One woman, one wheelbarrow...

 A later-flowering deep pink shrub near the house.
Spring Camellia

No time for writing - I'm going behind the pond to work on The Great Pond Garden Development and Clean-Up. I've even turned down an aquasize session to the music of Abba to get this big garden development project started. One woman - one wheelbarrow...

Wednesday 24th September

There's no wind, so my wheelbarrow will be trundling back and forth to the burning heap all morning. And after lunch I will simply continue. This could be the most boring gardening day of my life. Farewell!

Apres Schubert, Apres Gardening

Hee hee. What a legend - I've even done some piano practice. I've had a great day - carting and burning for five hours. I've managed to clear so much land! This is a triumph for one woman - one wheelbarrow. Now when I'm behind the pond I'm walking through gentle wilderness woodland, as opposed to a crackling mess of fallen branches and mess. There are some great little shrubs in this ungardened area - smaller Wattle trees with beautiful yellow flowers, Viburnums, Pittosporums (this is their perfect place), and I think I've found quite a large chestnut tree. Wow! That's pretty exciting.

 It's time for Honesty.
Purple Honesty

A lot of broom needs to be dug out, plus quite a few spindly juvenile gum trees. The ground underfoot needs serious clearing (so many broken tree pieces to trip over). It's easy to clean up, though, with a rake, a pruning saw and loads of energy (mental and physical). And I reckon that five hours makes a good gardening day.

Animal News

A word to the tadpoles who have wintered over in the old bathtub behind the garage. Get your back legs organised, you guys! Tree-froghood beckons, it's a whole lot more fun that lurking in grubby water with a submerged garden gnome for company (explanation - I fished my (lost) garden gnome out of this bathtub a week ago).

Calendars :
Anyone who wants to get well prepared for next year could download one of my calendars, free, months in advance!

The Moosey cats and dogs (who now have their own 2009 calendar ready for free downloading) are to be featured in yet another vet clinic's publicity - this time on an American website. Taj-Dog always gets chosen, and his memorial Almond tree is in beautiful blossom at the moment. So his molecules live on as well as his memory? Hmm... Hope Rusty the current Moosey dog doesn't get too jealous...

Finally, the poultry. You have acres (hectares, actually) of orchard in which to free-range. Please stop sneaking though the fence into MY GARDEN!

 These are beautifully fragrant.

Fragrant Flowers

Right. I'll compensate Rusty by taking him for a walk down the road, I'll check the whereabouts of my chooks, I'll pick some fragrant flowers for the house, and I'll take my retarded (not sure if that's quite the word) tadpoles some fishy-food. Sometimes the Moosey animals are so random...

Thursday 25th September

I don't know why I haven't tried to clear the area which runs up the fence-line behind the pond before. Correction - I tried once, but petered out after one day. Ha! The new me is a much improved gardener. As I get older I get stronger, more resolute - and madder? This is actually easy work, there's just a lot of it.

Put it this way - it's easier than the Albeniz piano piece I was playing first thing this morning. Perhaps I've found yet another unwritten rule for faded musicians. Albeniz is simply not suitable for non-Spanish older-lady gardeners - too much crossing over of the hands? It's my belief that the over forties should never play toccatas, though Bach's exempt - he can slow down gracefully with the performer...

Enough of this musical nonsense. I'm inside for a morning tea break while my rubbish fire gets more huffy and puffy. Anyway, if I played the Albeniz Rondeau twice every single day, it would get better... Same as weeding the garden. That reminds me...

Family Weeding? Oops - Wedding...

The only place I'd rather be right now is France, where a family wedding - that's 'wedding', not 'weeding' - takes place this weekend. My thoughts have to go there instead of my body. In honour of the occasion I have a standard Bride (that's a shrub, not a person) in a pot on my patio, about to flower. Nice. Must take a photograph later when the sun isn't so shiny...

 My bride shrub lives in a patio pot.
The Bride

Much Much Later...

I did return to the wilderness garden, and wheeled out six more barrowfuls of burnable rubbish (takes me about 20 minutes per load), which I then burnt. Then I went for a swim to stretch out and cool off, and called in at the library on the way home. Yippee! New gardening library books - I love them. There's a big, new, glossy beast of a book on Hidcote - another, more down-to-earth, called 'Creating Ponds, Brooks, and Pools' - and the most impressive of all, called 'The Garden Sourcebook'. It claims to be 'the essential guide to planning, planting, and creating a harmonious garden'. Wow. I'm too scared to peep. This monster will have to be rationed - say ten of its three hundred and sixty pages per evening. Eek!

 So beautiful...
Blossom Over the Fence

Back to my own rather contrapuntal garden - I don't think I'm going to have paths in my latest quasi-wilderness area. Yes - there is a rather grand looking Chestnut tree in there, ringed by attendant brooms (the shrub, not the patio sweeper). Hebes are straggly, struggling for light - they'll need a severe trim - and there are Olearias, Pittosporums and Pseudopanax, all doing rather well. Tough New Zealand natives, you see... I'm very excited, and will take Non-Gardening Partner in here this weekend to do some chain-sawing.

Friday 26th September

First thing today I'm playing my Albeniz piano pieces. Seven flats (aargh!) is very much a morning key signature, when the musical brain is awake. The up-side of my musical struggle with Albeniz is that other composers (particularly Schubert and Beethoven, and even Debussy) seem so much easier. Albeniz is obviously the most difficult piano composer I've ever attempted - Liszt doesn't count, I refuse to play him because he shows off too much.

Percy now has his own page in the cats and dogs section.

Ah - Percy the ginger cat is here for his wriggly morning smooch. I've missed him these last days (Stumpy the old grey cat has been getting more of my early morning attention). Unfortunately Stumpy is now not really eating properly - this may be her last spring.

For the third day in a row I'm clearing in the Wilderness and burning my mess. I want to get as far as the Chestnut tree (so beautiful in spring, leaves uncurling). I mentioned weekend chain-sawing and the possible expansion of my garden into the ram paddock to NGP - he 'humphed'. Really bad timing - we're shearing next weekend, probably the only time of year when the ram paddock is used for drafting the sheep. But he did say he'd look at the waterwheel tomorrow. Yippee!

 My new garden area.
The Side of The Wilderness


Before I wander down to the pool for some therapeutic aqua-jogging with my friend, I'd like to record yet another triumphant gardening day. Only five hours, mind you, four of which were spent clearing the Wilderness and the last spent weeding the whole of the Wattle Woods stream. At the moment (hint) this is only a streambed, since the waterwheel refuses to rotate.

Brooks in Books

Actually, it looks awfully like the 'brooks' in my latest gardening library book. These brooks have liners and are edged with stones - apparently using different sizes is the trick to a natural look. I've been meaning to do this to my little stream for a while.

In the Wilderness I managed to put a hole in an irrigation pipe and cut down two trees which I think NGP planted in here on purpose. Oops. I limbed up the Chestnut tree (a fine specimen) and have made a start on the old Hebes. It's best if they're just dug out. I've cleared about three-quarters of the area in three days - ha! That makes for easy maths!