Ordering my birthday presents...

 Credit to New Zealand Gardener and Jane Wrigglesworth.
Garden Obelisk

I am ordering my birthday presents early this year. I would like the following: an obelisk for the Island Bed, paving stones leading from the side of the house to the Pond Paddock, the lawn by the patio re-sown, and all moss removed safely from the other lawns and the brick courtyard. Too greedy? Does Non-Gardening Partner have time to construct and/or deliver?

Thursday 29th August

My list has been 'out there' for a couple of weeks now, but there's been little if no action. Some patches of moss have been dealt to, and some new lawn seed sown, but these are unspectacular 'gifts'. Now an obelisk would be another matter...

By the way, I've taken this photograph from the website mentioned - hope this is OK! Thanks must go to New Zealand Gardener and Jane Wrigglesworth for publishing the plans.

Today the garden's loss is the house's gain. A heavy rainstorm last night has flattened some of the early trumpet daffodils. I'm off now to pick any that have 'face-planted'. Then I'm continuing my roadside daffodil rescue (where many are still struggling, flowerless, underneath my Leyland hedge). Right. Where's Rusty the dog? He can come for a garden walk.

 The dust on the leaves is pine pollen.
Pink Plantation Camellias

Garden photographs are sometimes just too beautiful to seem true, aren't they! Just to show that a) my garden isn't perfect and b) I am totally at ease with its imperfections, allow me to now present two reality Camellia photographs. The above one has pine pollen all over the leaves. Below is an old and a new flower, side by side. The old blooms do make beautiful brown mulch, but on my shrubs they're not well-mannered enough to drop off by themselves.

 Symbolic of real gardening!
Camellia Flowers - Old and New


I reckon I've rescued another two hundred bulbs. Poor things - they're in compost in pots, and I wish them all the best for their slow recuperation. I really got it terribly wrong, planting these daffodils where I did. And still there are more out there, suffering. Aargh!

Friday 30th August

Zoom! First thing this morning I emptied the trailer, wheeling all the compost over to the Jelly Bean Border (where the rescued rhododendrons will be planted).

Kowhai Flowers :
Kowhai trees have beautiful yellow flowers which brighten up the spring garden.

Then I went on a day trip with the Triplododcus Tramping Club (of which I am a founder member) - up the Rakaia Walkway, around a loop down to the Rakaia River, and back through the bush. The huge green Astelias looked gorgeous, and the Kowhai trees were in yellow flower. Mine don't and mine isn't! I wish I'd taken the camera.

Saturday 31st August

The big birthday build up starts today - a birthday breakfast with my friends after swimming. Where's that obelisk? I've printed out the plans for NGP and have left them in an obvious place. Hmm...

 I can see this shrub from the house.
Pink Camellia


We've been into town to dig out the four rescue rhododendrons. They're all tidied up and I've planted them in the Jelly Bean Border. This is a most suitable spot, and I hope they'll be happy. Meanwhile Non-Gardening Partner has dug up the lawn by the front patio (this was on my birthday list). He says it's too cold to start building the obelisk. Too cold?

Sunday 1st September

Aha! The beginning of my birthday week proper. Non-Gardening Partner has been splendid - he's replaced the patio lawn, with new topsoil and grass seed. Meanwhile I've been weeding here there and everywhere, adding mulch around the new rhododendrons, and working in the glass-house.

+10Young Minimus has been providing squeaking cat-company, which is nice. When I say hello she screws up her little face and cat-smiles at me. Whenever I bend down to do up my bootlace she's there for a nose-smooch. She's a little treasure. And not so little, in certain places, either!

 So pretty.
Almond Tree Blossom

I've done a quick camera sweep around the garden, as part of my 'I'm Determined Not to Miss Anything' policy. The almond trees are in full blossom now, and the bright yellow Forsythia is flowering. I know it's weedy, but I love the little blue periwinkle. I'm happy to keep it away from the path. That sweet little pink rhododendron Graham is flowering now - he's so pretty, even if he seems to want to grow only at ankle-height.

More Camellias Flowering

Several white Camellias are blooming now - one behind the Stables has dreadfully symmetrical flowers, almost too perfect. I'm tempted to pop a tiny brown spot on the photograph, hee hee. The big bright pink shrub by the house is so beautiful.

 Left behing the Stables, right in the Wattle Woods.
Two More White Camellias

I've solved my problem with Madame Leonie de Viennot (she's a sprawling, blousy Madame of a rose). I've shifted in a rose arch to keep her off the path and out of my hair, arms, face, etc. The archway was keeping the rugosas off the little path behind the glass-house. Alas, that path has been decommissioned, so the archway isn't needed there.

Goodbye for Three Days!

Tomorrow I'm going on a road trip to the West Coast for three days, so my garden has to do without me. NGP has promised to check the seeds, and make sure that Minimus is happy in the cottage. It's the sort of trip that is easy to pack for - which books will I take? Plus my camera, diary, boots, Gore-Tex, all my pairs of spectacles, and my wallet. Easy! And maybe a clean shirt. Farewell, garden, cats, dog, and Non-Gardening Partner, and be good while I'm gone!

 On the patio table.
Mixed Daffodils in a Bowl

P.S. The next three days would be perfect for some obelisk carpentry in the garage...
P.P.S. The West Coast is fairly 'old school' garden-wise, so there may be lots of garden gnomes and dahlias which need rehoming, hee hee...