Path testing...

Aha! Today I'm testing all my newly laid paths out on an unsuspecting (but friendly) garden visitor. I'm going to casually direct her around, saying nothing. Will she mention the delightful network of safe yet interesting little pathways?

 My flaxes look beautiful at this time of the year.
Winter Water-Side Plants

Monday 21st July

Yesterday I went to a private nursery's closing-down sale. I bought some more deciduous Azaleas (colour unknown), a rhododendron called Cary Ann (deep pink) and my very first 'posh Clematis' (five dollars and she's a Mrs). Wow! New plants to plant! How very exciting, and much deserved after all my hard winter gardening work, about which I've been tediously self-congratulating since the beginning of the dreaded season...

Later, Couch-Cycling in Italy...

Le Tour de France et la grande jardiniere qui s'appelle Moosey have just zoomed into Italy. This is a new experience! I'm relaxing in front of the TV after yet another grand day. My lovely friend (completely unprompted) praised my little paths, I planted my new rhododendron, weeded the Driveway Garden and pruned roses, Hebes and Berberis shrubs (ouch).

 One of the new Willow Tree Garden paths.
Mulched Path

I never go couch-gardening at all. I certainly ignore the TV garden make-over programmes - it would be my worst nightmare to arrive home to a team of happy helpers in bright T-shirts. Aargh! I've never seen any reality TV garden shows where gardeners are set tasks and voted in or out. And general TV gardening? Listening to someone talking about 'their' garden while designers and under-gardeners lurk out of sight? It's just not real enough for me.

Tuesday 22nd July

Why are two of my cats, Tiger the Tubbie and Fluff-Fluff the Fattie, so super-sized? Cat-breakfast went out at least twenty minutes ago. These two super-sized cats are still busy cleaning up all the plates, crunching up the littlest speck of food.

Too Wet! :
Sometimes it's just too wet to garden, even for an intrepid four-seasons gardener with the constitution of an ox.

Aargh! I'm ready to go morning gardening, and it's suddenly got really, really dark outside. Have I missed an eclipse of a heavenly body? No - it's just the weather, starting to rain. Blast - I had such big, immediate plans.

So now's the perfect time to have a second cup of coffee and do some couch-gardening. In fact, I've even checked the TV programmes on the 'Lifestyle' channel - nothing. Garden show programmers have no sense of timing! Hello, internet - might see you quite soon!

 Oops. A bit cheeky...
Garden Furniture - a Great Birthday Present!

Happy Birthday to Non-Gardening Partner

I have important things to do today, so important that a specific, detailed list is required Oops - nearly forgot. Happy Birthday to NGP! I think he likes his birthday present - an antique white cafe table and garden seats...

List of Things to Do

1. Dig out Gunnera on edge of Birthday Rose Garden.
This majestic monster simply cannot decide where it is going to grow. The Moosey Garden is supposed to be under Moosey-control.
2. Replant Gunnera by pond.
I'm shifting garden focus to the Moosey Pond, where fresh young Gunnera plants will be welcome.
3. Plant deciduous Azaleas.
In the moist, dappled shade at the beginning of the Driveway Border.
4. Spread all horse manure bags onto garden.
So they can start working properly.
5. Prune, weed, and mulch the orchard archway roses.
With rooster and the hens nosily pecking around me...

Phew! Lists should have a maximum of seven things, according to an educational expert. Any more and the impact of any or all items diminishes drastically, as does the likelihood of said items being completed. Ha!

 I pick up the bags free from the road-side.
Oops - More Horse Manure

Much Later... Hmm... Today a list with only one item would have been better, since I only worked in the orchard, and only weeded underneath two of the archways. But all the roses are pruned and tied in. All other tasks will keep. Sorry about the bags of horse manure scattered around various house and garden vantage points.

 In the Dog Kennel Garden.
Histeria the Tabby

Wednesday 23rd July

Today I am not going walking around the sea cliffs with my walking group. I have a list to finish, before the approaching southerly cold front strikes. Here, in the cool light of morning, in front of several furry breakfast witnesses (chomp chomp), I declare that I will continue the list written yesterday, after a quick swim. I will not moan. I also promise not to eat even the smallest portion of NGP's chocolate mousse birthday cake.

Gardening Action

Right, Percy the ginger cat, smooching and purring on my knees, and Histeria, bouncing around my chair - it's time for some gardening action.

Some notes regarding the orchard work (if I get there). I'm going to try the new Mrs. Clematis on a rose archway. To stop the Moosey hands from getting sore I'll use a less fussy weeding method under the roses. And remember - no use weeding the ground bare unless it's covered the same day with mulch. Stern words, which must be heeded.

Much Later, After Three Drizzling Garden Hours...

Brr... I gardened until I just got too cold. And what gardening! I concentrated on items one, two, and four. The Moosey Pond has its new Gunnera, and the flaxes have been tidied up.

Pink Ballerina Roses :
Ballerina is a beautiful rose, perfect for a country garden.

I've pruned the Ballerina roses, shifted a couple of shrubs, and weeded and chopped out rough waterside grasses. And yes - in my mind's eye I can see a cute little retro garden shed in here, with an armchair, bookcase, and bed...

+5Rusty the dog has been my hands-on helper - actually that should be 'paws-and-teeth-on'! He has been guarding the water race while I've leant over and sliced through the Gunnera growing on the water line. The plants have bobbed downstream, he's chased and grabbed them, and stashed them all in his kennel. Then, while distracted by a tennis ball, they've been popped into my wheelbarrow. Lovely dog!

 What a great help Rusty is!
My Gardening Dog-Helper

It's interesting gardening in New Zealand winter drizzle at seven degrees Celsius. The nose goes first - sniff sniff - followed by the hands (brr...). Then and only then does the gardener notice she's absolutely soaked and her hair is dripping. But afterwards - toasty warm, clean clothes...

New Roses Arriving!

But wait! Some climbing roses (Bantry Bay, Westerland, and an anonymous deep pink) are arriving any minute - they need a new country home, and I have a couple of archways ready to accommodate them. So it's back on with the gumboots and the wet-weather gear. Gosh I'm having a rugged day!

Ha! Instant planting of three climbing roses. And great news for the immediate house and garden - I've spread all my horse manure bags. This is Moosey the Gardening Legend, over and out.