I love the Camellias...

 A rescued shrub.
Wattle Woods Camellia

Great outpourings of love, now that more of my beautiful Camellias are flowering. I am so grateful that they're strong and healthy. And when was the last time I gave a Camellia a treat with compost and organic matter? Oops. Camellias are the early spring stars of this neglectful gardener's garden.

Friday 7th August

The best early big bloomers are fleshy pinks, names unknown, plus the big white with yellow stamens at the corner of the Sleep-Out. Some which tried to flower three weeks ago got caught up in a series of minus six degree frosts. Sorry about that, Tinsie!

I love picking Camellias for the house. But answer me this - why does Tiger my senior tortoiseshell cat insist on drinking the water from their vase? Every morning there's a scattering of sad, abandoned flowers, and the vase is flowerless. Tiger!


Grr.... I am cross! Escher the big brown dog has just barged into a next-door paddock, and 'discovered' their rubbish pit. Led by his nose - would his ears listen to me and come back? Nope. Over-confident, me. And so ineffectual, wriggling my inflexible old body through the wires of two fences, getting half-stuck, bellowing and being totally ignored. How a dog can put one back firmly in one's place... Humph. The idea of an electric fence (or dog-collar) appeals at such times.

 By the Sleep-Out.
White Camellias

Anyway, this is my excuse for stomping inside and momentarily abandoning my gardening. It was going so well! I have been doing my regulation gardening maintenance hour, cleaning up the gardens around the glass-house, before moving into the Wattle Woods. The Camellias in there are beckoning me - they're so beautiful! I will not be beaten by a delinquent canine with a super-nose. I will tie him to a tree.

 Just starting to bloom.
Red Camellia in the Wattle Woods

Even Later...

Hmm... It took ages, but I've laid out all the black plastic lining. This has not been easy, but I've worked out why. It's because I'm working around existing large plants (like Phormiums) which keep getting in the way. Also Winnie has kept on (and on) dropping her tennis ball under the plastic. Throw the ball? Too busy! There are lots of crinkles and folds, but I reckon I'll cover the pond bottom completely with stones anyway.

My Stream Works!

Phew! I did a water test with the hose, but was too scared to look. Would my stream and pond both fail? So while the hose gushed and gurgled I cleared the little path underneath the Camellias and burnt my bonfire. Then I returned for a sneaky peep. It works! Water is flowing down the stream bed and filling the little pond. Well, I can't see any seepage anywhere.

Saturday 8th August

Snow! Overnight, slurping and slopping on the cottage roof (I tried to stay awake in the dark, listening to the silly sounds). But nothing too serious, nothing that could harm my shrubs and trees.

 There was hardly any light!
Blurry Dogs in the Snow

The dogs enjoyed their early morning romp and roly-poly (please excuse my blurry early morning photograph). It's Winnie's first snow, but she didn't really take much notice.

 Ooh goodie...
My Plan!

Stream Plantings...

Yippee! My pond works! But the wind is rather too cold for serious gardening, so we are off to buy another five meters of plastic to finish the stream. Then Non-Gardening Partner has promised to fix the two river pumps. I'm wondering about some low growing native tussocks - grasses? sedges? carexes? - to soften the stream edges.

Sunday 9th August

Ha! With my new colouring pencils (those that accompany my adult therapy colouring-in book) I have doodled over a plan for the new stream plantings. A plan! An actual paper plan! I drew it yesterday evening sitting in front of the log-burner with Escher the sofa-smoocher.

Don't be Afraid of Hebes

The idea is to re-use that which I have on site somewhere - Agapanthus, Pittosporums, Hebes, Phormiums in pots, and so on. I mustn't be afraid of using Hebes either. Now is a good time to get them settled in, and I can always promise to water them in summer.

Weather! We left the dog-park in snow flurries - too wet and cold for me, with no Gore-tex jacket or gloves. The dogs were so busy they hardly noticed. Ten minutes later we're home, where the sun is shining. Granted, it's only about three degrees Celsius out there. So what should I do in the garden? In which direction is that weather system moving? This way! Now it's cold-raining here, close to snowing.

 The green Phormiums do get in the way...
New Pond in the Making

Tiger the tortoiseshell - please, please, please don't drink the Camellia water! Poor Tinsie...