Little things are lovely!

 With Rusty the dog in the photograph as well...
Pale Pink Blossom

Hee hee. There are some tiny signs of spring, not that I'm boasting. The palest prunus blossom, little primroses, even a few early daffodils and one pale pink camellia flower. Hee hee. Little things are lovely!

What's Flowering in Your Garden?

My plant collector friend, however, is rather the opposite. Since I didn't ask, he crows in his latest e-mail, the following are flowering in his garden:

'a drift of Cyclamen coum, numerous snowdrops, at least five types of Iris reticulata (or close allies), Irs Sindpers, Narcissus bulbicodium types, two different Ranunculus species...'

See what I have to put up with! Aargh! But I've got some Cyclamen coum and though they have the hugest little leaves (if that makes sense) I regret there are no flowers. Blast!

Thursday 12th August

Yesterday I went been hiking in the foothills, or do I mean the 'footmountains'? Bright blue skies, magnificent snow, panoramic views - aagh! I'm sounding like a tourist brochure...

 Thanks to my friend Dr. Lewis for allowing me to use his photograph.
On Top of Mount Thomas

Mount Thomas, at 1032m above sea level, offers a neat little all-day trip for Head Gardeners with half-decent legs having the day off. Soar up a mysterious forested gully through slushy snow, have lunch standing underneath drooping branches (slurp - another dollop of snow slides off, onto the head, and down the back of the neck). Then glide up onto the crisp white tops, across to a trig, and enjoy a knee-jerking plunge down, down, down a forestry track.

Note to Older Head Gardeners

Slumping in a fireside chair post-hike and refusing to move, getting Non-Gardening Partner to serve supper, munching an anti-inflammatory tablet, and then going straight to bed instead of out to choir practice, are not admissions of infirmity and decline (whether taken separately or together). Oh my dear knees!

Pond in Winter :
I am very lucky to have a pond to garden behind!

Today - ha! I'm back from walking my dog, and visiting the new garden behind the pond to contemplate what's next. It's spitting rain, and I'm feeling a little half-hearted (there are ruder ways of putting this), so I'm back inside with a hot coffee. Allow me to put down some rational garden thoughts.

I saw at least eight spindly gum trees which I want to come down. I'll be lucky to engage NGP for more than four of them - he has a serious allergy to cutting down trees. But his chain-saw does in five minutes what I do in five hours (well, almost). Today I could start clearing, just as far as the fence at the top of the Hump, no further. If I was sensible I'd wait for the trailer and load it, rather than wandering back and forth to the bonfire (a journey of some kilometres if I keep it up all day). Hmm...

 Very pretty flowers.
Lemon Primroses

But I'm going to slurp my coffee and play the piano for half an hour first. Hurray for Claude Arrieu, a woman, who has written a rather delightfully cute flute and piano sonata. And boo to Lennox Berkeley who tried and failed dismally (in my musically arrogant opinion).

 Careful now!
Percy and Tiger

Much Later...

Things don't have to be finished in one day. I tell myself this after only three hours gardening - I knew I wasn't 'in the mood'. But I've made a good start on my clearing mission, and I burnt my rubbish in a rather too blustery bonfire. It was one of those Sod's Law moments, the wind appearing just as I lit the match. Now I definitely need some chain-saw action this weekend.

Oops. I've just bought a couple of white cane chairs and a little table. They are going on the verandah of Pond Cottage, and they must be the last garden seats I ever buy. I have enough now! It's time to stop spending money on garden accessories, and divert any excess funds into buying compost, pig manure, and pea straw. Fair enough? Fair enough!

Friday 13th August

Hmm... I need some large scale vision to plan (ha! a neglected word in the Moosey gardening vocabulary) the planting of the garden behind the pond. I'm a bit stumped trying to imagine how this area will be used. How much traffic will it get, and where will the traffic want to go? This obviously affects the routing of the paths, and I suspect the so-called 'traffic' is actually just me. Hmm...

Cherish Large Trees...

Will it be viewed more from afar than within? I can see the top bit from the house. Then there are those dratted pine trees. How many, if any, can I negotiate to come down? They are dominators, and spoilers of light, but they make wonderful statements never-the-less. I don't need wholesale tree slaughter... One should cherish large trees and have a jolly good reason for felling them (plus lots of money).

'Think, think, think - and then think some more.'
-Moosey Words of Wisdom.

Right. Serious advice to self. Think, think, think - and then think some more. Don't dig or saw down anything. Remember that summer means irrigation, and don't become fixated with rhododendrons.

Much Later...

I only had time for a couple of hours, and all I did was clear rubbish and rake it into piles. There is more garden area that I thought. It's too easy to be seduced by the richly mulched moist earth (it was raining) and think of a rhododendron glade with drifts of bluebells and beautiful old roses towering into the treetops. Ha! I must remember this is an old sandhill.

+20My reclusive grey cat Lilli-Puss was keeping me company when big Fluff-Fluff arrived, terribly affronted (and twice as fat). This giant of cats is, however, extremely light-footed, and he chased Lilli off across the garden, up and over into the front sheep paddock. Minutes later he wandered nonchalantly back to me and took up an appropriate cat-company position underneath an Olearia. Hmm - thou shalt have no other gardening cats but me?

Saturday 14th August

Hmm... Non-Gardening Partner escaped to go skiing, so I've been working alone in the new gardens behind the pond. Every time I've barrowed out a load for the bonfire I've barrowed in some pea straw. I had late afternoon tea sitting on the verandah of Pond Cottage (I love my cottage), wishing I hadn't run out of energy.

Pond Cottage :
I am very lucky to have a pond, and a cottage, and a compliant Non-Gardening Partner!

But nothing particularly needs to be finished on Saturday 14th August. For example, Sunday 15th August is just around the corner, with a NGP at home who should be only too willing to help me (chain sawing, filling the trailer with rubbish, perhaps working on the interior of Pond Cottage) Yippee for ski-guilt, I say...

In preparation for tomoroow, however, I will record two tasks. Please would the Head Gardener remember to dig up and divide the clump of daylilies in the Driveway Garden, and also prune a minimum of fifty roses. Done.