Good Morning, 2013...

 Name unknown, late to flower.
Apricot Roses

A very good morning to my whistling bellbirds, my pond with resident garden gnomes, Minimus the Pond Cottage cat, my lovely summer garden, and good morning to the New Year, 2013 (which is a deficient number, being less than the sum of its factors, poor thing). Hope this isn't an omen for the gardening year...

Any New Years' Resolutions? I've only got four that are interesting. Others, like 'I promise to brush my hair properly each day', are fairly unspectacular, and I won't stick to them anyway.

I've narrowed the official, public list down to three short dictums for the garden. Dictums? What exactly are dictums? Words, more like.

New Years' Resolutions

And for my personal, private life (which isn't that much larger than my gardening life) I am adding the following:

To explain, I am allowed to be silly, to celebrate silliness in the silliest ways, to enjoy being silly, and to actively engage in the pursuit of silliness. Ha!

 An example of supreme silliness?
Garden Gnomes by the Pond

Tuesday January 1st

So far this year I've sat in the cottage drinking coffee and writing general gardening nonsense. And I'm excited - I've won some Enid Blyton books in an online auction (a few Secret Sevens, and some from the Mystery series). This is part of my 'Enjoy Regressing to Childhood While I Still Know What's Happening' scheme. I'm now thinking about bidding on a Noddy and Mr Plod cup and saucer...

Back to the Garden...

But back to the garden, which I haven't been in yet this year. Huge, dry, hot winds are blowing, but I'm tough. So had some of my rhododendrons better be, because they are moving today. OK, I know it's midsummer, but that's their problem.

Chrysomanicum :
Chrysomanicum Rhododendron has its own page in my rhododendrons section.

I will provide much watering, and honestly - Chrysomanicum will never even notice. It can't sulk any more than it is at the moment.

Anyway, I have faith! I once threw a Saffron Queen into a rubbish pile underneath the Leyland hedge, and rescued it three years later as it was bravely flowering...


Yes! I've cleared two barrowfuls of weeds and mess. Most of my work has been in the Wattle Woods, into which I've moved that rhododendron. Its roots were completely dry. Poor thing! The wind has roared all day, and the garden is already drying out. I wonder if I can have the big irrigation on again tonight? No point if it's too windy.

 Yippee for summer!
Yellow Summer Daisy

Wednesday 2nd January

This morning we are going swimming, followed by sushi, and then I am going to look at other rhododendrons sulking in the Driveway Garden. It may be silly (hee hee) to shift them in midsummer, but they deserve a better garden life. The side garden in the pond paddock is another possible destination. Several pink roses in here are misplaced, since it gets very shady in summer.

 Catmint, annuals, and a beautiful shining green Phormium.
Summer Garden


Silly weather! It's nor-west, but the hot winds are so strong that the rain in the mountains is being blown right over onto my garden. I'm not so keep to garden in this, so I've decided to do indoors things. Any rain is good rain, though. And I had a re-think about those other rhododendrons. I might leave them there, but pile on food, compost, and perhaps some topsoil. Not silly?

Thursday 3rd January

Today I have been totally sensible. The water race has been down (the Waimakariri River which feeds it is totally in flood), so I've been doing some urgent waterside weeding and stone repairs. During the second session the water started reflowing. How quickly it builds up and deepens! A trap for the unwary (for example, a gardener whose jeans are not rolled up above the knees). I've also had to chop down three huge Gunnera leaves to clear the access over Willow Bridge.

 So easy to walk in without getting wet!
The Water Race is Low

Oh, just in case anyone is wondering, I will not be mentioning the cricket test which New Zealand is playing against South Africa in South Africa at the moment. It is even more embarrassing than finding a huge, head-high dock weed which must have flowered weeks ago and is now happily dropping seeds amongst my new dahlias.

More Enid Blyton Books...

Tomorrow I pick up nine new Enid Blyton books featuring 'Fatty', the master of disguise. This is most exciting, though persuading Non-Gardening Partner to give me a cash float to pay for them may be another matter... Headlines: Moosey Head Gardener unable to be located in own garden. Large, slightly arthritic, disguised gnome spotted by the pond path doing some weeding...