Bursting with gardening energy...

Wow. I am back from my high country hiking trip, bursting with gardening energy and ideas. What will I do first? Check all my new roses, trim some edges, pull some weeds, sort out the vegetable garden...

 Looking through the Glass-House Garden to the back lawn.
Flowering Hebes

Friday 7th November

Oops. It's two degrees (Celsius) and sleeting. What? This is supposed to be summer! I've just been in the mountains where it is allowed to snow in a summer southerly (it did). The falling snow on day one was quite enchanting. Beech forest is so lovely to walk through - soft carpet underfoot with little fallen brown beech leaves, dramatic sooty black tree trunks, light and dark delicate green leaves...

Hiking :
You can read about my latest hiking trip on the Hurunui High Country Track.

But now I'm back. I do not consider that gardening in sleet is enchanting. And two degrees mid-morning in November is ten degrees (at least) too cold. I may be an intrepid bad-weather mountain maiden - but I'm not that intrepid in the Moosey Garden!

Right. Off to feed the hens, who will all be skulking in their house, no doubt. It's great to be home with the cats and the dog and Non-Gardening Partner. But trips away are great at restocking up the memories. I still think fondly about my travels in Scotland eighteen months ago - all those beautiful gardens full of New Zealand Cabbage trees and flaxes... Hee hee...

 The Island Hills Station.
New Zealand Scenery

And the South Island of New Zealand is full of 'Scottishness', with lots of valleys and rivers given Scottish names by the early settlers. I guess that they saw their old country in the new landscape.

 Happy that the big boss cat is back.
Histeria the Tabby

Late Afternoon...

No gardening possible, I'm afraid. And the Moosey legs feel rather - stretched? Anyway, I've taken the dog for a slow, stumbling walk down the road, and the cats for a rather wet wander around the garden.

My Cats Missed Me

I think my cats missed me - Histeria the tabby has been bouncing and cat-chirping at me, darting along the paths. And all through last night Jerome my old grey cat rested her stubbly whiskery cat-chin on my head and purred fortissimo. Pleasant? Nope...

Fur and Feathers!

The piano tuner is plonking away, my home-constructed steak pie is cooking, and I'm about to vacuum up a trillion bird feathers (aargh!) and ominously large patches of pale ginger fur from the upstairs hallways.

Fluff-Fluff, Mr Friendly of the feline world, my gentle, fluffy, pale ginger giant of a cat - are they bits of you? Surely not...

Congratulations to Barack Obama and the Moosey Foxgloves and Peonies

While I've been away (on my hiking trip) the USA has a new president (congratulations) and the Moosey Garden has some new flowers - the foxgloves and the coral peonies are blooming. Well done, you lovely plants. Hmm... Both important events, in their own way...

 A coral peony by the water race.
The First Peonies Are Flowering!

Saturday 8th November

Right. I have to vote in the New Zealand General Election. I have to spread the load of compost which has been sitting in the trailer for two weeks (shame!). I have to think about spraying my roses for aphids. There are nearly three hundred (roses, that is), so it's not quite as simple as squashing the little critters between the forefinger and the thumb!

No Lists Needed

Yesterday I relaxed my slightly aching hiking legs. Today they are needed for some proper gardening action. But what shall I do first? Putting on my proper gardening clothes would be a good start. A coffee - and a list? I'm sure I can do today without a list.

Orchard Roses :
Thirteen rose archways in the Hazelnut Orchard form a rose avenue between the trees.

And what do I need to check? Definitely my new Wilderness plantings - they should have enjoyed the recent rain. And the climbing roses in the Orchard - they should be starting up. And up. And up. And hopefully the peonies in the Birthday Rose Garden will not be a soggy flop. I love the rain! My garden needed rain! Lets hope that my little bamboo sticks have kept everything upright.

Right. There's much innocent twittery excitement in these sentences - so let's get real, and practical, and possibly wet feet, and definitely tired hands, and find some weeds to pull out. Aargh!

Late Afternoon...

Look, it's not that I'm sad, or annoyed, or even a bit grumpy. I was the keen one who picked up all those bags of horse manure and tipped them onto my garden in the middle of winter. And the trailer loads from my friend - she said there would be weeds, but I nodded and said that it really didn't matter. I was just so carried away with putting much needed organic matter onto my garden.

 So pretty.
Forget-Me-Nots With Hosta

Today, for five hours, as well as pulling out legions of forget-me-nots, I have been tackling the oddest assortment of new annual weeds, never before seen. Blast. Thanks heaps to all those horses. Welcome to Mooseys, all you new weeds, I hope you will enjoy your stay...

I popped into the Orchard for a mid-morning break. My pushy rooster escorted me through the rose archways in what he considers 'his' free-range Orchard. There were just a few roses in flower, and (sorry about this) a lot of weeds where I thought I'd weeded. Oh dear...

 Exactly how I feel!
Grumpy-Faced Pansies


The garden has been, of course, quite oblivious to my grumpy spirits. The late blue rhododendron is starting to flower in the shady back of the Dog-Path Garden. A fire-engine red, too, is in full bloom, and further along over Middle path there's a deep magenta, flowering beautifully underneath the weeping crab-apple. Interesting that these late flowering rhododendrons all have deep, dark flower colours, and all quite close together. Lucky for them that they're all in dappled shade. They are very beautiful, even if the Head Gardener is feeling a bit grumpy...

After lunch NGP helped me and I spread loads and loads and loads and loads of compost around the roses. Now I have sticky bidibids from the forget-me-nots all over my top (think it needs to go in the rubbish) and I'm tired, and feeling half good and half overwhelmed by all those weeds. Oh well - better go and vote. Then I'll reward myself by picking some peonies for the house.

Oh - sorry about sounding gloomy. Gloom does rhyme with bloom, however...