Earth day?

Oops. I think I've just celebrated the wrong Earth Day. But to counter that I've found something called Earth Week. Phew - now I feel better. To be honest, I prefer the sound of Earth Year. And shouldn't every gardener's day be an Earth Day anyway? Mine is.

Tiger the Cat is Outside!

Easter Sunday - 24th April

First some news from late yesterday. Tiger the cat was carried outside for a compulsory outdoors experience, while I cleaned the last of the bricks. What a slack cat! She loved it, the sun warming her belly and fluttering autumn leaves to chase. Well, for a few minutes, anyway.

''A watched butterfly never opens its wings.'
-Moosey Words of Wisdom.

I have discovered a new wise saying, to rival 'A watched pot never boils'. It concerns nature photography in the garden. 'A watched butterfly never opens its wings'. I waited and waited and waited over the Chrysanthemums in the Stables Garden, unobtrusive camera, still as a statue, old gardening legs twitching with cramps...

 Sitting on some mellow coloured Chrysanthemum flowers.

Few Nature Photographs

I take so few photographs of nature and wild-life, anyway. My bird companions of the moment are flitting swooping fantails, and they never stay still for a moment. I'm wary of annoying my bees (after getting stung a few times) and often it's too windy to see the butterflies.

This morning's thoughts, on Pond Cottage's verandah with my first cup of tea. The autumn colours are definitely duller. Scattered leaves float in swirly patterns on the pond, and the grass is covered with crunchy dead oak leaves. Minimus the cat sits watching the birds scuttling in the garden mulch, huge eyes in a tiny grey cat-face. Manners please, Minimus. Your jaw is chattering rudely. Share the garden, share the garden...

Typing is interesting with two smoochy purring ginger cats on either side of the computer keyboard - good morning, Percy and Fluff-Fluff, supreme gardening cats. This morning has already gone slightly wrong - Non-Gardening Partner has escaped to 'Fire Practice', and I had such big plans for him. The circle of building with bricks continues - yet another trailer load is waiting to be cleaned. Aargh! Today I am also weeding underneath the roses in the Hazelnut orchard, something which I don't do enough. Eek! So much to do!


Nervous times - I am bidding on a collection of twenty-two Enid Blyton Famous Five books for Pond Cottage. I am not allowed to check the auction - my top price is there, and that's that. Pond Cottage is the perfect place for such back-to-childhood escapist reading, though I would like to register my disapproval at Enid's attitude to canine behaviour. Timmy the dog is encouraged to attack and bite the bad men characters, and is praised when he does so. Today's Dog Ranger would have Timmy for toast...

Much, Much later...

Garden report - first I weeded and tidied roses for two hours, sensibly starting at the far archway, away from the gate. Then it was brick-cleaning time. Yeay! Yippee! Or should I say 'Humph... Anyway, I only cleaned fifteen bricks, but tomorrow is another brick-cleaning day. Aargh!

 Two good reasons to grow New Zealand foliage plants.
Hebe and Phormium

The day has been wonderfully mild, but I'm in a semi-pleasant mood, a tiny bit moochy. I've just done some maths in my head - it's about eight weeks to mid-winter. My goodness - no wonder the evenings get dark so early! And I didn't win the Famous Five books. Far too childish, really...

 A naughty kea teasing Rusty the dog at Arthur's Pass
Kea Outside - Dog Inside

Monday 25th April

No mooching allowed today - I blame that book auction. So silly to wait all day for something that doesn't happen. Hmm... Like Enid Blyton book auctions, like life? So immediately after breakfast I'm going outside to clean bricks, then off to dig out some roses (another auction, this time I won it), then maybe we are going to Arthur's Pass for a tiny day hike. Let those mountains blow away my moochiness.

I'm so cross with myself. I missed two hours of wonderful garden time, and at least I could have been outside admiring the few Compassion roses blooming, or trimming the Lavatera Barnsley and the red Dahlias in the Shrubbery...


I feel heaps better! I've found some more Famous Five books to bid for, I've cleaned nine bricks, I've raked up five bags of oak leaves, and I've cleaned the glass-house ready for the over-wintering plants. I'm back from the rose dig with six beauties - four of them look to my inexperienced eye very much like tea roses. Exciting stuff! And now Non-Gardening Partner and I are off for a drizzly drive to the mountains. We shall see what we shall see. And one really good thing about going on a longish drive - NGP cannot escape! I can talk about my garden plans and pin him down, hee hee.


I'm concerned at the new level of interactive behaviour of the keas (mountain parrots) at Arthur's Pass. Years back I remember them being cautions, canny, cheeky birds. Now they're just awful, 'working' the scenic car park like a bunch of seasoned commercial touts. They even stay on the roof of your car when you drive off. Ha! At least Google can't be blamed for this awakening of bird-power.

 Two of the roses.
Flowers From My New Rose Bushes

I'm really sorry that I got so grumpy yesterday. I even got the sulks with Schumann (who had done nothing to deserve this apart from writing a whole batch of sneaky semiquavers).

Tuesday 26th April

Right. Swimming in the outdoor (brrr...) pool with my friend, then some Charity shopping, then sushi, then sorting out my new roses, which stayed in the trailer but were well rained on last night. These are good conditions for rose relocation - wet and chilly.

 I'm telling him off!
Head Gardener and Kea

I've been thinking. I don't really go anywhere or do anything much. Yet I am driven to chatter on - about going nowhere and doing nothing. Non-Gardening Partner finds Facebook a puzzle for this reason, and asks me what on earth he could write about on his Facebook Page. 'You could tell people about Rusty the dog and the keas' I say. But he remains unconvinced. He lacks the compulsive-chronicler's gene...


Non-Gardening Partner often thinks I'm mad. Better mad than boring, I say. But this afternoon I have been very boring. I've cleaned nine more bricks, and then pruned my six new roses properly and popped them into large pots of moist compost. Thus I have spent a very responsible two hours outside on a cold autumn afternoon. The madness kicks in later tonight, with another auction try to get the complete Enid Blyton's Famous Five books - for Pond Cottage, you understand. I'm reading Beth Chatto's 'A Green Tapestry' (which I think is a gorgeous title for a garden book) in lieu.