Have I finished ALL my April gardening tasks?
I must remember that April only has thirty days. Why? Is this something important? It's just the measured moment at the end of the month, the stocktaking - have I completely finished ALL my April gardening tasks?
Monday 27th April
Of course I won't have - ends of months are so arbitrary. Now solstices and equinoxes are much more interesting...
Lilli-Puss is OK!
Phew! I've found Lilli-Puss, who was sulking - that's all - in the grass below the Hump. Carried lovingly into the house and up the stairs, she immediately transformed into Miss Smoochy, purring and leaping onto my lap. Nothing wrong, though she seemed a fraction hotter than Percy, and quite sleepy. Brother and sister had a tender reunion (Percy is so gentle), and then I brought out my piece de resistance - rump steak! Lilli-Puss had been missing (from my eyes, anyway) for three days.
Aargh! Minimus the kitten, collector of trophies, has arrived with a rat - very large and very dead. I have sneakily swiped it (as one does) and thrown it into the bin. Minimus now is hunting everywhere for her lost rat. Silly!
Cat Identity Theft!
Ha! More cat news - cat identity theft! A photograph of my beloved white cat with the blue eyes, B-Puss, has turned up on a London blogger's page. Not particularly a problem, but the writer is rather oddly claiming this cat as her own. Weird.
Please, Bloggers - This Cat is the Moosey Cat Called B-Puss!
Now I can understand that anyone seeing B-Puss in the catmint would want to scoop him up, carry him off, and claim him for themselves. I mean, he is exceptionally beautiful. But I'm afraid that he's at rest underneath Eddies White Wonder (that's a memorial Dogwood tree) in the Orchard. All that's left - wonderful memories and his wonderful photographs. And now I'm semi-sad, missing him again...
However, it is quite true that most sheep (of one breed) look horribly the same. Anyone who has searched their flock for an ex-pet lamb knows that! Bloggers - please feel free to use the following picture of Charles the Merino Moosey ram as your very own, to brighten up your posts. You don't even need to ask!
Merino Ram Available For Blogger Adoption
Look, this is a mad cat-house, with a mildly mad, tired, and sentimental old gardener in charge. Sorry, but I'm going back to bed for a read and a lie down. Later this afternoon I've got a trailerful of stones with which to build more robust water race stone walls. Rusty the dog will enjoy this - he stands in the water and - helps?
Pink Autumn Roses
Tuesday 28th April
A day of autumn action is required - but first, the gist of the list that I sneakily scribbled out at choir practice last night. I'm to plant a tray of woodland anemones and the giant reed, both to go into the Willow Tree Garden, the moistest of the Moosey garden areas. The remaining piece of bamboo goes over by the Car Bridge where it can happily clump (it's not invasive). The Sausage shrub and the Syringia go in the new Driveway Garden.
But There's More...
But there's more. Red Hot Pokers go in the back of the Jelly Bean Border. Brides (in pots) go behind the glass-house. New chrysanthemums from the supermarket replace the two fat yellows in the patio pots.
Fragrant Roses, Please...
Mugsy's kitty litter box will be changed. Then please can a bunch of fragrant roses will be picked for the house - hello, Othello and Crown Princess Margareta! These two items are related...
There - all written down. Now all to get done!
All the stones in the trailer will be tipped into the water race and laid along the edges. The water flow is undercutting the bank - if left unstrengthened my garden will erode, and we can't have that!
Grey Gardening Kitten
A Lovely Kitten
I've just told lovely little Minimus, snug in her tiny cat box, how much I'm enjoying having a kitten to look after again. She has a great mix of affection and independence, and is much less complicated than Lilli-Puss (who has, however, spent the last fifteen hours lolling and purring on my bed).
The Autumn Look
A final word (actually, bound to be plural) regarding the 'look' of the Moosey Garden. It's really moved into mid-autumn, where half my trees have dropped their leaves, while others are turning red and gold. The crab-apples are ready for the birds. The yellow garden chrysanthemums are blooming. Hosta leaves (like the dahlias) are dead and both plants require tidying up. It's really, really 'autumny'. Even the light - aargh!
I have been blessed by the gardening gods - or more specifically the district council gods in charge of irrigation canals. The water race has been 'off' all morning. The water has been dribbling by at ankle height and I've been able to do some serious stone edge work. Downside - the waterwheel, naturally, has stopped turning. Then, reminding me of the 'dangers' of irrigation races, the level rose - within twenty minutes it was back up to my knees and my gardening clothes were soaked.
Rusty Dog in the Water Race
It's a beautiful day and there are so many nice things I can choose to do. Twitter some more in this journal, do some jigsaw, sit outside and read my book, play a new Bach keyboard piece I've found the music for... Or try and draw a proper plan, with coloured pencils, of the network of paths in the Wattle Woods... Hmm...
Wednesday 29th April - With an Enormous Red-Faced Apology...
Last night I was 'weeding' on the web-site and discovered over twenty spelling mistakes on ten random pages. Aargh! Just because my spell-checker wants to change Lavateras into - you guessed - 'Lavatories' - this is no reason for such poor standards. I've decided to impose fines on myself - a dollar a mistake, to be donated to a charity.
Right. The weather forecast offers me 'outbreaks of rain', and since it's dry at the moment, I'd better start my work. I'll be planting, trimming some hugely overgrown Hebes, and throwing the last stones from the trailer into the water race. Then perhaps a bit of delicate stripping (no visitors please), into the water to get wet, and then - aaah! A hot cup of coffee.
The rain has 'outbroken', so to speak, but I've done some of my gardening work. The water race is in serious muddy flood - as is the Waimakariri River which feeds it. Rusty the dog can't touch the bottom by Middle Bridge and has to swim. Anyway, the shrubs, the giant reed, and the woodland anemones are planted. The rain seems to have set in.
$62 Worth of Spelling Mistakes Found in Half an Hour!
Back to this spelling problem - I've found quite a few 'suprises'. I obviously cannot do any 'shoveling' or 'leveling' or even 'traveling' correctly. Actually it's really embarrassing - after a half an hour I find myself donating $62 dollars in spelling fines. A web-site blitz is definitely required. Sorry about that! Now how does one spell 'oops'?
Thursday 30th April
Well - April, which rushed in with a loud bang (Garden Club visit! Garden Club visit!) finishes with a rainy whimper. More golden leaves are colouring up and fluttering down, and the copper beech is a burnt copper shade (as one expects). The Cercis Forest Pansy is bare, while the Dogwoods are in various states of autumn undress - unlike the Head Gardener, who is toasty-warm in layers of merino. I suspect it's too wet to garden today.