A stroll garden...

Finally I have been doing some good summer gardening, after mooching around for most of December. And I've been reading and thinking about 'stroll gardens'.

 Growing in the shade by the back of the house.
Cool Green Ferns

Monday 29th December

The concept of designing a 'stroll garden' strikes me as rather peculiar. Naively I immediately think of networks of paths - though I suspect there might be more sophisticated criteria. Anyway, I have decided that the Moosey Garden could be better described as a 'Stumble Garden'. There are lots of pleasant stumbles one could take, avoiding slow-me-down wet flax leaves, trip-me-up tussock grasses, and knock-me-out overhanging shrub branches, not to mention large stop-right-there Nicotianas growing mid-path.

 From younger son.
Christmas Present

Lots of Strolling

But I do stroll a lot in my garden. I stroll past lots of lovely plants when I go over the water race to feed the hens. I stroll to the latest summer weeding spot, wiggling past this and that, dragging my new gardening wheelie-bin behind.

And yesterday I strolled perfectly for three hours, making my way through the rose archways in the orchard. This was real summer gardening - mopping the brow, fanning the face with the floppy sunhat then pulling it firmly back on. Eleven of the thirteen archways are completely weeded, new canes tied in, silly canes judiciously pruned.

The best summer gardens show good attention to little detail. So I've planted some new powder pink pelargoniums underneath the big gum tree - I expect to be wowed by beautiful flowers. The planter boxes by the decking are filled with new white daisy plants.

Downsizing My Journal!

I have a new resolution to trim this over-weight gardening journal down. I am to stop twittering and rambling one paragraph before I normally would. Let's see if it works...

Magnolia Stellata :
A picture from my first Magnolia Stellata. My second one didn't even get around to flowering!

But in the grand scheme of gardening things I am obviously not supposed to grow a Magnolia Stellata. My really expensive second attempt has died almost immediately. This is rather distressing, and I blame the nursery. No, seriously - the tree was freshly ripped out of the ground, with a very poor root system. I looked! And I did water it, with a bucket!

Tuesday 30th December

Aargh! Late yesterday I found some pottles of super-wilting pansies which I'd forgotten to plant. But after a soak and a good night's sleep - just like a tired old gardener they've perked up. Today I am on a high achievement timetable. I do my Christmas Brahms piano practice, then I go for a swim (love that outdoor 50 meter length pool), then I zoom home to garden until the cricket starts.

 Tiger is jammed into the other basket.

Much later I return my scary 'Authentic Garden' library book - and two others on water features. This reminds me - yesterday the 'fate' of the stuck Moosey waterwheel was discussed - rationally, sympathetically, but realistically. The wooden cable drum has soaked up water and is too heavy to get out of the water race. My scary book has some suggestions - one simply creates beauty out of the function of a rustic non-working thing. Ha! So it stays in the water, stuck, and I get over it?

The Trap is Set..

I am running a teasing competition for my cats. Having watched them jamming themselves into assorted cartons and under-sized boxes, I have placed a tempting mini-basket on the kitchen bench, with fleecy little blanket.

Win a Prize!

The first cat I find squashed in this miniscule container wins a prize. It's one of life's truths that cats love to be in boxes, but why do they under estimate the size required to fit their bulky bodies?

Wednesday 31st December

Yeay! The last gardening day of the year 2008. Hot weather gardening mid-summer - cricket crackling on the radio, watering the patio pots, dead-heading the house roses, raking up the gum leaves, sloshing up and down the water race to cool off. What shall I do first today in the garden?

 This is one of my late flowering roses.
Cherry Rambler

There are some lovely new things to report on, never before grown at Mooseys. Anthemis, a perennial summer-flowering daisy, yellow like so many of the mid-summer shrubs, is one such. Some weirdly coloured perennials called - oops I've forgotten - which I grew from seed (so they're probably weedy species nuisances) are another. New daylilies (budget priced and colour unknown) which I planted in the Frisbee Border are nicely small and have beautiful soft apricot flowers.

 One of my favourites.
Maroon Daylily

December Daylilies

December is the daylily month, but yet again I'm finding small clumps of tall stragglers planted out of the sun and barely flowering (particularly under the variegated Elm tree). Must move them. Must divide and reorganise the irises, too - is it too early?


I've been weeding standing in the water race, and scooping stones from the bottom to relay on the small dog-paths. Refreshing, if a little hard on the hands. Running water - lovely! Yesterday I sat on a plastic garden chair right in the water with my book and cup of tea. And I thought of all those water accessories that I'd like to have at this hot time of the year - pumps, waterfalls, second ponds, waterwheels that go round, and so on... I stood up in a dream and my seat started floating downstream. Had to throw my Garden Design library book and my cup into the nearest fern. Oops.

Best place for my book, though. It's one of those 'bleaters' where the garden is seen as a set of outdoor rooms. And the plants are choice pieces of furniture? Hmm... Sorry, but gardens grow, they are organic (ahem - they jolly well should be!) and rooms are not.

Echinacea! I've finally remembered - I think my new seed-raised perennial is Echinacea.