The Clematis is flowering...

 A bit of a monster, but never mind...
Clematis Montana

More spring flower news - the Clematis is flowering on the archway leading into the pond paddock, where two big flowering cherry trees are nearly in bloom. And there sits Pond Cottage, beautiful as ever, nearly finished inside. The outdoor dining table and chairs on the pond decking look oh so inviting - yum! Food! Wine! Hang on a minute - I don't officially drink...

Sunday 10th October

The roses make more and more new green growth, while most of the daffodils have come to an end. Patches of blue Muscari and phantom tulips should now take over the feature flowering.

I need to go on a pansy seedling hunt in the pathways, driveway etc. I also need to clear the paths in the Wattle Woods of Anemanthele grass seedlings, which I'll pot up. When my garden does the work for me I should be grateful.

 Such a good, flowery shrub.
President Roosevelt Rhododendron

By the way, 'phantom tulips' are tulips that should be there, because once lots of them were, and some of them definitely were last year, but this year? Hmm - they have all disappeared.

Late Afternoon...

'Successful gardening is really very simple.'
-Moosey Words of Wisdom.

Successful gardening is really very simple. One works hard all morning doing the same thing, then takes a short break for lunch, preferably in a scenic spot in the garden. Then one just keeps on going all afternoon until finished. Then one pats self on the back, goes apres gardening in elegant shades of blue and white, and grabs Murder on the Orient Express (the latest easy read). What one does not do is clatter away at the computer rambling on about successful gardening...

I've seen some exciting little beginnings - the lilac rhododendron behind the garage, a beautiful pinky white rhododendron on the driveway bend, and the first rose, Canary Bird, in the Jelly Bean Border. And lots of aphids on the new shoots of the rose Cornelia - squish, squish, squish...

 The Driveway lawn with blossom trees.
The Lawns Are Mowed

Quality Control

All the lawns are mowed, and I helped the quality control by shifting the garden benches and seats around. I've dug out the ash from my burning heap and spread it around the garden. I've planted the first Jersey Benne potatoes and some sugar snap peas.

Now the southerly has arrived with rain and cold wind, so it's the perfect time to retire inside the house. Stu lamb has nature (his woolly merino fleece) and nurture (a tummy full of warm lamb milk) to keep him warm.

Monday 11th October

Eek! It was a dark and stormy night, with pelting rain and whooshing wind - and Stu lamb, the most well-looked after pet lamb on the block, getting an extra feed at midnight AND then at dawn... Stu is now nearly six weeks old, and is catching up on weight after his health set-back. And while I was lamb-feeding early this morning Lilli my random grey cat popped out of the shrubs. I don't understand you, Lilli - you are the epitome of chaos theory applied to a cat.

 The patio table and seats.
Too Wet to Garden

The Wisteria - it's nearly flowering! What a wonderful month October is. But I knew that. For a bits-and-pieces gardener all these little exciting unrelated things have me hopping with happiness. Like the first little irises - pale blue, and a pale yellow one near the new Lilacs - when did I acquire and plant that? There are no enormous sweeping swathes of Azaleas here, but the odd tiny one is coming into flower, too. And my Pieris gets its first official photograph.

 Fresh new growth.
Pieris Shrub

Have A Good Gardening Day...

Today I don't care how wet the garden is (and it is). I have to have a good gardening day, because that's what I do, and that's what makes me happy. So there. But first I am off to the library to - ahem - pay some fines, and of course get out some new books. When I return I will be soooooooo motivated - a whole afternoon yesterday stuck inside watching the rain...

Much Later...

I've worked for about two hours doing edges at the end of the gardens near Car Bridge, pulling out weeds, and replacing garden seats in appropriate positions. I brought Stu the lamb out to follow me around, which he did without getting too much in the way.

And Lilli-Puss turned up again, leg-smooching me and nose-smooching Stu and Rusty the dog. So Lilli loves us all again. Hmm - some cat consistency would be appreciated. I really thought she'd moved on, away, and over after her three week absence.

Just for the record - I've moved a little maroon maple tree away from Pond Cottage (it clashed dreadfully with my chosen paint colour). It's now planted in my special new green pot which sits deliberately over the top of Milly the deceased pet lamb - so a certain dog cannot disgrace himself by inappropriate digging. Aargh! Country life! Too much detail!

 Gumboots, The Bride, and a red Cordyline.
Patio Still Life

Tuesday 12th October

Aha! The beautiful spring weather is back, with a dusting of early morning frost. One of my 2010 summer resolutions is to play all the Scarlatti piano sonatas - I am listening to a CD at the moment, and they are subtle. And nice textures - I think I can do something with these! The trills and twiddles will sound a bit arthritic, though...

Stating the obvious - don't garden seats look great when they're back in position on their particular piece of freshly mown lawn? And when the nearby garden edges are trimmed one doesn't even notice the weeds or the general planting mistakes. Garden seats are brilliant visual distractions. Mind you, I think I have quite enough...

Stu the lonely pet lamb needs to get out more - he can have some compulsory socialisation and come gardening with me. A note on little Minimus, my young grey cat - she has turned into a growling stairs-troll, guarding the upstairs and blocking any other cats from ascending. Minimus needs to get out more, too, methinks!


I've taken steps. Stu the lamb has been my companion and is starting to nibble on grass blades. I've done lots of edges around the Driveway Gardens. Everything looks beautiful, particularly the purple Honesty which grows along the Hump edge.

 Oh, do we both have fun...
Gardening with a Pet Lamb

Thursday 14th October

I decided that the Head Gardener needed to get out more, too. So for the last two days I've been hiking on two separate day trips. The Moosey Wednesday legs tackled mountain valleys and beech forest in the Craigieburns. Today they enjoyed a delightful track on the Peninsula - an inspiring journey in swirling cold mist (just clouds, I think). We climbed 700m to a saddle, where we sat by some large, bleak concrete gun emplacements (World War two vintage) and shivered thought our lunch. Then the track wiggled its narrow, natural way underneath the Mt Pleasant Bluffs, huge rocky outcrops covered with native shrubs and trees - green Astelias, Pseudopanax, tree Fuchsias, Phormiums, and Hebes. The mist made the rocky outcrops look so dramatic.

I did meet some delightful horticultural visitors, though. Down in one gully two huge Oak trees just coming into leaf, a large Lilac in full purple flower, and several white blossoming fruit trees, all surrounded by the thick green native bush. Someone planted these in times long gone, and tried to live here in their own little slice of England?

In another higher spot, right by the track, a clump of pale pink flowering polyanthus, completely unannounced in any way. Quite a delight, amongst all the beautiful native greenery. Wonder who planted them?