Christmas Party at Redbank

It’s our annual vineyard Christmas Party time, and I was away for four days in Sydney last week, just after heavy rains. These were followed by brilliant warm sunshine so I arrived home to lush growth in the vineyard but, alas, weeds in the garden and lawns up around my ankles. So this week has been slavery in the garden, pulling weeds, mowing lawns, and trimming edges. Today I’ve almost finished and it looks splendid.

The back garden, where I planted heaps of perennials, is a picture, exactly how I wanted it. A real cottage garden, all billowing everywhere, crowded and dreamy, with heaps of flowers to pick. The broad beans have fed us well, as have the artichokes, and the lettuces are coming on just fine.

When I was weeding in front of the shearers’ quarters, Kete was keeping me company as usual, hiding in the grasses and pouncing on my hands. She disappeared under the building and I heard a scream, then she returned with a baby rabbit in her mouth. After killing it, she rolled around on her back with it in her arms like a teddy. Then she ate half of it, now she’s asleep in the lupins, guarding what’s left of it from Winston and the marauding chooks.

The front of the house is the hardest to maintain, because it suffers most from the nor’westerly and the grasses are taking longest to fill in along the pathways. But the lavenders are lovely, and when the lawns are mowed and the edges run over with “Lil Juey”, it’s all worth the effort.

And this is the latest of my roses to bloom. It’s called “Casino”. Isn’t it heaven?

Even the chookhouse has been cleaned up, much to Winston’s delight, as he led his harem on a merry dance through the pea straw. That rooster’s going to be the death of me, he’s so damn (ahem) cocky!

Now all I have to do is waterblast the winery and shearers’ quarters, weed the driveway, Lil Juey round the pig-pen, and do the housework. Phew!

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