Preparatory weeding?

I've just spent a furious hour doing some preparatory weeding. What is this gardening task? You may well ask - my intention was merely to pick some delphiniums, irises, and roses for the house.

 Flowering by the water race.
Japanese Irises

Wednesday 19th December

Preparatory weeding occurs when the gardener is wearing silly pants and the wrong shoes, and has decided to wander gently around the garden. Perhaps she might pull out a few foxgloves and dead-head a few roses - nothing too strenuous. And there can definitely be no sitting down or kneeling in those silly pants!

 Another unknown David Austin rose.
Another Rose to Dead-Head

Weeds in the Roses

Aargh! One garden border, in this case the Willow Tree Garden, is a disaster! The lushest, greenest, healthiest weeds are everywhere - creeping through the perennials, spilling over the roses, growing through the daylilies...

Forget the rose dead-heading! And those foxgloves which have finished flowering look positively benign. Then begins a set of graceful back-bends and lunges, as the gardener tries to extract some weeds while staying clean. It's hopeless, but good gardeners always persevere, and to change out of the silly pants would just waste time. So - hello, sorrel! My, aren't you a pretty dandelion! Clover clumps in the border - what lovely foliage!

Aargh! But this is only preparatory weeding - a light, superficial casting of the gardening eye - tomorrow's the time for the serious stuff. And I have had a brilliantly busy day - biking for 28 kms, playing the piano, and building my Christmas calendars. I am not just a gardener!

Fire Ban

I have made an environmentally friendly decision. The fire ban comes into effect this Friday at midnight, but for me burning gum tree rubbish is banned early. I hate having a rubbish fire in summer, so I will just keep on creating piles on the fence-line. I will not race around like a headless chook tomorrow and Friday making stinky smoke.

 Glowing with colour.
Westerland Rose

Thursday 20th December

It's raining again. Today will be the perfect day for all my in-house Christmas activities, while the weeds in the Willow Tree Garden are lovingly watered by nature's trickle irrigation.+5

Again I am enjoying making my calendars, and lovely son-in-law is taking lovely photographs of the pets. Congratulations Stumpy - you're still in the running to becoming Moosey's Next Top Pet Model...

 The oldest Moosey cat living.
Congratulations, Stumpy Cat...

Two sad, frizzled rhododendrons by the Willow tree need a change of scenery. My cricket-watching friend has a rhododendron in her suburban back garden needing to be rescued. None of these plants have ever flowered - let's hope they're co-ordinated! Maybe later today, apres Beethoven...

 Pretty flower!
Campion Flower


In order to express my feelings regarding New Zealand cricket, I went outside and weeded for two hours, instead of watching the game. We lost so badly! These weeds - mainly the pink flowering campion - are simply too invasive, and I'll need to install some serious newspaper mulching.

Friday 21st December

I'm still furious with the cricket and the campion (see above). No matter how much I love their late spring pink flowers, these plants have to go. When I get back from swimming I could do some sideways slicing and mulch the gaps between the roses. The Willow Tree Garden is letting the Moosey Garden down!

Personal News

The first preliminary run-through of the Christmas Beethoven (explanation - Head Gardener plays the piano and Non-Gardening-Partner plays the violin) went pretty well, considering. He likes the 'Spring', I like the 'Kreutzer'... It's a bit like asking which gardening month is the best - they're all great, and they all have nasty bits!


Just two hours weeding - but not in that trouble spot. The vegetable garden's silver beet and lettuce trees needed seeing to, and I scraped a section of the water race bank. Rusty 'helped' by standing downstream in the water race, watching and waiting...