Silly medium-old lady!

 Red Fountain.
Potted Cordyline

I am a silly old (make that medium-old) lady! It's my birthday today, so I've been busy telling everyone I can find. So far 'everyone' consists of nine cats, a dog, and six chooks, who I've thanked out loud for laying me lovely birthday eggs.

Saturday 8th September

Needing some human responses, I've tracked down NGP (Non-Gardening Partner) and suggested that he could just work for me all day, as a sort of personal present. He's promptly escaped for a bike ride with the dog. I've stood outside younger son's Sleepout window and sang 'Happy birthday to meeeeee' very loudly. Younger son, like my other global children, is asleep.

So what should I do first, on this momentous day, by myself, with mere animals to talk to? I could make a birthday list. In fact, I could give a new plant to each and every garden area, as a symbol - but it might take me all weekend. Anyway, if I spend thirty minutes in each garden gently doing something, the birthday weekend will be a success. I can always zoom out to buy things. Maybe some more roses! Hee hee...

On a serious note, the bay window plantings by the house need freshening up. I have two spindly Mary roses in here, grown as cuttings - they are just not performing. Perhaps some sunny perennials could take their place. I'll do this garden first. Perennials in the house gardens, shrubs further away - this seems a sensible rule.

 A view from the colourful Wattle Woods.
New Pond Garden Seat


This birthday lark is easy. I grab NGP and off we go to buy 'birthday compost' - naturally I deliberately leave my wallet behind. Later, we go off again to buy 'birthday roses' and 'birthday potting mix'. So I now have a Handel climbing rose for the house, a new Graham Thomas rose for the house fence, two pink perennial Lavateras and a rugosa I've never heard of before for the Glass-House Garden. Hey - I could buy a new birthday garden seat!

Birthday girls (that's medium-old girls) are allowed to be a bit naughty. There's a plain green carex that I spend a lot of time digging out - called, if I remember rightly, Carex triffida. I usually give it the name 'that nasty grass'. Well, I found a variegated one, and since I love grasses, and variegated foliage... Oops.

 So far one girl, one boy.
2007 - First Merino Lambs

A third lamb has been born. So far all is well in the world of sheep.

Pink and Clean!

I've even had a birthday bath, and here I am, all pink and clean! The rest of my evening will be spent relaxing, drinking beer (in honour of the world cup of rugby), and reading. I am lucky, lucky, lucky, and I love my family. And my garden and animals - that goes without saying.

Sunday 9th September

If I was in London, it would still be my birthday. Happy birthday to meeeee - in London! Right - back to reality. I'm half listening to a morning replay of the first All Blacks rugby match in France, but this won't take long. I'm about to launch my older, wiser self into the garden and plant all my left-over hebes, and my new climbing roses.

'Budget perennials - sometimes all one gets is a glossy picture.'
-Moosey Words of Wisdom.

Memo to self - budget perennials in plastic bags are not necessarily good value. And certainly not worth making a special trip in the car, and getting really excited about. Sometimes all one gets is a glossy picture...+5


All new roses and hebes are planted, and I've spread lots more of the birthday compost. Today Tiger the cat decided she loved me, and zoomed in and out of the house gardens where I was working. Nice! My birthday weekend is drawing to a close, and I can see a week of weeding coming up. Aargh! Not nice!

 What a fattie!
Tiger in the Sun

Monday 10th September

I think I do things the right way round. Take, for example, the new extension to the Driveway Garden. Since autumn I've been piling on the organic matter, after initially shifting in three or four small rhododendrons. Yesterday I planted the edge with small hebes, and now the larger area is ready for a few more plants. But the soil is improved with sensible mulching.

 The first pink Prunus blossom.
Driveway Blossom

More New Plants

Today is my busy 'doing other things' day - swimming, a tiny bit of work (eek!), and choir practice. While I'm swimming thoughts about new plants can swirl around inside my soggy head. Naturally spring things come to mind. One idea - I'd like more mound-shaped plants in my garden.

I've decided that the sunny sides of the house gardens would like some low-lying lavenders (after digging out a straggly woody lavender tree). The colour purple, but petite, well-behaved - must make sure I buy the right variety. And be prepared to trim them lots, and be sympathetic to some ugliness during winter and early spring. My lavenders never manage look like the ones in gardening books, but these beauties could be sneakily replanted each year...


My fingernails are delightfully dirty. I've been pricking out seedlings, and potting up divisions of Renga Renga (Rock Lily) - an obvious recycling choice for the generally dry shade of the Driveway Garden. When I work on the glass-house bench I tend to throw the potting mix around and drop quite a bit - well, it all landed on Fluff-Fluff the gardening cat, stretched out in the dust at my feet. He absolutely refused to move, even when some water tipped down (by mistake, by mistake).

More Birthday Presents

I've thought about stretching out my birthday for a few more days - NGP came clean yesterday afternoon and confessed. One of my birthday presents (that plural sounded promising) was that he would build me a small stones-in-slabs pathway to connect the house decking to the back laundry path. He showed me two types of oblong pavers, and I chose the one we both liked (hee hee). But I still want a waterwheel, and a Monet Bridge - maybe for Christmas?

 Flowering early this year.
President Roosevelt

However I need to count my blessings, since I am responsible for the Moosey house having nine cats, one of whom pee-ed outrageously on the new TV, resulting in NGP having to buy a replacement in time for the Rugby World Cup. So far he hasn't complained too much. As from the end of this spring month items in the Moosey house will, for a mere $15 a year more, be insured against such damage by unknown cats indulging in disgraceful acts.

And can I return for a minute to the Renga Renga... In two weeks time my pots will be settled and fortified enough to be planted in a circle around the base of the purple leafed plum tree in the Driveway Garden, saving me tens - maybe hundreds - of dollars, which I can go out and spend on new perennials and roses. Hee hee...