The on-again off-again summer gardener

Hello. It's me. Again. The on-again off-again summer gardener who's either fizzing with excess energy and gushing huge, mind-boggling plans, or languidly lolling on the TV couch muttering 'too hot' or 'too tired' or some such nonsense.

 Almost roseless at this time of summer.
The Birthday Rose Garden

February's garden seems to bring out the extremes in me. It's late-summer scruffy, no matter how much titivating I do. The gum tree leaves keep fluttering down upon everything. Any veneer of cosmetic tidiness is impossible. So I have the odd languid, lolling day inside when I watch Midsomer Murders and read my book. I don't even put on my gardening shoes, and anyway, I can't find my hand diggers or my gloves. So I zoom off to go swimming and have coffee with my friends.

 Such a pretty blue.
Bees on Salvia Uligosa

Thursday 12th February

Ha! But today - just watch out! I'm trimming Lychnis. I'm dump-digging the pots of strawberries into the Allotment Garden. I've found an evergreen Griselinia to plant on the boundary of the Welcome Garden. And I'm going around the garden, digging up sad roses, pruning them and replanting them in the sun by the strawberries. And the Cistus which has gone almost completely woody gets the chop.

And that's just for starters! Must change into gardening shoes and slop sunscreen on face and hands. Zoom, vroom, off, over and out!


I did lots of the above with gusto. Over the lunchtime I met my friend and we took our dogs on a woodland walk. Even though the big trees were only pines (only pines! Poor things) the dappled shade was just delightful. The forest leaf and pine-needle litter was soft underfoot. And, if we had been feeling irresponsibly lazy (which we weren't), 'our' dog-poo blended in perfectly with the little brown pine cones!

Couch-Cycling in Dubai...

Back home I turned on the watering hoses, then settled down for a spot of couch-cycling in Dubai, with my new library books on hand in case I got bored with the skyscrapers (I did). The 'concept' of Dubai as a city seems completely bizarre to me, so far from my world of woodlands, weather, and lolloping, snuffling dogs. I sort-of enjoyed the views from my helicopter, and one of my favourite cyclists (Mark Cavendish) won the race, but I don't want to go there.

Winnie is in Trouble!

Friday 13th February

Hmm... I started off doing lots of Lychnis trimming and weeding in the Allotment Garden. Then things went a bit sour, like a Black Dog Friday. I reckon I walked - trudged? plodded? more than ten kilometres around my property looking for Winnie the puppy, who had totally disappeared on me.

First I checked the road and next door's offal pit, as one does, then wandered everywhere and back again around the gardens and the paddocks. I checked in the messy paddock next-door, then down the back where the sheep are. Where was she? Was she in trouble? She'd been gone nearly half an hour, and I'd called and called in all directions.


Hmm... OK, she did eventually come back, and has vomited twice since. Serve you right, Winnie (dogs can be soooooo gross). But I am quietly furious with her lack of response. Earlier in the day she'd kept sneaking over next-door, where some workmen were chain-sawing. And was in half a mind not to come back when I'd called her.

A Dog Decision

I've made a dog decision. I will not have my gardening spoilt by worry again. Winnie will have to be tied up if anyone is working next-door. I won't moan to NGP about the fence that urgently needs replacing. Though I'm allowed to think-moan about it. I did return to the garden after Winnie's major misdemeanour, but I tied her up on a lead. Then I cut down that woody Cistus and weeded the interior of the Island Bed. Swathes of weeds have been happily carpeting the soil in here, thanks to me spreading new top-soil and compost last year. This is not fair!

 In the Allotment Garden.
Pink Dahlia

Too Much Grumpy Stuff!

But wait. Too much grumpy stuff! So lets give at least three hearty cheers to a) the Cricket World Cup, first game tomorrow, and b) my dahlias. Lovely flowers! Beautiful pinks, big whites, lots of single and semi-double reds. I am grateful, honestly I am.

And thank you to the two kittens Tiddles and Buster, who followed me faithfully around the garden while I was calling out that puppy's name. This is why I love cats. They are so responsive, and far too clever to be caught out being naughty. Cats get themselves into trouble, they get themselves out again, and their owners never suspect a thing!

Saturday 14th February

A social day, with a sprinkling of gardening work and family stuff, including a visit to the dog park. This is such fun for dogs and their owners, and Winnie the puppy can show off her social side enclosed by high fences (hmm...).

 Rusty, Winnie and Escher
At the Dog Park

She had another of her Missing-in-Action moments this morning, but Non-Gardening Partner tracked her down. She was in the Hazelnut Orchard, running diagonally through the trees, along the rows, zig-zagging here and there at break-neck speed. Phew. Self-exercising - how terribly sensible! If that's her secret, then I feel much better.

Welcome to Goldenrod...

Exciting garden news - I have a new perennial flowering, which I think is called Goldenrod. I hope it's not going to be a nuisance (in other words, invasive). It flowers simultaneously with the neighbouring blue Salvia uligosa. They look so pretty together, and it's a nice time of the season to be seeing new flower colour.

 Such a beautiful colour!
Goldenrod - Solidago

And yippee for Cricket World Cup, which runs over the following days and weeks. We (New Zealand) won our very first game against Sri Lanka. Yes! A wondrous win, handsome even. SO there'll be lots of daytime cricket on TV for those occasional off-moments, hee hee...