Hoses on...

 The pink rose is Appleblossom Flower Carpet.
Catmint and Roses

The hot nor-west summer winds continue to blow, and every hour the garden dries out more. Aargh! Hoses on, buckets of water - the big whooshy irrigation can't go on overnight when the wind blows so fiercely. I need to get the garden ready for Christmas.

Wednesday 22nd December

So what do real gardeners do in the middle of a wind-noisy mid-summer's night? Hmm... a rather loaded question that, but let me give the correct answer.

They wake up worrying that their seedlings in the glasshouse need watering. They contemplate getting a torch and wandering outside to be blown away - perhaps they'll catch the lunar eclipse at the same time. Alas - the moon and the seedlings miss out. They finally fall asleep again.

Then later, early that morning when the summer sun has risen, they do water the remaining plants which are baking in the glasshouse - lime green Nicotianas and Salvias, a row of pelargonium and daisy cuttings, and shamefully discover some Dianthus and Lobelia which haven't even been pricked out yet.

'Good gardeners are supposed to pay attention to the tiny things.'
-Moosey Words of Wisdom.

Eek - how could they have forgotten all these little treasures? And where's the sensible forward planning? These seedlings may be tiny, but good gardeners are supposed to think ahead and pay attention to the tiny things. Yes? YES! Even the tiniest.

And there are huge pieces of gum tree bark and branches all over the lawns. These lawns are dreadfully long and desperately need mowing, so they make all the garden borders look messy. It is definitely the lawn-mower's fault that the garden looks so unkempt. And whoever dead-headed the roses two days ago missed a whole lot...

 Delphinium and Alstromeria
Summer Flowers

The new Glamis Castle roses are pretty but unspectacular (they're very dumpy in stature, and won't stand up to the nearby Echinacea and Shasta daisies). Ivey Hall, on the other hand, is in the rudest of rude health - that's a compliment - with stunning new foliage and bud growth. Whoever dead-headed this rose did a brilliant job. The enigmatic Guy Savoy (he's a rose as well as a chef) needs attention, and the whole of the Glass-House Garden needs watering.

Please address all other complaints, in writing, to the Head Gardener, who will jolly well fix everything up today in time for Christmas - or else.

 By Willow Bridge.
Gardening Cat and Dog

Thursday 23rd December

I have a complaint. The big winds make gardening far too noisy, and there's little pleasure in the gardening atmosphere. Fluff-Fluff the cat has been a bit spooked by the noises, particularly when small tree branches crash down near him. And thanks a bunch to the wind for bringing down the huge limb off the variegated elm behind the woodshed. I almost walked into it in the darkness last night (well, I guess I wasn't concentrating, but Head Gardeners have the right to wander willy-nilly through their gardens with their eyes half-shut).

I refuse to do any gardening until this dry hot wind stops. So there. But I am available for watering...

Friday 24th December - Christmas Eve

Yippee! The lawns were mowed last night - my excuse for not doing any of the house gardens. The wind has died down - phew. And I am returning to my garden, somewhat sheepishly, after many days of neglect. But, as I declaimed to Rusty the dog, bored with indoor life, I am a gardening legend, right? And gardening legends garden in their own time, right?

Later, Lunchtime...

Ha! I am back. I have cleaned up two barrow loads of rubbish and planted one barrowload of flowers - daisies in the Driveway Border, cosmos and pansies in the house gardens. I have watered and trimmed edges and sadly pulled out heaps of flopping white Lychnis. The norwest gales have flattened a lot of the growing vegetation - dahlias (which I never stake and should have), variegated Schrophularia, Shasta daisies. Some daylily clumps have been battered to the ground, and there is much mess. The variegated elm tree lost a big branch, but that has been chopped up into firewood.

 With Rusty the dog and Tiger the cat.
Christmas in the Moosey Garden 2010

And soon it will be Christmas Day. I've gone a bit silly organising a Secret Santa Snatch game, where I have enough presents to run three or four rounds. Hee hee - there are some incredibly obvious gardener's gifts which I am hoping I can end up with. Even Rusty the dog has five presents, and pretty much everything is recycled, bought from Charity shops.

Christmas Day

Merry Christmas, everyone. The Moosey house has been whizzing with excitement all day. Daughter of Moosey prepared a wonderful gourmet Christmas brunch. My silly Santa Snatch game was groovy, and all the proper presents were great - recycled, hand-made, and just perfect. Well, I think so.

Then three of us went for a Christmas hike with Rusty the dog in the Craigieburn Forest Park. We had an extremely modest Christmas dinner sitting on the spongy ground of Dracophyllum Flat, surrounded by ranges and ridges and blue, blue sky - yet another magical moment (a half-day, actually) in the New Zealand mountains.

 An easy little hike.
Christmas Afternoon - Dracophyllum Flat

As usual, description (by me, at least) just doesn't work. Perhaps I need to attend a creative writing course in the New Year? Hmm...

What Fluff-Fluff Thinks of Christmas...

No Christmas Gardening...

Oops - I haven't done a scrap of Christmas gardening, but I did water the tomatoes in the patio planter bags. And I've been for a walk into the orchard to eat some raspberries. All the cats have enjoyed their Christmas presents (gourmet cat food tins and toys). Rusty the dog is frightened of his Christmas dried pig's ear, though. Oh dear - what a wimp.

Now I'm off to bed with my book, written by an imperious Englishman about walking from Toul to Rome. He doesn't seem to have any problem describing the mountain passes and tracks at all - as well as ridiculing the local characters (the traditional travel writer's trick). And he's always drinking wine - in the mornings, for lunch, etc. This is just silly.

I hope your Christmas Day has been lots of fun but not too silly, and full of warmth and human kindness - and feline, canine, avian, equine, and so on.