And bee.

Need a reward for working hard all day in the garden? For me, the anticipation of a tasty evening meal works the best. OK. Here's today's deal. Work hard, then enjoy a pensioner's country pub roast tonight, with a glass of Merlot.

Boring stay-at-home food and aquifer water? Hmm. Very nice, too, but requires the energy of choice and preparation. Take-aways? They always 'taste' better before they've arrived, if you know what I mean. Anyway, if we drive to the pub I'll be able to organise Non Gardening Partner (a captive audience, hee hee) and his trailer. I have plans for him.

Thursday 19th January

The weather has been weird today - roaring wind, which makes my tall gum trees groan and creak. I don't like gardening underneath such noisy things - indeed, it is slightly unsafe. So I spent an hour away from the trees in the water race scooping rubbish off the bottom (tree debris and sodden pine cones).

 By the water race, where I have been weeding.
Unknown Yellow Rose

And then a second hour rather roughly weeding the edges and the paths of Middle Garden. All is not well in the middle of Middle Garden. The Golden Hop is going silly - as Golden Hops not provided with suitable climbable accommodation tend to do. What was I thinking? Answer - I was NOT thinking. At all.

Budget Report

Oops. I have overspent at the Charity Shop on 'new' house furniture. I have replacement TV couches (two) and breakfast chairs (two) for the lounge, and Non Gardening Partner has picked up the cutest retro formica table and chairs. Two upstairs bedrooms are now 'set up' - for my Garden-stay visitors? Maybe one day, hee hee. One gets these random house-decorating urges every now and then. They don't usually last.

Friday 20th January

This morning I took the dogs out to Hororata for a trot around the local racecourse. New sights, new smells. Winnie loves leaping up on top of the horse jumps. Rusty lost his moon-ball, and I didn't even tell him off.

 She wants to go to the pond.
Winnie Waiting

Then we did gardening. I weeded behind the pond, shifted firewood logs (more firewood logs!) and cleared the paths. And I started some serious watering. This area misses the irrigation, and so, true to form, the Agapanthus are doing just fine, as are some tough rugosa roses and rock lilies (renga renga). Mexican Orange Blossom shrubs and Pittosporums? They're OK, too. But a Ceanothus is dying (they always do, in my garden), and several Phormiums are hopelessly struggling. I chopped the Viburnum tinus shrubs down a year ago, so there is fresh green random growth from suckers and roots everywhere.

 She loves swimming.
Winnie in the Pond

Winnie spent her time leaping into the pond for a stick, which I reckon I threw a hundred times. Dear little dog! What she loves to do she does with great enthusiasm - over, and over, and over again. Sounds like me and gardening. So that's why we two get on so well together...

 Not a huge fan, but...
Miniature Red Rose

Saturday 21st January

A nicely overcast day, and I've been gardening while listening to the cricket radio. NGP's task has happened painlessly - a trip to the dump with the old house chairs and couches. The watering hoses are on behind the pond, and also in the Allotment Garden, where I've been pulling out large Euphorbias. I've also trimmed the Crambe and pulled out the Oenotheras.

There are some pretty roses in this garden, and they don't deserve to be smothered. If the Allotment Garden ends up being a rose garden, then that's fine. It is not a Euphorbia Garden (weedy perennials, the chrome yellow ones, the ones that I love in spring). And it's not a vegetable garden either - too far away from the house and the quick-fire cook (me). Just my courgettes grow in here, surrounded by miniature roses. Quite a pretty look!

 Spot the tennis ball?
Watering the Allotment Garden

Right. I'm off to shift the hoses, take some photographs, and then I'll go apres-gardening. Tonight's reward is lots of hot smoked salmon (NGP has sausages) with a home-grown salad. I love a man who prefers sausages to salmon.