By the Sleep-Out
Early White Camellia

Aha! Good morning, garden. This week I have a lovely surprise for you. Presents! Including a blossom tree. I will then spend the rest of the week weeding, poking, raking, digging - and planting things properly! Yeay! I promise...

Monday 20th July

There's a sense of more light and a higher sun angle in the garden - I'm sure of it. It's lighter in the mornings when I get the dogs up. Things feel like they're finally on the move. There are tiny hints, here and there, that spring's arriving soon. Several Camellias have been opening their buds. And guess what - it's almost rose pruning time. Eek! OK, so there's always some or other huge, on-going garden task that I should be concentrating on. So what am I doing now? Sitting inside, writing and being the washing fairy. Silly, but sensible...

Today has been a bit of a catch-up day. First the dog park, then the dogs went into their kennels and I went to Brahms piano duet practice. Then the supermarket - do you really need to know all this? I chickened out of spending my gift vouchers. Too scary. Decided that I'd wait a day.

 A-planting we will go...
Some of the New Shrubs

And I wouldn't spend any of the money on metal chooks. I intend to acquire these randomly. For the record, my new rooster has settled into Henworld rather nicely.

Tuesday 21st July

I've done it. I've spent my gift vouchers, and I'm back from the 'home and garden improvement store' with a carload of plants. Except for a trio of herbs, they are mainly native shrubs, all going in the very back of the Shrubbery. I took ages choosing. I have two trees - a blossom Prunus tree called Pink Perfection to honour the memory of Lilli-Puss, and a golden Cercis, squat and hopefully sturdy.

I also have ten metres of heavy black plastic with which to repair the Wattle Woods stream bed, and some tough new tug-of-war toys for the dogs, since their toy-box is bare. This morning's Toy de Jour was a sad knitted teddy bear. Oh dear...

 Escher and Winnie.
New Toys for the Dogs

It's now dusk. Gardening effort? Underwhelming. I scratched around, decided I need to realign the Shrubbery's back path, raked top-soil and compost with a hand scraper, and did some rather half-hearted weeding. There's been rather a lot of bending over to place the plants, but no digging action. Here's my new shrub list :

Nice and native, boring basic, all evergreen, shouldn't cause trouble, not known for sulking, etc. I also bought some birthday socks for Non-Gardening Partner. Not very creative, I know, but welcome.

 That toy...
Escher the Brown Dog

Aargh! One of the new tug-of-war dog-toys is already in pieces. Hopeless!

Wednesday 22nd July

Oops. Regarding those new dog-toys. A big oops. Last night big brown Escher must have eaten most of his. Don't ask me how I know this. OK. Not suitable. Sorry, dogs.

C'mon, Madame Moosey! You cannot wake up, think about the new shrubs to be planted, and then encase yourself in a subdued bubble of laziness. It's easy. Dress in your gardening clothes, emerge from house with confident smile, start weeding vigorously, position the plants, have a cup of coffee, then start digging. Actually, it's easier than that. Just arrive at the new garden area with the appropriate large tools in the wheelbarrow. A spade and a shovel would be useful.

Visualisation to Blame...

I blame the concept of visualisation. You see, I've already 'seen' the levelled path sweeping past the gentle caresses of a fully grown Pittosporum forest, the cheerfully fat little Hebes already flowering, the gorgeous slightly striped Cordylines emerging out of the fluffy foliage, beckoning 'This way! This way!

 On their tree stump.
Guardian Gnomes

A fertile imagination is all very well, but a fertile new garden would be preferable. Right. we are off to the dog park, and then - action!

Much Later...

I worked for four hours. FOUR!!! The paths are now sorted out, with sturdier log edges. I've tried to do things properly - that's why it's taken so long. I've barrowed in top-soil and compost, and slopped in water. The Pittosporums are nicely positioned to thicken out the middle of the garden, out of which I shifted lots of Agapanthus clumps. They are now repositioned along the path edge. I'm so pleased.

 The back of the Shrubbery.
New Paths

The dogs came and went and barked at birds. My two camp (hope that word is OK) garden gnomes watched on from their huge pine tree stump. They are the self-appointed guardians of the back of the Shrubbery. Thanks, chaps. Good work.

Happy Birthday Non-Gardening Partner

Dear Non-Gardening Partner, Happy Birthday. Hope you like your present, a pack of three pairs of weekend socks. Actually, I hope you remember to wear them. Love, M.