Inspired and daunted...

 Elusive, but very funny and friendly.
Lilli-Puss the Grey Cat

Good morning to October's continuing spring, where the garden gets even more colourful and the weeds even more vigorous. Simultaneously I am inspired and daunted - a confusing state to be in.

Monday 13th October

My cats and dog are fed - there is quiet synchronised purring from chairs and cat-baskets. Even Lilli-Puss, my cautious young grey cat who lives (and eats) upstairs, has been in the kitchen crunching. Percy is checking out the bench, his back feet covered in wet mud. Oops. I wonder if he's misjudged a leap over the water race?

Today I have plans for a Super-Monday. Gym. Stones. Wilderness. Weeding. Horse manure. Mulching. Seeds. All the things that I've been doing and twittering on about all month. I will be independent, efficient, and productive all day. Repetitive, huh?

Late Afternoon...

Yep. Pretty repetitive, though the water in the race is now warm enough to stand in it and weed the banks - something a bit different. I wasn't sure how small-minded a weeder to be, so I concentrated on removing unwanted grasses, dandelions, dock weeds, and clover. Oops - a new batch of the tiniest, cutest Gunnera seedlings have appeared on the wrong side of the water. Tough love, remember, tough love...

 Next to a huge green flax.
Spring Dogwood in Flower

The purple leafed Ajuga in the Birthday Rose Garden is in brilliant blue flower, with a batch of pansies, various purple shades, in front. Wow - the effect is stunning. Though this could be a short sharp stun - I've noticed that Ajuga doesn't appear to flower for very long.

Anyway, I did my work, and read my lunch-time book sitting on the blue garden seats, and then returned to my work. Now I'm clean and happy and about to watch the cricket. What a reward - the fifth day of Australia playing India - in India - huge atmosphere, dodgy pitch, possibility that either of these powerful sides could win. Loooovely!

 One of my new plants in the Driveway Garden.
Sunny Red Azalea

Tomorrow I'm off with the local Garden Club to visit one of my favourite spring haunts - Ilam Gardens - followed by lunch at the big Botanic Gardens. With camera and notebook I can discretely (hopefully) record my big day out. Thanks to previous visits to Ilam Gardens I've bought some new deciduous Azaleas for my own garden - it's their first spring, and their planting positions will be tested. Also I can't remember exactly what colours I've got. Nice!

Tuesday 14th October

It's the day of the Garden Club's azaleas and rhododendrons visit. What to wear? Aargh! Hiking clothes - perhaps not. A skirt and sandals? Definitely not - one does not float summer-style on a spring garden tour - well, not until lunchtime, and then for a period not exceeding two hours. Spring requires layers of thermal tops and jackets, perhaps even a windbreaker, all to be gracefully removed to eventually show - a white apres-gardening shirt, paua-shell pendant, and unpretentious denims. Phew - glad that got sorted.

 Shining in the spring sunshine.
Ilam Gardens


I've had a molto adagio day - it was great to catch up with the Head Gardener at Ilam Gardens and see the tremendous clean-ups he's done. His newly pruned plants are doing well, and I've never seen the gardens looking better. It's nice, too, to meet a gardener who's energetic and passionate and who sometimes forgets the names of things!

If I didn't know better I'd claim that all the Mexican Orange Blossom shrubs which I'm sure weren't flowering this morning have burst into blossom while I've been out. And one - just one - of the gum trees along the driveway boundary is brilliantly covered in pinky-red flowers. Beautiful.