It's Christmas day, mid-summer, mid-day, whooshing hot wind, garden (and gardener) looking very scruffy. My mid-summer garden always looks scruffy, no matter how hard I try to keep it tidy. 'Tis my gardening fate!

 The Lycnhis is nearly finished.
Scruffy Summer Garden

But I have been a good gardener today. I had a serious Christmas morning gardening session cleaning up the Glasshouse Garden (trimming the lupins and pulling out enormous dandelion weeds). By lunchtime I was soooo tempted to crack open a bottle of fruity cider and retire to the cottage to snooze and read. But no. My superb self-discipline kicked in.

 The water race.
Scruffy Astelias

Lost NGP!

By the middle of the afternoon I realised I'd lost Non-Gardening Partner. I've been weeding in the water race, in the shade by the big Astelias, and I've been hearing distant hammering. This could be exciting! He could be fixing something? I spent two more hours in the water race weeding the edges and scooping stinky mud and debris off the bottom. I sort of lost track of time - being in the running water does that. The dogs kept checking in, and then checking out.

Came back into the house, and realised that Non-Gardening Partner was totally absent - his car was gone. NGPs are not allowed to wander off on Christmas Day without good reason, when there are lawns to mow and fence posts to organise. A puzzle...

Coral Flower Carpet Roses

But quickly solved - NGP was busy fighting a Christmas fire, which had started in grass, then had roared up into the farm hedges. The hot dry wind 'helped' it along, as did the thirty-one degree temperature. Fire has no respect for the calendar. But thankfully there was no loss of life or property, apart from a few farm sheds.

 A pretty pair.
Daisy and Hydrangea

So I drank my cider and ate my evening meal and actually (oddly, for me) felt a bit lonely. What a funny Christmas day! Finally NGP, fragrantly smoky with a sooty face, arrived home. I missed him!

Boxing Day

Such silly, random weather - today is positively cool, and it's been raining on and off. In the night a large branch of a gum tree fell down into the pond, waking me up with a dull but serious sounding thud. This was immediately followed by the gargling groaning noises of a very close possum - maybe he was up in the tree at the time? Anyway, Minimus the cottage cat and I decided to investigate things that go bump in the night in the morning...

I've been over to peer at the fallen piece of tree, which has an impressive sized girth. Sleek branches 'up there' are always bigger and bulkier when deconstructed on the ground for firewood. And it take ages to clean up after them. Christmas chain-sawing will start tomorrow, if the rain stops.

 This is the skinny end!
Branch in the Pond