Bless the rains...

 With cabbage trees and flaxes.
Autumn Trees

Exciting news - a southerly should be arriving this afternoon, like a jolly, visiting maiden aunt bustling into the garden, laden with goodies - namely rain, rain, and more rain. Welcome, welcome, you are most welcome! Please enjoy your visit to my garden...

Sunday 17th March, Later...

I gardened until the first drops of wet stuff fell on my nose and started dripping down the back of my neck. Daughter of Moosey was coming over for a meal, so I'd been weeding and tidying my vegetable garden to set a good non-frivolous gardening example. I felt truly down-to-earth-motherish, harvesting potatoes and salad leaves for our meal.

I intended to present her with some giant canary yellow marrows - ghastly things, taste-wise. Believe me - there's a limit to the number of chocolate cakes and muffins one can bake simply to use up a surfeit of obese yellow zuchinis. I might just hide them in her car, hee hee...

Monday 18th March

Wonderful. It rained and rained all day, and that has been the very best thing for the garden, and for the farms around us. Many parts of New Zealand are experiencing a summer drought, and the hills and paddocks are cracked and dry.

 One of my new David Austins.
Lady of Megginch Rose

So I didn't do any gardening, though Rusty the dog and I went for several misty walks down the road to discuss my dire financial situation. I have zero money to spend at any of the Easter nursery plant sales. Worse than zero. The sales tables and bargain bins will miss me this year.

No New Roses!

And no new roses! Blast. I would love to get some more David Austins...

Rusty wasn't very helpful, preferring to chase a very large, dopey female pheasant. The silly bird raced along the grass verge in front of us, legs flapping, seemingly forgetting it could (and should) lift-off.

A Rain Song

I'm so relieved that the rains have come. And it's a funny thing. My friends and I are rehearsing a pop song, written by Toto, all about blessing the rains in Africa.

Wouldn't it be nice if we've given power to the air up there, and have drawn the clouds towards my garden with our lovely singing? A rain song, hee hee...

Tuesday 19th March

The garden is gorgeously wet. I love it! The lawns are still squelshy underfoot, and the greenery drips over my clothes as I brush past. Huge thank-yous to the rain aunty...

 Snoozing in the sun.
Percy the Cat

Vet Visits

Today has been a vet visit day for Rusty's second joint-health injection, and Lilli's second FIV vaccination. Percy's blood test has confirmed his original FIV diagnosis. However he has put on much weight, and is now in good shape.

FIV is not fatal for cats, and there's no need for drugs for him at this stage. We monitor him, hoping that he stays in good health. Dear Percy!

Histeria doesn't go to the vet. She took one look at the cat cage in the kitchen this morning and ran away. Her memories of early wild kitten-hood (being trapped and caged for four weeks) have obviously scarred her. As she would my arms, if I tried to catch her. At such times she is my 'wild cat Hissy'. I respect her attitude, but then she has to take her chances.

 From outside the hut.
Looking at Trudge Col

Wednesday 20th March

Today has been a huge seven hour hiking day for me - I went with the local group up to the Hawdon Hut in Arthur's Pass. It is the most beautifully 'soft' walk, with much of the track either in the bush or on the grassy river flats.

The new hut sits in a clearing high above the Hawdon River, and trees have been felled to create 'natural' wood seats with a view up a side valley to Trudge Col.

Aargh! Nothing like an honest descriptive name (like Mount Misery, Mount Horrible, and that darling Disappointing River in Tasmania) to prick my interest...

I'll Be Back...

Anyway, I plan to return with Non-Gardening Partner, and perhaps stay at the hut for a few days. We could explore some more - there's a route leading to Walker Pass, and further into the wilderness.

 With beech forests either side.
Walking Up the Hawdon River

Thursday 21st March

Sorry to be such a non-gardener - yet again. I've done another vet run, this time with a trio of howling cats in cages in the car. Then I drove across town to pick up Escher the big brown dog and bring him back here. I spent ages wandering around the garden with the dogs (Escher flushed out two lazy pheasants in the Hazelnut Orchard) and walking them down the road on leads. Then after a bit of rather low impact house lawn raking we retired to the house - Escher having found the oldest, smelliest, brownest dog bone to chew.

+10He settled down happily on his couch with it, Rusty humphed into his armchair, and, ignoring the smell and the sounds, I settled down to read my book (I am couch-walking the Pilgrim trail to Santiago). All in all, very slack behaviour for a supposedly obsessive gardener. But I was dog-sitting, after all...

Friday 22nd March

Yet another non-gardening day! What is the month of March coming to? But today has been rather exciting, because (allowing for Greenwich Mean Time) the morning coincided with J.S. Bach's birthday. So my flautist and I bravely ploughed through the great man's sonatas, even doing all the repeats. ALL of them! Happy birthday, Big B.

Leonardo da Vinci Roses

In the afternoon I took my dog on his own for the longest walk down the road, and then I remembered the cricket test match had started. So that was that, really. Oops. Another day passed without doing any gardening. I suppose I should be a bit ashamed, but hey! New Zealand were put in to bat and only lost one wicket all day!

I'm afraid it's been a bit of a non-gardening week for me. But the garden is still there, large as life, and lots of things are still flowering. And I still love it.