Autumn is allowed to start early...

Autumn in my garden is allowed to start early. Some locals look to the first of March, others go with the equinox. I'll go with my gardening feelings - it's started! The dahlias suddenly look disgraceful, early leaves are fluttering down, my lawns are getting back to being lush and green... And finally my tomatoes are ready for picking. So slow!

Saturday 27th February

I've been outside already this chilly autumnal morning (wrapped in a woolly cardigan) calling and calling for Lilli-Puss - no sight nor sign of her. But then Kaya the friendly new black cat popped up out of the garage to say hello. If Kaya can so easily work out how to live in a new place with other cats, then why can't Lilli-Puss? I'm stepping back - from now on Lilli-Puss chooses her own cat-destiny.

 Photographed in the late afternoon sun.
Anemanthele Grasses and Phormiums

Gardenwise I've seen what needs doing - the Lychnis plants are really and truly over, and the dahlias need dead-heading. But there's beautiful colour everywhere - many of my roses are now blooming again, and need appreciating. A small detail of garden maintenance - several red cordylines need to be sprinkled with talcum powder (caterpillars) and, naturally, the paths and the driveway need raking.

 A single red in the Flower Carpet series.
Scruffy Red Roses

A Sneaky Plan

I have a sneaky plan - this morning after swimming I am taking Non-Gardening Partner out to breakfast, which I will pay for. Then I will ask him ever-so-nicely if he could finish digging out my bonfire ash. I'll also fill the trailer with my new garden burning rubbish, which I'll ask him to help with. It's not a good day for burning, though.

Much Later, After Four Hours Gardening...

Huge apologies to my garden, but it is just too hot to work outside any longer. I think summer has come back! The new garden is much improved - more paths are organised, and more rubbish removed. Anyway, I've come inside to get some dirt out of my eye, have a drink of water (love that water), and do some web-gardening.

Poor Non-Gardening Partner has had a cow of a day (that's a rather 'bovinist' phrase). Not only did I forget to take my wallet to the breakfast restaurant, but I made him pick up bags of smelly horse manure in HIS car on the way home. Then the fire siren went off, and he hasn't been seen since. Rural volunteer fire fighters do a great job, their hottest work often occuring on the hottest days...

Sunday 28th February

Right. Today I will take lots of breaks, and I will vary the tasks I do. I might do some planting in the new garden, as well as seeing to the old. How about a heart-lift? Some big gardening results for little gardening work...

Last night was not very relaxing. First a cat altercation with much shrieking and howling (Minimus, the littlest, is the loudest). Then the roadside fire alarm went off, and Rusty the dog in his kennel started 'singing' along.

 Photographed on Willow Bridge.
Minimus the Grey Cat

Then I woke up out of a dreadful dream and turned on the radio to a Tsunami warning for locals in Banks Peninsula (waves are expected after the earthquake in Chile). Better safe than sorry, after the devastation in the Indian Ocean.

No Lists Today...

I'm not going to write a list today. I'm going to get the wheelbarrow and my bucket of garden hand tools, start over by the Car Bridge, and wander slowly along the water race nipping and clipping. I will say hello again to my roses and all the other lovely things flowering (Echinacea, yellow perennial daisies). I will cut back or pull out Lychnis. I'll even wear my crocs so I can get in the water if necessary.

 See - the garden behind still looks beautiful!
Weeds in the Wheelbarrow

Later. Lunchtime...

It isn't fair. It's just not fair. I work so jolly hard in one area of my garden, I miss out another for a few weeks and pouff! Weeds, weeds, weeds - not just little green annual pop-ups but nasty creeping perennial grasses, gorse and broom seedlings as tall as my knees.. I'll try and deflect the moment by making a list of beautiful, positive things...

  1. I trimmed a hebe immediately after flowering.
  2. The rose English Elegance is being - English and elegant? It's lovely...
  3. The tsunami alert has been downgraded.
  4. This cup of coffee is wonderful...

That was a bit of a struggle, but I got there. I'm going back outside now - I'm not too sure whether I should keep on weeding (and getting grumpy) or wheel more mulch over to the new garden (and get grumpy).


I'm back after an 'if you can't beat them join them' session (with respect to the weeds). I've done two more hours weeding, keeping it simple, telling myself that the water race gardens are bound to look better after two more hours weeding. And they do. Ha!

 I love these flowers.
Echinacea and Bee

I've flitted around taking photographs of bees on flowers and roses and generally nice things. Drooping shasta daisies and messy Lychnis have been allowed, just to keep a balance. And now, just when I'm feeling rather chirpy, I'm off to the T20 cricket international in town, where Australia will absolutely annihilate New Zealand and possibly render me even gloomier than I was. Aargh!

An Even Later Footnote

O me of little faith - WE WON!!!! Hurray and yippee!