Winter Solstice

Humble thanks for THE most gloriously golden mid-winter's day, wonderfully sunny and warm for winter. And such a special, tingly day. It ended with my dog, panting after his bicycle ride, watching the sunset with me. A magical moment. Love you, Rusty!

 Golden sun!
Rusty the Dog Watching the Sunset

Again I've worked in the driveway, continuing my 'Tidy Up the Edges Like in Switzerland' campaign. This has been inspired by TV couch-cycling on le Tour de Suisse with the blokes in lycra, gazing in awe at the picturesque scenery and the impeccable general tidiness. I am now into my third day of 'Swiss gardening'. I've stacked some more firewood, and done more work to neaten the edges of the allotment gardens.

No Naked Dancing...

My mid-winter's day bonfire was a bit of a fizzer - there was modest ignition, but much of the rubbish was a little damp. New beginnings - I've cleared out all the old wet ash from the heap. It was not a bonfire which would inspire naked dancing, however. Which is probably just as well...

Later this afternoon I did a celebratory wander around with my looking for mid-winter flower colours. Darling John Clare! I knew you'd have a rose blooming for me. And I've looked it up. My official local winter solstice date and time is 21st June at 10:51 pm. Minimus the cat and I will be snug in bed by then, and I will try and stay awake. Again, thanks to my garden for giving me such a specially wonderful day.

Sunday 21st June

I seem to have more ideas than energy today. But I've already been working for over two hours trimming back the ferns which grow near the laundry door. They edge the back path towards the cottage.

 Late spring growth.
Fern Frond

Romantic in Summer...

Brushing past their gentle fronds may be quite evocative and romantic in summer, but this is not the case in winter when they're flopping over, dying off, slippery underfoot, and dripping wet. A thought - in my garden ferns spread and grow where they choose. Is it time for me to take control? Until I have a better idea, they stay. I love the fresh new growth in spring.

There are certain tasks on the property that Non-Gardening Partner takes care of : the lawns, the chain-sawing, and so on. I think he should be in charge of moss, too. Green slimy moss is growing on the house decking, and the Koru brick courtyard is rather greener than terracotta in colour. I have just asked him, and he is putting on his silly, melodramatic girlie voice. Oh no! Oh no! Green slimy moss! Now he's calmed down and is asking me to remind him. When, exactly?

Right. I've got another hour before we go out for late lunch (a dog picnic at the beach). What to do? More edges, probably. But that's OK. The more edges I neaten the less there are that are scruffy - and the more picturesque (like Switzerland) my garden looks.

Much, Much Later...

+5We had a great time at the beach, except Rusty the dog is limping again (the other front foot this time). And we realised that he'd never actually been to a beach before. Rusty is an inland country dog - paddocks, rivers, and the occasional mountain track. Salt water didn't taste very nice, and the waves were a bit scary.

 Golden flowers in the golden sun of late afternoon.
Golden Winter Calendulas

NGP is a legend. As soon as we got home he got busy, chain-sawing down a huge Pittosporum in a half barrel (its roots were threatening the stability of the garage), without even being asked. The late sun streamed across the driveway where I was barrowing loads of mulch. I love these amazing winter sunsets, which I never ever enjoyed when the pine forest grew next-door.

 Pointing camera into sun. Hmm...
Winter Solstice Sunset

Now it's only 5:20pm but quite dark, and I'm off to soak my fingernails etc. in a hot bath. Hopefully I don't get stuck in there (the perils of inflexible joints in the semi-elderly). I've had a fun winter solstice weekend.