A rather scary plan...

 Rolling around on the driveway.
Upside Down Lilli-Puss

I have a rather scary plan. I'm cleaning out a huge piece of garden, in the corner of the Frisbee Lawn. Lilli-Puss my grey cat likes this garden, so she can help me design its new planting scheme. Well, she can listen to my ideas and do the cat version of nodding wisely.

Wednesday 13th November

Everything was squashed underneath fallen pine trees in September's gales, and the garden lost its own trees and some mature Cordylines. It's always been a rough and ready place, but now conditions have changed. There's sunshine, pretty much all day.


And how about irrigation? Only my little watering hose, but I have purchased an extension for it. Planting possibilities? As limitless as my wallet. Eek! That immediately puts a dampener on things...

Yesterday I made a lightweight start, pulling out forget-me-nots out from between clumps of Agapanthus. Today I continue. Bits of the creepy grass can go in a bucket and get burnt. The surface annual weeds should scrape off, along with small pieces of pine tree. And of course I'll collect up the pine cones.

 With one surviving Cordyline.
Corner Frisbee Lawn Garden Mess

Then mulch, and then - new shrubs? Heigh ho, heigh ho, it's off to the nursery I go? Not much fun with a non-functioning wallet, alas...

 And bumble bee.
A Nice Australian Shrub

Hee, hee. I've just had the silliest idea. I could create a symbolic Australia and New Zealand planting scheme, grouping each country's shrubs on either side of a 'Tasman Sea' of Lavender. Hmm...

 By the house.
Westerland Rose

Three Hours Later...

Oh boy, this is hard, hot, slow work, made even hotter because I'm burning the dry weedy rubbish as I go. I'm also doing a bit more raking up of the pine tree rubbish further down the drive. Lilli-Puss is enjoying the company, and keeps lolling in the ground in front of the wheelbarrow. Move, silly cat, move!

Progress is slow because the sun is playing a really teasing game with me. It hides behind a chunky cloud, and the vibrant pre-summer garden colours come alive in this 'good light'. So I drop everything and race for my camera, take off the lens cap, and pouff! Out comes the glaring sun again. Trying to be sensible, I return my camera to the appointed safe garden place (which is NOT the branch of a random tree). And then another chunky cloud rolls in...

Time to go back outside. I am craving that tremendous sense of achievement one gets from starting something in the morning and finishing it in the late afternoon. Should be possible.

 Seeds everywhere, but so pretty in late spring.
Yellow Euphorbia


Blast! Another of those 'almost done' days. But I've laid the edges for a possible path through the bottom of the slope, and I must have carted more than ten barrowfuls of rubbish to the bonfire (whose volcano ash heap is getting a bit high). I rather like the self-seeding yellow Euphorbia in here. I think I'll allow it to stay (not that it actually needs any encouragement from me).


A slight moment of alarm in the apres-gardening shower. My bare tummy was absolutely covered in little biddi-bids. The mark of a truly hard-working gardening day, I thought, and smiled with pride. Then - oops - some little legs started scuttling sideways. Aargh! Bugs on the gardening belly! Luckily it was an illusion. But later a spider did drop out of my hair and onto my dinner plate. I rescued it from the salad and popped it outside to menace something more worthwhile. The success of a gardening day is measured by the 'wildlife' collected on the gardener's body.

Thursday 14th November

Wow! Another beautiful late spring day, and Non-Gardening Partner forgot to tell me he is taking the day off. Ha! As quick as a lightning bolt I have organised his morning. Rusty the dog is in seventh heaven, of course - NGP is wearing his exciting weekend shorts. Normally Thursday is a boring-pants day for dogs.

 Best friends.
Non-Gardening Partner and Rusty the Dog


I've built the path through the Frisbee Lawn's corner garden, and cleared all the weeds off. But I'm rather confused as to how to plant this area. In fact, I'm pretty low on confidence (something to do with the state of the Moosey wallet, I fear). What to do? When I'm in doubt, I do nothing. I'll walk around, look at it from various vantage points, think about sun and drought, and try and think forward, two or three years' growth from now.

Recycled Inspiration!

At the end of my working day I cleared more of the pine tree mess on the neighbour's side of the 'fence' (which is broken). I spied a little row of Agapanthus plants I'd planted ages ago, deep in the shady mess. Recycled inspiration! Why not use these to finish off the mass planting of Agapanthus?

 Off to the bonfire.
Wheelbarrow Load Number Nine

Then keep it simple and functional - plant some screening Pittosporums near the boundary with next-door. A third part of the plan - move in spare Cordylines (I have quite a few lurking in pots around the garden) towards the edge of the lawn itself, to create a highly visible cluster of beautiful spiky features. Ha! Now I'm on a roll. I'll do it!

+10Thanks to Lilli-Puss for providing constant cat company, rolling around in the dusty path, rubbing in my legs, and listening to my long-winded expositions of the design issues without showing any signs of boredom. And yes, Lilli, there may indeed be room for a few clumps of catmint. You can always count on a cat for support...