Landscaping my new wriggling stream...

I've started seriously landscaping my new wriggling stream through the Wattle Woods. It's hugely exciting have gently running water (and a gently sloping garden) to play with. And a little pond. There will be much watery dribbling and gushing in the journal this week...

 The destination of the wriggling stream.
Wattle Woods Pond

Sunday 18th December

Phew! After an extremely 'solid' night's sleep (thanks to a mugful of red wine) I'm ready to face a day full of garden maintenance. I will pace myself carefully. It's sad that the peony flower-heads have all flopped over in the heavy rain. I blame the hybridiser, naturally. Or should that be unnaturally? Anyway I'm going to collect survivors (including a brace of fluffy pink Sarah Bernhardts) for the house.

 Time even to dead-head the daylilies...

Let the Dead-Heading Begin

And it's rose dead-heading time. There are also lots of bendy rose flower canes for the house vases. And most of the daylilies are flowering - they, too, need to be dead-headed. There are weeds galore in the vegetable garden. And the longest hedge in the world (well, in my world) waits for its trimmings to be cleaned up. And I need a trailer-load of river stones for my wriggling stream through the Wattle Woods. And, and, and...

This is all shaping up to look horribly like a list of things to do. Aargh! Better start 'knocking some of the bastards off', so to speak (thanks, Sir Ed Hillary).

Much Later...

Well, I've been raking and wheeling and burning all day, and I've made such little visual progress. But I have faith!

I zipped down to the local nursery on my break to buy some garden scissors, secateurs, and a hand scraper. The theory is as follows: having thus spent sixty dollars (ouch) I will be shamed into looking after these priceless garden hand tools. They won't get lost (like my two dollar scraper and my four dollar scissors). I also bought some sale price Pittosporums and Lavenders. And now I'm off to sing in a Carol Service, so I've washed the smoke out of my hair. I dislike burning. I don't enjoy having a bonfire.

 Why I like to grow these shrubs.
Bee on a Hebe

Monday 19th December

Waking up to lingering damp smoke - in the cottage, in the garden (I went to check the little pond) - not good, not good at all. So I have a new plan. I'll totally clean out the underneath of the hedge, which has mainly dry rubbish and logs cut up for next winter's firewood. Then I'll stash the hedge trimmings there. They can spend the next months drying out.

In Pond Cottage with my early morning cup of tea I also did some brilliant garden designing. It's to do with the interface (?) between my paths and my wriggling stream in the Wattle Woods. Oh, before I forget, my radio tells me that four thousand New Zealanders hurt themselves last year on garden paths. Ouch!

The lower path will be slightly re-routed (a Hebe might have to be dug out, no loss) and the garden path-walker will at this stage hop over the stream to the other side. I'd like to get hold of a tiny arched bridge. The middle path will simply stop at the stream, with a little seat, and I'll block off any exit through the garden by shifting the big Agapanthus clumps. Ha!

 With its new curve!
Lower Wattle Woods Path

Four Hours Later...

Either I am the slowest path-shifter in the gardening world, or paths take ages to shift. But I've also been planting (the four Pittosporums), shifting plants (Agapanthus) and barrowing in loads of compost which I'm digging from underneath the hedge. But we won't mention the hedge (I haven't raked any of the mess up).

The lower Wattle Woods path now curves through two Hebes, and lines up with the path on the other side of the stream. It looks great. I also placed lots more stones in and around the stream. I'm slowly getting it organised. My bucket of wasabi is planted on the pond's edge, where a tiny bit of water seeps out. I'm growing it for the foliage.

Tuesday 20th December

How exciting! Non-Gardening Partner has promised to build me two little wooden bridges to span the Wattle Woods stream. I've worked out something - judicious green things planted at the approaches and on the sides will make the bridges look natural. Aha! And something else- little bridges are essential. Polite garden visitors keep to the paths, and might not want to leap across the stony stream bed (even if it's leapable).

'Garden maintenance stifles the random and creative.'
-Moosey Words of Wisdom.

Guess what I'm going to start with today? I'm weeding the vegetable garden and planting my lone courgette plant. Then I'm shifting the strawberry pots onto the patio, since I've worked out they need better sun. Then - who knows? Sorry about this, but I do have a list in my head. Garden maintenance does that to a gardener - it stifles the random and creative.

 In the Cottage garden.
Pearly White Roses

Later, Lunchtime...

Grr... I want faster, stronger fingers. Context - have done a lunchtime practice of Brahms's D Minor piano-violin sonata, up to speed, hitting approximately half the notes on offer and making up the rest. Finger-enhancing drugs are appealing. Of course, I could just accept the fact that I am not an elite concert pianist, and slow down.

 Sorry, not sure what this is called.
The Colours of Christmas

I've brewed a second consolation cup of coffee, and discussed the problem with Rusty the dog. He agrees with me. Dogs are good like this - whatever I say, he agrees.

Christmas Music

Anyway, I do more practice (she muttered petulantly) than my violinist, Non-Gardening Partner, who isn't driven to do battle with Brahms's music in his Christmas week. Too many Christmas mince pies, Christmas cake, and chocolates, I reckon.

But my pre-Christmas gardening has been great! Now I'm off to pick up some bags of horse manure, and then I'm re-routing the middle Wattle Woods path. I've decided it can't just stop - garden seat or no garden seat - nor can it be decommissioned (I like it). The immediate area is planted with newish Agapanthus which is easy to shift around.

Right. Time to get the mind off the music and into the garden. Where's my dog? He can be my gardening company as well as listening company.