I promise...

 On a really short, stubby rose bush.
Mid-Summer Pink Rose

Good morning, January, or what's left of you. I promise to do serious garden maintenance on every remaining day of you. I am going to start this pledge today by raking all the paths near Pond Cottage (my latest obsession).

Tuesday 25th January

But first - I go swimming. Gardeners must stay healthy, nurturing their hearts and lungs, and need balance in their busy lives. Gardening isn't all about bending over here and there to pull out weeds. One needs time and distance to contemplate, and plan - and feel guilty at one's absence? Hey, there's nothing wrong with a little self-induced garden guilt, if it gets the work done.

So that's it then. It's a designated Paths Day. Keeping it pretty simple (KIPS) I should be able to report back with pride.

Much Later...

I am sooooo lucky being a gardener. I love it. I've been in the Wattle Woods, carting barrowfuls of mess away and raking the paths, which are covered with seed pods. But it just took a couple of hours to see drastic visible improvement.

 Hmm - Hot Chocolate? Not sure...
More Summer Roses


I thought about plants I've introduced to the Moosey garden which have definitely been successful. There's Ajuga which spreads so nicely (such a great shady ground cover, and easy to restrain), and Anemanthele grass which provides so many seedlings (easy to pot up or dispose of).

Then I introduced young Minimus (my little grey cat) to Pond Cottage, in which I sat and read. It's always been a dream of mine to own a shed-with-a-bed. Sitting quietly on a mid-summer's afternoon, in my oh so comfortable five dollar armchair, I remembered lying 'underneath' the present floor in a mid-winter rainstorm hand-digging the holes for the foundation posts. Back to the present - fantails flitted in and out of the trees outside the doors, water trickled into the pond, and Minimus warily inspected things, squeaking as she went. It was so peaceful that I fell asleep smiling - like a contented old lady, hee hee, which I sort of am...

And now, in dubious (and giggly) honour of Stu Lamb (my dearly departed pet merino, laid to rest in the orchard, memorial tree to come) I am cooking a lamb 'stew' with wine and red onions. Oops. Thinking of Stu makes me smile - even when pets' lives are sadly short they can be wonderfully entertaining. Dear Stu - my life will always be richer for having reared you.

Wednesday 26th January

Ha! Finally, a Moosey pet who is departing my house and garden in the nicest possible sense of the word. Dear Kaya, the black beauty cat, has left Mooseys to live in her very own house with Son of Moosey.

Goodbye Kaya :
Kaya has her own webpage - and she'll still be eligible for my Most Valuable Pet Competition.

There'll be no other cats to annoy her (or, as in Percy's case, to escort her down the hall and out the cat door). Kaya has enjoyed herself in the country, but she is a street-smart cat, and I know she'll enjoy the different freedoms in her new suburban lifestyle. We'll be keeping in touch!

I must take some pictures of the interior of Pond Cottage to show my budget, hybrid, rustic-victoriana-shabby-chic decorating style. Well, that's what I'm calling it. Hee hee - I've had such fun. One thing I'm wondering - should the cottage be a computer-free zone? But my computer has always sat comfortably on the edge of my everyday garden life...

 Hee hee...
Kettle, Armchair, Bookcase

Stop Buying Things!

But I think I can stop buying little knick knacks, cute embroidered cushions, pretty coffee mugs and the like now. Pond Cottage is finished. My kettle is installed, I have a bookcase of 'new' books to read - all is in readiness for my first big night out. Right. Enough Pond Cottage rambling. I'm off to finish raking the paths in the Wattle Woods.

Just a Couple of Hours Later...

I'd like to mention a couple of plants which are worth their weight in whatever makes plants valuable - chlorophyll? Firstly self-seeding Honesty, which grows in so many of my rough, dry garden areas (underneath Wattles and gum trees, for example). I'd never met Honesty until I came to garden at Mooseys. Secondly, yippee for a mass planting of Agapanthus, totally my idea, plants donated free of charge - they've made large areas in the Wattle Woods look so green and pleasant. This is dry semi-shade, so not all the Agapanthus are flowering. But I love their magnificent evergreen foliage displays.

Bedtime, Hee Hee...

This is it. I take my dressing gown and my radio (the cricket is on) and off I go, to spend my very first night in Pond Cottage. Wish me luck!

Thursday 27th January

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Pond Cottage, my delightful little shed-with-a-bed, is christened, and I am absolutely thrilled with it. The pond at sunrise sparkled with gold. But the evening wasn't without incident - I got well and truly Fluff-Fluffed!

 Silly cat!
Fluff-Fluff on the Cottage Verandah

Fluff-Fluff is my big fluffy gardening cat. Whenever I'm gardening, he is on duty, ever faithful - you could even call it 'needy'. Well, Fluff-Fluff 'found' me in the gathering gloom, snug in my lovely bed in Pond Cottage. His thinking went something like this.

Fluff-Fluff the Cat : Aha! My mother is in bed in the garden! I am her gardening cat - I must keep her company!

And so he was an absolute nuisance - purring and dribbling, paws and nose in my face. After half an hour I'd had enough of this super-smooching, and popped him outside on the verandah, shutting the door. Alas - that wasn't the end. He took up an all night cat-vigil, miaowing, trying to get in the slightly open window, miaowing again - and again... Eventually I did sleep, and woke up with the bellbirds at dawn. He was still there, staring in through the glass door. OK, Fluff-Fluff, back in you come. Mind my hot cup of tea, please.

 Dahlia time!
White Dahlias

I also 'met' the resident Moosey possum (a pest in this country) who climbed into the fork of the silver birch outside my window and made his ghastly gargling sounds. No problem - I grabbed Pond Cottage's broom, and of course he took huge fright and bolted.

Oops Oops Oops - Sorry for Banning You From the Forum!

Now for some silly, embarrassing news this morning. Oops. Oops. Oops. Yesterday I successfully managed to ban absolutely everyone from the Moosey Forums, including myself. I was just doing some spam-weeding, and became a little over-zealous - a bit like taking the blow-torch to a tiny pansy seedling. I am soooo sorry, and hopefully anyone who found themselves banned will forgive and forget. Oops again! What a silly thing to do...

And more embarrassing news - I have successfully bid $1:50 for a gorgeous cane wall unit shaped like a head-high hutch dresser. I cannot in all conscience give the trader just $1:50 for it. Surely what goes around comes around - I will give her a donation of my choosing.

 Tropicanna and Bengal Tiger are the names these cannas are given here.
Striped Canna Leaves

Now it's time to get gardening and make a serious difference out there.


The paths behind Pond Cottage are now clear. One of the Phormiums has had a growth spurt, so I've just moved the edging stones over, digging up and replanting Renga Renga which was in the way. Renga Renga (Arthropodium) is another obliging plant for growing in dry shade. And Mister Fluff-Fluff, my New Very Best Friend Cat, has been ever by my side. I've left him over there to snooze in the Agapanthus - so decorative, and much more languid than Rusty the dog who barks at planes and charges along the paths chasing the pigeons. Well, at least he uses my paths...

There are lots of colourful things to take photographs of. Several of my interesting (in other words, anonymous) garden roses are flowering again, looking beautiful - to use my overworked rose word. And I love the striped leaves of the Canna lilies, looking good with the extra rain we've been having.