

The cats are fine. Mugsy (who I worry about, since she can forget to eat) looks great - well-rounded, shining fur, fat body. B-Puss (feral kitten, eccentric cat) is rippling and sparkling, and keeps touching my face with his paw (claws retracted). His Mother-Cat has really returned! Stumpy the Grey is very noisy - I think she missed us the most!

Back Into Winter

Where to start? Hmm... Perhaps just a quick peep at the hundreds of my photographs, sparkling with beautiful colours, before I go outside into the dull shades of my winter garden.


Well, well, well! My vegetable garden (couldn't be called a potager, regretfully) is weeded, the brick paths re-curved, and the adjoining perennials garden organised. I've even fixed the small fence (hammer, hammer) ready for painting. I have also started on the messy area around the compost heap, where some invasive Lamium has - taken off? I may have to uproot and replant the rhubarb, though I suspect it might enjoy this!

 I think its pet name is five finger.
Pseudopanax Shrub-Tree

Do I have the gardening nerve to dig out and completely remove (possibly exterminate) the Gerbe rose which is flapping its long canes all about? For me (here comes the justification) it's a 'poor doer' - black spots, unimpressive characterless flowers - I think perhaps a distant fence line reprieve would soothe my troubled rose-conscience. I hope I haven't offended any rampant Gerbe-Rose lovers.

Saturday 19th August

There will be much organising of the lovely Stephen this morning. All the Wattle Woods logs are to be shifted. My volcano of rubbish ash has to be shovelled, wheeled and scattered appropriately. I need netting around my compost area, and some new wood bits purchased for fence repairs. He can also choose the fence paint - that way, if it peels off in the first summer, blame can be discretely attached! Hee hee!

Ligularia Flowers :
Ligularias are great foliage plants, but they do self-seed rather generously.

I am digging out all Ligularias, small roses, and even aquilegias by the compost (they will all get replanted). This way I can get at all that invasive Lamium. A big job - off I go! And I remind myself, virtuously - I did not plant it! The fate of the Gerbe rose hangs by a thread...


Phew, that was close! The Gerbe rose is safe, for this summer at least! I decided in a fit of rationality that roses are not ripped out three months before their first flowering. I've totally cleared the Lamium, chopped up and replanted the rhubarb and the blue aster, and - oops - enlarged the garden bed just a little. All the Gerbe canes which were growing the wrong way are pruned. Things look better - and with more light the rose will certainly be in better health. I've decided to leave my compost heap unfenced.

 Hmm... like a pale ginger bottle brush!
Fluff-Fluff's Tail

Unlike my two faithful gardening cats, my intended human garden helper avoided me for most of the day. Then, like magic, he appeared with a long power extension cord and the water-blaster. The outside of my glass-house is now clean, and clear of lichen! Thank you! Perhaps tomorrow I can get him shifting the firewood logs - some gardeners are never satisfied...

Sunday 20th August

As a reward for good garden behaviour I went to the nursery late yesterday afternoon. I noticed that their sweet pea seedlings are in exactly the same state as mine! I bought two trays of blue pansies, two trays of yellow polyanthus plants, and two bags of potting mix to plant up my Scrophularia divisions. The flowers are destined for the circular garden around the flowering cherry tree. Two unhappy, un-spotted Ligularias (not enough sun?) are shifting to be with their friends behind the wood-shed. Hopefully much spottiness will result!

More Ligularias

A bag of fancy Ligularias (Britt Marie Eckland, with dark purple-brown foliage) has been donated, and needs to be picked up. I also need to purchase paint for the fence, and my design imagination is straining. Basic wood-paint dark brown? Or should I go for red-brown? And what about subtle green? Or, in memory of the colours of wooden posts in Savai'i, Samoa, how about bright turquoise blue? Hee hee... And the most small-minded design question yet - should one pick a fence colour that stands out from the colour of ones mulch? Or blends in? One notices these things, in the middle of winter!

Aargh! The tide of gardening thoughts is coming in fast! I need to make a list. Sorry about this.

Do The Following Immediately:

  1. Pot up Scrophularia.
  2. Lay newspaper in Welcome Garden.
  3. Remove volcano ash.
  4. Remove some Wattle Woods logs.