Lots of weeds...

OK. Here's what I should be doing every day this month. Weeding. Every single daylight hour of every single day. Add summer sunshine to the jolly decent rain we've had, and what's the result? Weeds. Lots of weeds. Short ones and tall ones. Frilly ones and sleek ones. Loners and gangs. Pretty flowered ones. Weeds ready to set seed. Aargh!

Thursday 5th February

Let's start with yesterday. So 'weeding' is best achieved sitting with iced water in front of TV watching three hours (oops) of 'The Bill'? Not likely! But today I've already made up for that lapse. We've been to the dog park (Bear's mother has given me a huge bag of dog food called Mighty Mix, which unfortunately makes Bear mighty itchy). And I've done two hours proper weeding.

Unfortunately it's now a bit too hot, and naturally the only garden areas I feel like clearing up are blazing with mid-day heat. So I need to have a sneaky wee rest and check something out. Sergeant June Ackland has been abducted by a gunman on her last day at work. And her ex-husband has turned up. So unfair! I hope she escapes... Phew! She does.

Friday 6th February

I went hiking in the hills today, all day, from Gebbies Pass to the Packhorse Hut and back (an easy trail on Banks Peninsula). By the fourth hour I was rather ploddy, and on arriving home I did a slow geriatric shuffle from the car to a hot bath. The track had been re-organised since I last trod it, because pine forests lower along the route are now being felled.

 The first flowering year for this giant thistle.
Bee on a Cardoon

My friend wore her 'George jersey' (a jolly, bright red retro boy's pullover) and we role-played Enid Blyton's Famous Five. It all felt rather adventurous and British, hee hee.

But I still noticed the weeds...

But as for being a gardener's day-off, I couldn't help noticing the weeds. Lots of the same weeds that pop up in my garden were happily growing in patches along the path. But not the thistles, growing on the higher slopes, their beautiful purple flowers covered with joyous bumble bees. I don't have any flowering thistles. Do I? Actually I do have some Echinops, and some big Cynaras. The bees love these. And I have weeds I call Californian thistles.

Sunday 8th February

Something has happened which I have to react to. The council has lifted the fire ban, and this may only be temporary. I have piles of Eucalyptus bark, Cordyline leaves, rose dead-heads, and assorted dry rubbish. All of this needs burning (nothing can be composted, trust me). It's a chance to clean up underneath the hedges where all is 'stored'. Weeding has to put on the - ahem - back burner.

 The sweetest climber.
Crepuscule Rose

A Bit Later...

Actually, burning has also been put on the back burner. It's been drizzling, and my bonfire will be far too smoky. So I've been outside taking some pretty photographs of flowers instead. And roses, like Crepuscule and Blackberry Nip, which are re-blooming. And raindrops on various petals. No weeds, though.

Heaps Later, Mid-Afternoon...

Ha! I have been trundling barrow-loads and burning them for four hours. And I am soooooooooo sick of it, but that's OK. It is a very timely task, since the fire restrictions are sure to be reapplied as soon as we get a week of February heat. By which time the weeds will be sky high.

With respect to the photographs on this page : Nothing weedy or smoky is allowed. All the flowers are in bloom now. February is mid-summer for me. The colours are just wonderful.

Monday 9th February

I am a legend. This morning I went swimming, then I came home and I burned all afternoon. I've made a good start raking and clearing the little paths behind the cottage. I've almost cleared out the messes from underneath the Leyland hedge. And, to add to all of this, I've burnt a trailer load of rubbish that Non-Gardening Partner kindly filled for me.

It has been a rather pink-faced day, but it's over now. I'm clean, fed, and watered, and I feel great. Yes. There's more to being a well-contented gardener than weeding.