New spring photographs...

A new spring day, a new journal page, and some new spring photographs - of something that always sneaks up and surprises me (the yellow Banksia rose) and something new (a white Lilac).

 This rose is a very beautiful shade of yellow.
Banksia Lutea - Yellow Banksia Rose

Friday 29th October

I caught up with these beautiful flowery things at the end of an extremely lazy, moochy yesterday. But hey! I shifted the hoses around - quite a few times - and I clattered through three of my Albeniz piano pieces.

 I love the colours of this flower.
Pretty Rhododendron

A Drizzly Day

This morning is a bit drizzly and overcast, which gives the garden time to adjust. Flowers on the new rhododendron Ross Maud were beginning to wilt in the warmth - which reminds me not to purchase and plant out in the open any rhododendrons that are late to bloom.

But I am going to put the hoses on again, in designated areas (the Frisbee Border and the Shrubbery). It's for the roses, some of which were rudely planted only eight weeks ago.

Sarah Van Fleet (one of the Shrubbery's rusty rugosa roses) has just got a second dose of fungal spray. Stu lamb thought he was getting a second bottle - sorry Stu, but your rugby ball tummy doesn't need any more milk. A silly moment - 'You are too rusty!' I roared at Sarah Van Fleet, there was a whoosh of cream fur and my dog Rusty roared into the Shrubbery courtyard, panting, expectant (he too would have been thinking about food). Sorry, Rusty, I wasn't calling you...

Sarah Van Fleet :
This rose is not getting her own page until this rust problem can be overcome.

Hopefully the rose mixture I made up (dodgy mental maths, converting grams to teaspoons and not having the right sized bottle) will be at the correct concentration. Or Sarah Van Fleet may regret it!

Right. Today I am going to get damp and work hard. Very, very hard. If I lose any momentum I can obviously find some weeds somewhere to pull out.

Much, Much Later, Seven Hours, In Fact...

Oh boy. I have transformed myself into wonderwomangardener. I have planted beans, peas and all the tomato plants. I have dug out the blue asters, removed (hopefully) all the grass roots, and replanted the weed-free clumps. Blue cornflowers have been popped in front. I've also planted penstemons and cornflowers in other borders, and a crinkle leafed Ligularia (which has been in a pot for two years, oops).

 He's interested in the mulch.
Stu Lamb in the Garden

Five - let me repeat that for emphasis - five barrowfuls of weeds have been pulled out of various gardens and dumped over on the fence-line. I've removed purple honesty and forget-me-nots from the house borders - a sure signs that the seasons are changing. I've found another new rugosa with rust - grrrr....Garden Visitors

I've even taken some visitors around the gardens (complete with Stu lamb and Rusty the dog trailing and frolicking behind us) and been pleasantly surprised by what I've seen. For example, the visitors really liked the Willow Tree rhododendrons, but they were showing off in a beautifully gardened setting - trimmed edges, clear paths, mowed lawns... The three blue chairs were on the grass, inviting, rather than stacked up in a tower looking silly.

Right at the end of the day my watering hoses stopped (they were switched on for seven hours) and as if by magic the drizzle thickened. I carefully collected up all my garden tools, every plastic plant pot that I could see, and dropped my wet clothes in the laundry. A sudden thought - where was my camera? Phew - on the kitchen table, full of new photographs of Banksia roses and other lovely things.

I really have had a superb day. Words cannot adequately describe how proud I feel. Yippee!

Saturday 30th October

Today I am watering the new standard roses in the Septic Tank Border while we go swimming. Later this afternoon I have to sing in a concert in Hanmer, a million miles away (not exactly). The gardening day will be cut short.

 Over by the Willow tree stump.

A funny thing about yesterday - something to do with gardening guilt. I'd only had two days 'off' - and yet the garden seemed to have crammed in about two weeks of natural progress in my absence. Suddenly huge things needed doing which I hadn't begun to notice earlier in the week. Be steady and consistent - that's my advice to myself today. Who cares if October has finished and my gardening work is lagging behind? Aargh! I do!

Sunday 31st October

First I'm pulling out Honesty from the paths in the Wattle Woods and cleaning up the general borders. It's a little sad when the Honesty is finished - eek! And that weedy large blue forget-me-not (Alkane?) is everywhere, and I didn't plant it - so there!

'How to stop garden panic? Sit in the garden more...'
-Moosey Words of Wisdom.

Spring is now on the move, finishing itself off in a flurry of late rhododendrons. Some are beautifully shaded from the semi-summery sun, while others struggle a bit out in the open. I'm worried I'm going to miss something lovely. How to stop the garden panic? Sit in the garden more... And read, or drink, or eat, perhaps?


I've spent two hours clearing the paths in the Wattle Woods (oops - no wonder they are so hard to spot in my photographs). Lilli-Puss has been with me providing her special brand of random cat company. It's now almost impossible to push through the rugosas by the glass-house - a flimsy archway in there has completely come to pieces. The big bright pink rhododendron is flowering - luckily its huge neighbour, the scarlet red Kaponga, has completely finished, otherwise there would be a rather almighty clash!

 With blue Ajuga and a golden Choisya.
PInk Rhododendron in Wattle Woods

Anyway I've got the hoses on, and I've pulled out lots of weedy things. Wonder if all the bulk Agapanthus in here will flower? I put all the white ones together.

'How to stop garden panic? Be gardening throughout every single hour of daylight...'
-Moosey Words of Wisdom.

I've been thinking about this change and panic problem. The only way to stop the panic is to be gardening throughout every single hour of daylight. Then one simply keeps ones eyes open, and works really hard. Small bursts of relaxing on seats, writing, recording and photographing punctuate the day. Ha! Problem solved. Who could possibly call a gardener boring? Hmm...

 Always eating...
Stu Lamb Eating Grass


Sometimes change in the garden is a definite shrug-the-shoulders moment, an inevitable part of the cycle of gardening life. And so I have spent two hours sawing down the dead apricot tree (leaving stumps) in the Apple Tree Garden. A huge Moonlight rose used to climb through the tree - most of her, too, is now gone, burnt on the bonfire. I've draped some straggling rose branches over a small Pittosporum and pointed then towards the sun. Oh well - twelve years growing, half an hour to burn to ashes - dear rose!

This is quite enough hard work for now. I'm off to Pond Cottage to sit on the verandah and relax with blueberries and yoghurt and a cup of tea. Alas, not a vision of apres-gardening health loveliness, more a pink-faced old chook with grubby fingernails and scratches up and down both arms. Ouch!