Room for more roses...

 With a blue-green, broad leaf.
New Snowdrops

My month of August is going to be well guided by the august presence of the Moosey Head Gardener (me). But August is exciting - it's nearly spring. I have room for some more roses, and it is the rose-planting season, hee hee...

Monday 1st August

Today's gardening efforts were lovely and lightweight, and, as befits this new month of August, I gave an impressive and respected performance - well, respected by Rusty the dog and Fluff-Fluff the cat, anyway!

I finished little things! For example, the Lavender Garden by Rusty the dog's kennel is now newly planted with irises, cleared of rubbish, all its lavenders are trimmed and all its roses are pruned.

Lucky me - a friend has given me a chunk of the peony with the pet name 'Molly the Witch'. It had lots of fat buds, and hopefully enough roots to survive. It's going in the Birthday Rose Garden tomorrow.

My Best Winter Gardening Cat - And My Best Friend

Fluff-Fluff decided he was my best friend as well as my best winter gardening cat, and lurked underneath the Agapanthus as I scraped and weeded. I almost raked him up with the gum leaves at one stage, bit it didn't put him off. Then, returning from my bonfire, I found him on the driveway lying completely still, legs in the air, sun on his tummy.

 This pose is the most appropriate for publication.
Fluff-Fluff the Cat Relaxing

For an instant I was frightened - he looked totally dead! Aargh! His whiskers twitched and I grabbed the camera - Fluff-Fluff's unashamed poses are spectacular. This cat knows how to relax.

Tuesday 2nd August

Today I am going to continue my good garden works. Neither snow, nor rain, nor rallies of protesting weeds will stop me. Snow and rain are, however, unlikely. But I know what I need - some huge trailer-loads of compost to supplement my own scrappy, seedy piles. Perhaps I could get a truck-load delivered?


I came inside to an ominous scattering of fluffy feathers all over the kitchen floor, and four large cats draped nonchalantly over the kitchen bench. Aargh! I looked for the corpse. But no - instead I nearly trod on a huge and somewhat dazed blackbird. Aha! Be still, my beating heart! Grab, squeak (all cats suddenly regaining interest), then outside to a merciful release. Off he/she flew into the crab-apple tree. Those cats - I feed them so well, this is really unnecessary behaviour.

Rusty's Kennel :
Rusty's Lavender Garden is by his dog kennel.

I've delivered my own compost, personally, by green wheelbarrow, to the new area by Rusty's Lavender Garden. And then, checking on the Frisbee Border, I found a couple of last year's new yellow roses, completely shaded and squashed. So I moved them into the daylight here, behind the dwarf Agapanthus clumps.

And then I burnt my rubbish and congratulated myself on another day of happy fortitude. In other words, I didn't zoom to the rose nursery to buy a carload of new roses. And I didn't get bored...

 And blue winter sunshine!
Mountain Beech Trees

Wednesday 3rd August

Oh dear. I've been busy doing important non-gardening things. I've been thinking, though, about what brilliant winter gardening music Rachmaninov's piano concerti are. The musical textures and themes are so lush that deciduous trees and bare shrubs become instantly green, bursting with beautiful glossy leaves, and all the rose bushes become plump and flower-heavy. Funny though - I don't see any weeds...

Thursday 4th August, Late...

My friend and I have just done THE hiking day-trip in the Canterbury foothills for the shorter mid-winter days. We've been up Mount Richardson, over the Blowhard track which runs for 3.2km along the tops (it runs, we don't). Then down the Bypass track - the home stretch, which always stretches out for far too long, with challenging descents for my tiring, aging legs. After five hours my knees almost stop working altogether...

The round trip takes us six hours (including short stops for lunch and philosophising, photography of splendid views, etc.). It's a big, big day, with big, big pride at the end - we've enjoyed ourselves so much, had such brilliant winter weather, not got into trouble, had great food and company... Forget the knees!

 The trig stands at 1047m.
Mount Richardson

About an hour from home there's a simple wooden plaque just off the track - 'Remembering Peter, May 4th'. Dear Peter - we had afternoon tea with you, sharing this very special spot. I'm so sorry we never met you. This part of the forest is so beautiful...

 In the Wattle Woods.
Spiky Red Camellia

Friday 5th August

Today after swimming (my recovery session for the hiking knees) I'm going to gently garden, all day, thoughtfully, and beam encouragement at all the little spring bulbs just showing through the soil. I promise not tread on any. I'll also be checking (and photographing) Camellias, making sure that every one of these lovely shrubs is growing well in a sensible position. Right. That will take the whole month of August, and some!


I've only worked for three hours, at an extremely gentle pace, but not to worry. I've put more compost, horse manure, and ash on the Lavender Garden (which is getting bigger, hence the soil improvements). I've weeded along the water race and behind the glass-house, shifting penstemons into a sunnier spot. It's really very simple - Penstemons need sun. And now - the weekend looms large! Even though I'm retired, a weekend is still rather special - and there's Non-Gardening Partner to organise.

Love those Camellias, by the way!