Am I enjoying my compost?

 A real beauty.
Plantation Pink Camellia

Non-Gardening Partner has suddenly become very compost-attentive. Am I enjoying my compost? Is it good compost? And when would I like him to get me a new trailer load of compost? Ha! I suspect he's planning a weekend of ski-ing...

Friday 9th September

Aha! I was almost right! But it's today that he's taken off work, to go ski-ing, so his weekend is free to help me with chain-sawing - and driving the trailer to get more compost. I know him soooooo well! He has presented me with a new birthday laptop - fast, whizzy, and scary, and I will definitely have to have clean non-gardening fingers when using it. And no toast allowed within three meters...

Birthday Socks!

The joy of an extendable birthday - I have just seen pictures of some birthday socks, knitted by Daughter-In-Law, (who I love very much). Yippee! Today I am full of the joys of gardens and life and family - which is nice. I've just smiled and nodded in agreement with myself. And now I've gone a bit teary and sniffy, feeling so lucky that I am still alive. Phew! That was a bit close, seven - eight? years ago. But enough.

 Seen through the Appletree Border.
Pond Cottage

The nicest thing about my new birthday socks (here we go again) is this. I'm usually a blue, blue, and only blue person, colour-wise. But every accessory in Pond Cottage (where I 'live') that's been sewed, collected, crocheted, etc. is green - green for the garden foliage I love so much. And my birthday socks have blue and green stripes! So they are Pond Cottage socks.

A Torch, Binoculars, and a Dog...

An important activity in Pond Cottage is drawing sadly to a close. I am now up to book nineteen in my Famous Five Enid Blyton collection. I think there are only two more to go, and then I will have read them all.

 Rusty in the driveway.
Got My Dog-Friend...

Impressions of Childhood

The only impressions I have of my childhood readings (over fifty years ago, eek!) are of the torches and the binoculars, and Timmy the dog. So lucky to have a torch! I wanted one. So funny, now, as I think of my fancy hiking head torch, and the others of all sizes that sit in the emergency basket.

I never got any binoculars, but I do have my own dog-friend, Rusty, and great memories of Tajdog who came (and went) before him. Life would be oh so simple if all one wanted was a torch, some binoculars, and a dog, hee hee...

Right. Thoughts of family and childhood must now be shunted gently sideways as I think about the garden. What should I do in my garden today? Do I need a plan, or can I just drift around with my dog and find things to do? I will quickly vacuum the stairs, have a coffee, and then launch self.

Later, Morning Coffee Time...

Birds do 'talk' to each other, don't they? I've put out an old crust smothered with olive oil spread on their feeder, and there is some definite long-distance squeaking from the few birds on the pergola. You darling little birds! I love you all, and I think you are getting to know me better. It's the first year I've had a semi-proper bird feeding policy.

Go All Blacks :
Rusty has an All Blacks rugby flag on his kennel.

I am resisting the urge to comment upon my clean stairs, and the freshly organised bed for my next, most VIP visitor (Daughter of Moosey, yippee). OK, I could tweet about the vacuuming and how I sprinkled some 'Summer Breezes' fancy smelling powder everywhere, hee hee. But this is a gardening journal, not a journal of housework! I must stick to what I do better, when writing herein. And then there's the small matter of the Rugby World Cup, which starts tonight. Naturally I am gardening in black today...

Not Too Much Later...

Oh dear - I am nowhere near the garden yet, because the bread-maker has just beeped, which means another cup of coffee and a slice of yummy rye bread. It's not allowed near the new laptop, though - I'm going outside on the patio to watch the birdies. I love those birdies! Two cups of coffee before lunchtime - I should be able to stay awake tonight to watch the rugby. The rugby! Aargh! All Blacks versus Tonga, the very first game of the great rugbyfest... Notice how this journal is whizzing around in ever decreasing, very personal circles...

 Behind the Stables.
Almond Tree Blossom

Two Hours Later...

I am testing the theory that having a decent lunch break will re-invigorate and focus me and I will then garden madly until dusk. For so much needs to be done, and I'm so ashamed I took the whole of yesterday off. What was I thinking?

I've been busying myself continuing the Hump clean-up, finding edging logs, weeding, and carting rubbish to the bonfire. This is due to be lit later - it's a beautiful calm sunny day and I don't want to spoil the air.

And Later...

It worked! I've been really, really focused - watering rhododendrons, weeding, spreading compost, stacking firewood logs, raking rubbish - and finally burning it all. The bonfire got so hot that it easily burnt a heap of tough Phormium leaves. I'm inside, clean, and ready for the Rugby World Cup to begin.

A few more spring things to record - the first little blue Muscari, lots more self-sown pansies, and lots more daffodils. The Almond trees are now covered in pink blossom while the earlier Prunus blossom is gently fluttering down like falling snow on my head. Snow! No, no, no, I didn't mean it...

Another rhododendron in the Wattle Woods has started opening its flower buds - it's that President Roosevelt chap, who has lost most of his variegation. Careless!

 Pretty kitty!
Hello Lilli-Puss

Saturday 10th September

Today I've been weeding - such a small-minded activity when a gardener is not in the appropriate finicky, fussy, miniature mood. However I have stuck at it, and the Stables garden is much improved, I've spread compost around, not trodden on any irises or bulbs, and even found some roses which missed my pruning regime. All is good in the garden. Lilli-Puss has been keeping me company and I've been listening to Scotland almost get beaten by Romania in the rugby.

The birthday brunch was fun, and my friends all bought items for the Salvation Army food bank in lieu of presents. It's also the day of the garden gnome auction, and if someone else wants to pay big money (bigger than mine) for garden gnomes, then let them, I say. I am logging off the auction now - what will be will be, gnomewise.

Twin Lambs

Great news for the farm - our second pregnant merino ewe has had twin lambs. All three are toddling happily around the paddock, and the barn is available for shelter tomorrow if any forecast rain arrives. The early boy lamb is now more than eight weeks old, and is fascinated by the newcomers.

Unknown Red Rhododendron

Always Losing Plant Labels

I'm always losing plant labels and therefore don't know (or can't remember) the names of my plants. Well, a rhododendron with its label left on has flowered for the first time, over on the edge of the Frisbee Lawn. Yippee! I'm learning from my mistakes. I gave it some compost, took a photograph, and checked. Ha! Written on by the nursery 'Rhododendron Unknown Seedling, $10'. So it's not just me! It's red, by the way.

Right - I'm back off outside to do something else. Please not weeding. More cleaning up of the pine firewood logs, perhaps? Must try not to inhale too much pine pollen...

Much Later...

Four birthday gnomes are mine! This idea of having an extendable birthday week is a great excuse to buy things for the garden. Maybe I could grab some birthday roses before it's too late? Maybe not - first I need to find proper places for two roses I have in pots. One is May Queen, and the other is Kew Rambler, which I suspect needs a garden as big as Kew to spread itself. But four new gnomes - what a treat!