A disgrace!

 Aargh! Time to trim the Shasta daisies...
Shasta Daisy Mess

It's not the garden that's a disgrace, it's the Head Gardener! We (sounds like there are lots of us - pity there's only one) have a new rule for our journal. Don't web-complain about something, just fix it. Fair enough?

Saturday 4th April

So today I'm off to find my rakes (I don't think they're too badly lost) and then I'll rake those disgraceful Wattle Woods paths and dump all the rubbish on the fence line. I will also put the hoses on the Wattle Woods gardens. I might even shift some silly tiddly roses, planted on the edge and looking far too fussy. I will definitely trim back the big grasses along the path. Ha! That'll teach me for moaning.

I've been back once to the nursery sale, and I've bought three more hebes, some stripy Mondo grass (which looks interesting), a pot squashed up with Renga Renga, and a fairly mature Cordyline (the likes of which I am never, ever going to dig out of other peoples' gardens again, because they are really temperamental transplantees - to be blunt, they die). There's a hosta, and four fifty cent Verbenas for my glasshouse stock - I'll get cuttings off these, since my garden is too frosty for them to over-winter.

 These roses always look so pretty in autumn.
Autumn Rose - the Fairy

And (said in a tiny little voice, ever hopeful) I think I'm going to get one of those garden sheds. But oh, the agony of making a decision. Should it be, perhaps, painted a stronger colour of green? And why green? Should it blend or blare? Hee hee...

Later, Apres Gardening...

The Wattle Woods are much, much less disgraceful, after four hours solid work. The path-side grasses (Anemanthele) were too old and large, so I dug them out and replanted smaller pieces of Renga Renga. I've pulled out a lot of Iris confusa, weeded, and collected Anemanthele and Hebe seedlings. The main routes down the woods and over to the far fence are raked and clear. The hugest heap of rubbish awaits the lifting of the fire ban!

Right. It's time to get my cup of tea, shift the hoses, and sit in the Wattle Woods with my book. I deserve this.

 Sorry about this...
Spot the Frog!

Pond Frog

And before I forget - finally I have sighted one of my two pond frogs. Up to now all I've seen are two ploppy splashes as they dive for cover into the water. She (I'm sure both are female, since they are croakless) is usually emerald green, and looks like a rather large, fat leaf on a stone. I'll try and get a photograph...

One Minute Later...

Blast. One frog, not really a very good picture, and then plop! A great leap, with frog's legs trailing elegantly behind like the ends of a designer scarf. But I tried!

Sunday 5th April

I've just bought some plants online for Easter - twenty Kniphofias called Percy's Pride. I only got them because one of my ginger cats is called Percy - how silly is that? Hopefully they're a bit 'gingerish', though I suspect they'll be more lime greenish, or lemonish - and smallish? I'd love to get some glowing golden yellow ones - a clump grows along the road-side, just a wee way away. I could take to them with a midnight shovel...


It's still raining lightly and I have so many new plants to organise! I am also now the proud new owner of a bucketful of lovely daylilies called Cabbage Flower. They need full sun - I'm thinking the Glass-House Garden, where I may also put my new purple Alliums. I'm also thinking wet and muddy - maybe I'll wait a couple of hours until the rain blows away.


I'm thinking too wet and too muddy. Shame on me! But I have been doing a bit of virtual gardening instead while waiting for the home-made bread to cook. And I'm going to shift some Agapanthus from the edge of the Frisbee Lawn. I'd rather have a random shrubby edge than a controlled circle of the same plant.

 We are up Bealey Spur.
Head Gardener and Friends in the Mountains

Tuesday 6th April

Yesterday we went hiking in the mountains all day, and I hardly thought about my garden once. Now today I'm home and it's been sort of raining - all day. I've done no gardening, but I've been planning, though, and just maybe later this afternoon I'll change into gardening clothes. Maybe not. The trouble is that I'm inside, warm, dry and clean, and outside it's the very opposite.

 What a beauty!
Head Gardener Meets Hawk

A Little Later...

Wow. I've just been for a walk with Rusty the dog, and we have found a large dark brown bird in my garden. It's a 'baby' hawk, according to an expert I rang up, probably a female, and probably very hungry. So I've fed her some fresh cat meat - she's oddly tame (or injured, or just plain starving - I can't tell).

The Baby Hawk

A Beautiful Bird

Things will now get a little gruesome - I have to vary her diet with roadkill, dead rodents (I have to tip out the wheelie bin to retrieve the latest rat), and dead birds, if I can, and she may stay around for two weeks... Oh boy! She's a beautiful looking bird.

It's all animals and birds today. I've just broken up a cat-fight between Tiger and Minimus with the scary broom. While looking for Minimus to reassure her I found a dead blackbird to give to the hawk (so the rat in the rubbish can wait).

But Minimus followed me to the back lawn where big bird started dealing with her prey, and to my horror walked right up close - to sniff noses and beaks? Bird arched her wings (they're huge!) and I scooped little Minimus up. Too scary!

Wednesday 7th April

I've been out hiking all day on the peninsula. The hawk is still here, and she's eaten the rat. I feel happier - I've seen her 'fly' (with rather a floppy landing) over the water race. When she stretches her wings out she's huge! She does this when a cat comes too close - this afternoon it was nosy Histeria the tabby, who could smell the fresh pet meat and had followed me.

I've asked my friends if they could pop any recently dead rats and mice into my letter box. I'm serious - my hawk needs 'roughage'. Again, being serious, she's a young wild bird, and her destiny is to be a scavenging raptor, not a pet. The expert I talked to said that the breeding season was good but now the food supply is poor, and many hawks are starving. My intervention is minimal, but the local postman might not enjoy opening my mailbox. Oops!