The Hot Tub's Gone Cold...

Blast! I've gone off the idea of getting an outdoors wooden hot tub, one in which to soak after gardening, slurping a glass of wine. Anyway, wine puts me to sleep - fifteen minutes after finishing a drink I tend to leap into my pyjamas and bed. Non-Gardening Partner is heaving a sigh of relief...

Cedar Hot Tub :
Unfortunately this is the hot tub of my dreams! Thanks, Photoshop...

He suggests I just have a nice hot bath in the house, which of course is totally sensible. There is a little sit-in spa-bath upstairs which is easy for my dodgy knees. But it's devoid of greenery and I cannot see the stars.

Aha! I've had a good idea. I drag in some huge potted ferns and then turn off the lights... Phew! I've just saved ten thousand dollars.

 Still some left!
Compost Topsoil Mix

Saturday 8th June

A warm winter's welcome to Garden Maintenance Woman - a super heroine (me) whose energy for shovelling knows no bounds. She has a trailer-load of top-soil and compost, bags and bags of horse manure, and twenty bales of pea-straw, all of which need to be applied carefully to her garden. It's the layered, lasagne style of garden improvement.

And she has a looooovely new blue tartan woolly gardening over-shirt in which to strut her gardening stuff in. Hmm... 'Strut' may not be the word - it's hard to strut with a shovel.

Much Later...

Aha! Thanks to GMW (see above) the patio extension garden is now filled with organic matter, all ready for major rose planting. I've already planted a row of catmint along the front edge, and some fancy Heuchera along the side. In position are a fluffy white (Seafoam? Rescued from the Wattle Woods) and two possible pink roses.

The Ram Paddock is Tidy

‘It's fun foraging in ones own garden.’
-Moosey Words of Wisdom.

I've also done lots of tidying in the ram paddock, collecting loads of pine cones and pine branches for firewood. It's fun foraging in ones own garden, and one does feel terribly virtuous using natural, free resources. At the moment the ram paddock is sheep-free - the ram and four ewes are foraging in the Hazelnut Orchard. They had better not be nibbling my climbing roses in there...

 A green Astelia above the stone wall, a gum tree branch above.
Shrubbery Entrance

Sunday 9th June

Another great garden maintenance day. I've had a circuit going - I wheel a barrowful of mess (like dahlia trimmings) to the bonfire, then I go back to the trailer and get a load of topsoil-compost mix, which I then scoop onto the garden. It's satisfying work, but maybe not so inspiring to write about. Now we are off to get hamburgers and chips - a modest reward for a good day's work, low on the gourmet scale, but not a problem!

Monday 10th June

Today I did exactly the same gardening as yesterday. My focus has been the Shrubbery - I've scooped off gum leaves and added lots of topsoil-compost. I've rebuilt the top layers of the stone wall, which was sloping rakishly inwards. In the interior the rose Corylus is sending up suckers. Does this worry me? There's room, and I love its flowers.

Tuesday 11th June

As a compulsive rescuer, I've had some random early morning thoughts involving money. Hello, Visa.

I also might find some desperate rugosa roses, and I definitely have room for those. Right. I'm off in the car to do some plant-rescue shopping. Back soon.


No, no, no! Here's the deal. I work really, really hard, for hours and hours, demonstrating to myself that I can be a proper, creditable gardener. Then, and only then, just before my dusk bonfire, am I allowed to rescue anything. Call it a rescue? It's a clever fool who can fool themselves, hee hee...

 The last tree to drop its leaves.
Driveway in Early Winter

So let's see how I've gone so far. I've been digging out and dividing the oldest Agapanthus by the driveway, planted in the very first weeks of my country garden. A friend gave me a sackful. She also gave me Oxalis. Aargh! Luckily it's stayed in this one place, contained. I've been carefully digging out any weedy bulbs I can find. Pieces of root rubbish will be dumped away from my compost. The bucket that definitely contains oxalis bulbs is to be tipped into the bin. And another thing. I have to finish this small project before I do anything else.

 His winter colouring.
Just Joey Rose

Rose Stragglers

A quick word about the winter rose stragglers. Just Joey is trying hard to keep on blooming, while the English rose John Clare has built six new buds. They'll be open in time for the shortest day - John Clare always does this! Dear, much-loved rose. Thank you for your optimism.

Much Later, Apres Gardening...

I stopped work about four o'clock. The day was already grey and dark, and getting cold. So I lit the bonfire, poked at it dreamily for half an hour, and then raced off to the local garage to buy - ahem - a packet of wine gums. Three dollars. That's all!

Thousands of Dollars Saved!

No plants - I've saved at least fifty more dollars, plus the ten thousand by not buying a hot tub constructed from western red cedar, hand-made in the age-old coopering style... Phew! That was close!