The lawn is a mess!

 All over my lawns.
Gum Tree Mess

I've been lying in bed watching the big gum tree on the house lawn shed bark and leaves in the wind. The lawn is a mess! And so continues my extreme relationship with Eucalyptus trees.

Oh, the grandeur, the sculptural form, the majesty! And the mess - the noise as self-amputated limbs, crackling bark, and leaves pour down. These trees are really messy, shedding bits of themselves in the slightest puff of wind.

Saturday 13th February

I'm back in the garden today. I have so much to do - where do I start? Cleaning up that gum tree mess, I guess...

 Lots to rake up.
Gum Leaves on the Lawns

Yesterday I had yet another day off, and had a huge hiking day in the mountains, in the Craigieburns. Alas, while my friend and I were sliding down screes and hiking through the bush, the little Moosey car, parked on a ski-access road in the forest, was leaking the last of its engine oil. Eek! Initially there were difficulties like no cell phone coverage, passing motorists ignoring two dishevelled old chooks trying to hitchhike (shame on you all)... Phew - a random DOC (Department of Conservation) worker did stop, and sent crackly radio messages to tow trucks and husbands.

Camp Saddle Trip:
You might like to read about this hiking trip in the mountains.

My hiking friend and I agreed - the beauty of the New Zealand mountain and bush scenery defied description. So we settled for phrases like 'big country' and adjectives like 'amazing'. Can I mention the tiny grey grasshoppers which bounced all over the scree rocks. Up so high, and so exposed - brave little critters!

Back to the Moosey world (sheltered, only 90 meters above sea level) I've been keeping watch on the frog in the Moosey pond. She's now quite large, a mixture of olive and brighter greens. I think my frog is female because she is a subtle frog - super-silent, quite shy, and doesn't croak.

 A new rugosa.
Sarah Fleet Rose

Later, Lunchtime...

Blast. The ram is going into the ram paddock, whose edges I have planted with old fashioned roses Non-Gardening Partner is not being helpful regarding a temporary protective fence (I'm sure he said he would do this). OK - after three days off it's time to recreate myself as a mad gardener.

Path Extension

I'm off into the back of the Shrubbery to - ahem - enlarge this garden area. I'm extending the path, spreading mulch, and trying to get an over-view of the whole space in its summer setting.


In a 'use it or lose it' moment I've shut down the small Shrubbery path which led past the Olearia macradonta shrubs. I never go down this path, but one Garden Club lady visitor did, and had to beat a wobbly retreat. The log edging has helped extend the main path, which is now at least five meters longer. I've had to saw off low branches from the pine and gum trees, trim a Pittosporum, and scrape up ground rubbish. I've laid mulch over the top, and things immediately look organised. Hee hee - newspaper and mulch hide a multitude of garden sins.

 This little shrub is a real delight in summer.
Santolina Flowers

It's surprising how easily a new path takes shape - and how nice it feels to be threading a way in-between the large Hump trees. What a pity I didn't get this bit finished before the Garden Club visited. It almost has a mysterious feeling. Wow...

Cat, Book, Cup of Tea Juggling

Then I had an interesting afternoon tea on the shady seats in the Driveway Garden, trying simultaneously to read a book, balance a large cup of tea, and accommodate an extremely large, smoochy, fluffy ginger cat. It's Fluff-Fluff, and his belly fur (which he likes to expose to the air) is covered in sticky biddi-bids. Dear cat!

Rose in the Ram Paddock

I've had the hoses on the old fashioned roses on the edge of the ram paddock. All seem to be growing well, and have survived their rather late summery planting time.

Sunday 14th February

Happy Valentine's Day to my garden - and to Non-Gardening Partner, busily avoiding a library book I borrowed specially for him. It's entitled 'How to Build the Perfect Gazebo', and guarantees that he will disappear out of sight for the day. Anyway, I'll get him later!

Today the wind is down so I'll tidy up the gardens and burn my rubbish. Gum tree bark is lying everywhere, and more roses visibly need dead-heading. I'll finish my latest path under the gum and pine trees, and have a think about how much tidying I want to do in here. I've already scooped out lots of good pine needle mulch and spread it near the roses.

Late Lunchtime...

It's good to be back being a proper gardener again. But I'm finding so many messy areas that I missed in the great tidy-up before the Garden Club visited. The euphoria of having hosted a semi-successful garden tour has worn off.

 There are lots of little bumble bees around my garden at the moment.
Bee on a Delphinium

How can so much have changed in the garden in the last five days? There I was, raking all my paths, blind to the dried out Lychnis and Sally Holmes's dead-heads in the middle of the Island Bed. Blind to the weeping Silver Birch's dreadful need for a trim, and the weeds underneath. All caught up with sewing silly cushions and forgetting the hedge remains (from months ago) still needing to be burnt. Aargh!

 I'm cleaning them up.
Lychnis Seed-Heads


I've brought inside some trimmings off the perennial white flowering Clary Sage, to shake out its seeds on the kitchen bench. Oops - Clary Sage smells horribly like cat pee, so my kitchen is rather fragrant. Sorry, cats - I'll make sure you don't get the blame. It must be some sort of ester...

Right. Back into my garden, the love of my life (my valentine) I go. What should I do? I think I'll keep pulling out and cutting down the old Lychnis plants. Their season in the sun is over.

Where's NGP?

Where's Non-Gardening Partner? If I can find him (my other valentine) I'll ask him to wheel some more rubbish to the bonfire. A smart NGP would find himself too busy taking the dog for a walk or doing the sheep...