Running out of river stones?

 In their second flowering.
Iceberg Roses

I'm trying to finish the new stone garden wall by the end of the weekend, but I'm fast running out of river stones and home-made organic matter to fill in behind it. Hmm... Perhaps a visit to a garden landscape supplier would be in order?

Friday 14th March

Let's face it - some gardeners are slow, solo wall builders, while others are riddled with manly helpers and mechanical equipment. I am an impatient type of soloist.

I've heard that the great Sir Winston Churchill built walls for fun in his spare time. And my friend says that wall-building is a good foil for depression. Hmm... My wall is a retaining type wall, dry-stone but with round, fat stones - nothing like the delicate interlocking creations found in Yorkshire, that Sir Winston might have dabbled with. Ha! This topic is definitely deeper than it looks.

Wall Photography Difficult

Wall building is not very interesting for a spectator or reader, either - progress is subtle, difficult to photograph My wall just grows, very slowly. So forgive me if I throw lots of random flowery images around on this page. I may not be talking about them, but they're all flowering at this very moment!

 In my house patio pots.
Red Pelargoniums

My cats are usually curious when I create something new, but not one has yet come over to climb up the stones. Actually, they'll need to be fairly light-footed, until the 'soil' that the stones lean on settles. Ouch! But back to today. After swimming and morning tea with my seaside gardening friend, I will return to my wall-building. My next pile of compost lies buried underneath gum tree rubbish.

 Nothing to do with the new stone wall...
Ligularia Flower

Later, Mid-Afternoon...

I'm ready to organise some steps which will lead into a small paved area inside the new garden. My new compost is poor - pieces of sorrel weed are still alive in it, and I will have to be very careful. NGP will be home in time to build the proper little steps. I hope I get this part looking as natural as the rest of the wall, which looks absolutely beautiful. Sir Winston Churchill would be proud of me. Time for a hot cup of tea and some cricket watching.

Saturday 15th March

Aargh! NGP (Non-Gardening Partner) is not here to be organised. I am bereft! What on earth am I going to do first? Ha! I know - I will attempt to organise Daughter of Moosey into getting me a trailer-load of compost. A fine Autumn Saturday morning without NGP is as empty as a garden without roses.

Today I will try yet again (as I have every day this past week) to finish the stone wall. Everything else in the garden has more or less gone on hold for wall-building. Though yesterday I did start clearing perennials in the Driveway Border - but that was only because I was pinching its stone edges.

Too Many Flaxes?

It might be nice to do something else - like weeding? Burning more rubbish? Buying and planting new flaxes - that sounds more like it! A large country garden in New Zealand cannot have too many flaxes.

 I love my flaxes - at the moment.
Flaxes by the Water

Much, Much Later...

Blast. The stone wall is still not finished, though I have the trailer-load of compost, and I've been busy shovelling and tipping. I've levelled out the paved seating area - it's a rectangle, to suit the square pavers I hope to use. I have worked really hard today, listening to the cricket (hmm... no comment) and trying to avoid covering Fluff-Fluff with dirt. He's been lying voluptuously on the soil with his fluffy cat-legs in the air, squeaking. Rusty has been robustly barking at and chasing aeroplanes, pigeons, and one helicopter.

Sunday 16th March

One wall construction problem - have I buried one of the pop-up irrigators knee-high in compost and horse manure? I didn't see any, but unlike NGP I do not have that designer engineer mentality. Peeping out of the house windows this morning the wall looks like it's a whisker away from being finished. I'd like to start planting the new garden - some green carexes could be shifted in, so could a trailing Rosemary and a flax, both in pots.

Rugosa Roses :
I discovered rugosa roses early in my country gardening career, and grow them in several garden areas.

But perhaps I should draw up a plan and think first. For example, fragrant, herby plants could surround the paved seating area (the bees will keep snoozing gardeners on the alert), with rugosa roses along the fence-line facing the afternoon sun - there's a rose sale on at the moment. Now that's a nice idea!

Other things to do today are as follows:

1. Continue burning fence-line rubbish.
Smoke gets in your.... clothes, and hair, and house...
2. Weed the water race.
The sloping edge near where some silly gardener let forty plus Gunnera seedlings start growing.
3. Buy those rugosa roses!
Hee hee. Cash generously supplied (hmm... loaned) by Daughter of Moosey.

But first, a bicycle ride around the block with Rusty. These are dangerous times - I'm reading a book about an oldish lady (sorry, Anne Mustoe, if this offends) who cycled from London to Egypt, and it's inspired me. The Otago Rail Trail could (and should) be my first longish distance cycle trip, but I'd quite like to cycle right around the South Island, particularly down the West Coast. I figure that one can do it in stages, and then write about it as if the trip were one continuous pedal...


I've gardened patiently for three hours - trying to be a good role model for the New Zealand cricketers, who have to bat for two whole days (or score over four hundred runs) to save the test match. I'm still thinking about that planting plan - I'm off now to the rose nursery sale. If I get rugosas (I love rugosas) they must have winter hips.

 Some of my rugosa roses have wonderful bright red hips.
Red Rose Hips

What have I done so far today? Drunk two cups of coffee and one cup of tea, wheeled in heaps more organic matter, and placed more stones. My wall-building is extremely slow, and I tend to wander off on other tasks - collecting rubbish to burn and weeding the back of the nearby Jelly Bean border are two examples.


I think I am a legend. I've finished laying all the stones. I've purchased and planted two Blush Noisettes and three Frau Dagmar Hastrups. I've cleaned up Henworld and burnt lots of gum tree leaves. Now I'm inside, having left the hose on to water the new roses. My new garden still has space for some compost, and the wall needs perhaps a few more top stones, but it is effectively finished. Ha!