Confessions of a weed-killer...

 A gorgeous colour!
Rhododendron Flower

Confessions. Today I'm going to spend ten minutes weed-killing the rough scruffy area behind the Welcome Garden, rather than ten hours weeding it by hand. Sad that it has come to this, but the saved nine and five sixths hours can then be spent playing the piano, patting the cats, reading, or doing meaningful gardening. Excuses, justifications, eek!

Tuesday 26th October

I've sold out? No, I'm facing reality and taking personal responsibility. Usually Non-Gardening Partner is gently directed to do any garden spraying, and then I shut my eyes and pretend that it isn't happening. Oh no, not in my garden! But on his last mission to deal to the California thistles he got sidetracked and wandered off down the Wattle Woods paths spraying innocent forget-me-nots and violets. Naturally I told him off. So now he is refusing to do any more of my 'dirty work'. Blast!

 In the Willow Tree Garden.
Phormium and Rhododendron

Later, Lunchtime...

Oh dear. Prepare for one of those 'I-Am-So-Lucky' outpourings. I've been beavering away (actually I've never, ever seen a real beaver) by Rooster Bridge. I've planted cornflowers, divided and planted more Renga Renga, weeded, slightly shifted the Hen House Garden paths (again), raked and burnt gum tree rubbish, and half removed an Argentinean pampas grass with cutty leaves. No-one who sits on a garden bench wants to be directly in front of such a rough plant.

 The water is always quite cold.
Water Race Gunnera in Middle Garden

And here are my thoughts...


1. I can be a gardener.
I don't have to manage and manipulate (oops, I mean teach) teenagers, or work in a gossipy office.
2. I can't play the piano pieces of Albeniz properly.
What would I strive for if I could? Older musical folk need mental and digital challenges.
3. I can do hands-and-knees weeding.
My fingers still work. This should not be taken for granted.
4. I like talking to my animals.
That includes Stu the pet lamb, who is really funny. And he likes bleating at me, I'm sure.

Right. A fortifying, refreshing cup of tea, and then I'm off to complete the digging up of the Cortaderia. The delightfully secret, shady garden bench will then look directly at the water race. Nice!

 One of the great views on yesterday's hike.
View of South Canterbury Plains

Thursday 28th October

It's another beautiful sunny spring day, absolutely still, and full of the tiniest country sounds - a bird, a distant lamb bleating (not Stu lamb - his tummy is full of milk and grass), honey bees working over the Wisteria.

The morning Moosey house is full of gently snoring cats and a 'humphing' dog. What a life! And a slow gardener, who is pondering what to do first in her garden today.


Yesterday I went hiking in the foothills above a rhododendron reserve. Arriving home, driving up the Moosey driveway, I was reinspired by my own rhododendrons. I'm very, very glad that I can grow them. So perhaps put the hoses on and do a rhododendron check? Good idea.

 I never met Uncle Bert...
Uncle Bert's Rhododendron

Fifteen Minutes Later

I have sentimental news - the driveway magenta purple rhododendron I call Uncle Bert (a memorial to my friend's Uncle Bert) is just starting to flower. Phew! These blooms are timely, since my friend has been politely asking about him.

And the shrubs in the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden, my fruit salad coloured rhododendrons, are ready, too - a very bright apricot-red is visible from across the water. And yippee for the lilac coloured shrub in full flower behind the garage. What a batch of beauties! I love you all.

Even Later...

I've been tackling the relatively new Moosey video camera - how to use it? Alas, it still wobbles (operator error, methinks), and my videos of the calm spring garden are punctuated by animals - Rusty the dog wanders into shot and pees on a shrub, I trip over Fluff-Fluff the cat, not seeing him. Then Stu the lamb bleats and I zoom in excitedly.

Stu then gets filmed close-up drinking his bottle - pretty basic stuff, this, but he is still a little unphotogenic with blue stripes on his face (his sheep-lice treatment).

 With the water race on the right.
Lilac Rhododendron on Back Lawn

And then I shift the hoses and spy another rhododendron to gush over, or something new in flower - the white Lilac in the Island Bed, for example. Yippee! My white Lilac is alive, and, more specifically, it is flowering. Zoom, zoom, zoom...

You might guess that not much real gardening is being done! But I've hung out three loads of washing on the line underneath the beautiful yellow flowering Banksia rose. I've got a white one, a juvenile, growing up the plum tree in the Island Bed. Up is a hint, which I'm sure this sturdy rose will take.