Presented with bamboo...

 In the Birthday Rose Garden.
MIniature Yellow Rose

Eek! My friend (a plantsman, plant collector, and plant-breeder) has presented me with several varieties of bamboo - only one of which is invasive. I have also come home with some giant reeds and a ditzy ornamental Oxalis...

But there's more! He's given me a fancy Syringa, and something he calls a sausage shrub - or tree? It has not, as yet, produced any sausages. The things he gives me can be quite rare (well, my Google searches certainly think so), so I am honoured!

Friday 27th March, Continued...

I feel sorry for bamboo - it has such a generalised bad reputation, particularly with non-gardeners. Even Non-Gardening Partner, for example, has warned me about bamboo being invasive. Not true for all bamboo! I even feel sorry for Oxalis - my new plant with large two-tone green and purple leaves is highly ornamental, and safe. Something about giving a dog a bad name?

This afternoon I spent an hour and a half weeding another friend's town-house garden. I did mainly cosmetic scratching, but I got right round it all. She has the dreaded Oxalis weed - remind me how lucky I am!

 With the big letter M on his forehead.
Cat Company - Percy

And earlier, in the Moosey Garden? I planted the new shrubs (Agapanthus, Hebes, and Lavenders) in Rusty the dog's garden - that took me ages. Then I started weeding by the Willow Stump, as planned. My two ginger cats provided company of a sort (they both curled up on the freshly spread compost and went to sleep).

Saturday 28th March

Ha! Sausage trees are South African, and they do have sausage-shaped fruits. But they are relatively unknown in New Zealand gardens. I haven't a clue where to plant it...

Question (with thanks to Google): Which of these places would you rather visit?
a) The Sausage Tree Pub in High Wycombe.
b) The Sausage Tree Camp, Lower Zambesi National Park, Zambia.

Oops - back to the gardening challenge for today. Firstly, I'm going to weed and trim around the network of paths behind the Willow Stump. These gardens shouldn't be too messy - they house an assorted collection of shrubs and perennials, including some beautifully blooming dahlias. The paths are cute, and weedless paths will look even better! Later on (when the sun and the Head Gardener have both warmed up) I might get back into the water race and try and work my way down to Middle Bridge.

Today's General Maintenance List (While I Remember)

 Lurking in the garden.
Cat Company - Fluff-Fluff

Much, Much Later...

Last time I said I'd had the best gardening day ever - I was wrong. Because today has been 'it'! I've worked hard, weeding in the Willow Tree Garden, where all sorts of large lush weeds have been removed.

New Blue Pot

My blue garden seats now have a beautiful blue pot for company. All the edges are trimmed, all paths are clear, and everything looks beautiful.

I've dead-headed the red Dahlias, trimmed the Mignonette, and given all the rusty tussocks a haircut. I've even weeded little circles around the fastigate Oaks in the lawn. All the time Fluff-Fluff sat with me, squeaking occasionally when I've wandered off.

Breaking News - Minimus the Kitten is a Girl

I knew it all along, really - Minimus has such a girlie personality. She gets the vet's tick of approval for being wonderfully calm and well-behaved, and in extremely fine health. She is (thinks the vet) about thirteen weeks old. Dear Minimus! I've told her not to worry - she's always been a girl, and it's only the silly humans who've been confused, saying things like 'Good boy'...

 Two beautiful blooms.
Bishop Llandaff Dahlias

I am soooooo tired and happy after such a successful big day. No more writing - a hot shower, a nice cup of hot tea, a comfy couch and my book are all beckoning. And hurray for the cricket - New Zealand is in a 'strong position'. Ha!

Sunday 30th March

The bath behind the garage is again full of tree-frog tadpoles. I have three new pots to plant up and four Cream Delight flaxes to find garden places for - plus other new plants to organise. The cricket is going really well. It's another beautifully sunny autumn day. So what should I do first? Ha! Whatever I 'do', I'm jolly well not going to write about it. It will be a surprise, hee hee...


I'm back! I've finished my main work for the day. I've spent the last two hours in the water race weeding and scooping up stones. Now, apres hot-shower, my hands feel like they're buzzing - eek! I haven't done my new pots, yet - but I've made decisions. The bamboo goes with the blue pot. My variegated Elderberry goes in one of the new pale terracotta pots. A flax goes in the other. There - done, in the mind at least. I am clean and refreshed, and about to have a rewarding cup of coffee.

 I love this look!
Stones by the Water Race

I absolutely love my garden at the moment. It seems so easy to work for a few hours and then see real, often amazing improvements. Thanks to the Garden Club's visit I am attending to small details - for example I've trimmed the marjoram and the Scrophularia. The edge of the Dog-Path Garden is finally re-aligned (I've been meaning to do that for years).

Middle Bridge :
Middle Bridge was one of the first Moosey bridges built over the water race.

For the record, I've now finished weeding the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden, and am moving down through the Dog-Path Garden. This is sorrel territory - it's always been a problem weed for me in certain isolated places. I finished my work half-way between the Plank and Middle Bridge. Minimus (morning) and big Fluff-Fluff (afternoon) have shared the cat company duties.

Hopeless - Rusty the dog has been sulking. He knows (somehow) that it's the weekend, and that means his most favourite best friend of all (the Moosey Non-Gardening Partner) is home. Except that NGP has been out with the rural fire brigade all day. So Rusty has been moping, lolling in the grass by his kennel...

 Oops, oops, oops...
Birthday Rose Garden

A few sheepish words regarding the Birthday Rose Garden and The Birthday (Daughter of Moosey's) it celebrates: Oops, oops, and oops. But there was honestly no room for new birthday roses, a pot seemed too impersonal, a gnome too tacky, and I couldn't guarantee that birthday bulbs would survive the shovel... But... I do still have a plan...

Tuesday 31st March

Yesterday I had the whole day off to go hiking in the mountains - alas, 'tis the season of the honey dew on the Beech trees, with squillions of wasps browsing in the forest. There was just enough room for me and my hiking friend, as long as we kept moving.

 This morning I cleared these edges...
Water Race

Two Weeks and Three Hours...

Right. I am one percent sick with a head cold. Being an intrepid gardener, I will simply drink and eat more (feed a cold?) as I continue working my way down the water race. I don't care that it's a bit wet out there! I have exactly two weeks (plus three hours) before the Garden Club Visit...

Later, Lunchtime...

Brr! It's been drizzling, and I've been two hours in the water race weeding and cleaning up the banks, with Minimus the kitten (nearly a swimming kitten) for company. I've reached Middle Bridge - yippee! And since Middle Bridge is actually two thirds of the way down my garden, I'm in credit...

Anyway, now I'm warm and dry (sensible) and about to deliver Son-In-Law to the airport. It's 'farewell and take care day' - goodbye to the sometime resident gourmet pizza-maker and Mugsy the cat's best friend.

 Mugsy watching her best friend (Son-In-Law) pack up and leave.
Goodbye From Mugsy the Cat

Then I reckon I'll come home via the library and put myself and my head-cold to bed for an afternoon read. It occurs to me that March is almost over. Goodness me - what a wonderful month! And guess what, March - I've nearly cleaned up all your rubbish!