Histeria the Cat
Today I start pulling out the forget-me-nots in the Driveway Borders. But what about my half-hardy gap-fillers - all those daisies and pelargoniums that I've been growing from cuttings?
They're all finger-sized. Hurry up, you lot - your presence is required. Grow! I do have some pansies to plant, but they too are quite small.
A System of Rewards
As an alternative I could (just could) pop down to the nursery and spend an ancient thirty dollar gardening voucher on new stock. Hmm... That's something to think about while I plan my day and drink my morning coffee. Gardeners need to have a system of rewards to look forward to, to keep them working hard.
Right. To show I mean business I'm going to make a list of tasks. And possibly a list of rewards?
- Today the hoses will go on in the Wattle Woods and the Shrubbery.
- No excuses - I must finish raking up the Leyland rubbish.
- Driveway Borders, both sides.
- Out go the petunias to harden off. The lobelia need pricking out.
- OK. I'll jolly well take some more of my pink daisies.
That's five things - I'll need five rewards. Five cups of coffee? Five cycle rides with my dog? Playing five of Bach's partitas (did he actually write five) on the piano? Five minutes of TV, watching the glorious English cottage garden scenery and the ever expanding chins of Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby in Midsomer Murders?
I'm interested how many requests the Moosey Mailbox gets from gardeners having trouble sourcing the rose Compassion. My two on the pergola are just starting to flower, and again I notice that they are two of the most healthy house border roses - I've only counted eleven black spots on leaves. I'm very sorry that so many good people miss out on this strong, good-tempered rose.
What am I? Hot, tired, pleased and hungry - I feel like eating a huge bowl of strawberries. The Driveway Borders are done. I found some red flax pieces growing in the compost, so I've bunched the leaves together and created two plants - they're by the path. So what's next, after lunch? I could be sneaky and combine a strawberry hunt with a drive to the library.
What am I now? Clean and slightly disheartened. I am sick of raking and weeding. I only did three things on my list. My seedlings could have all dried out (but I did water them yesterday). I need an under-gardener. Suddenly the garden is desperately dry and I need the big irrigation on.
Tell you what, though - a couple of my larger roses are flowering splendidly - Crepuscule on the pergola and the unknown Woodshed rambler, a fizzy mass of pink and pinky-white flowers. So it's not all gloom. And I've got some new library books - time for a chair-sit and a general flick through. I'm reading science fiction again (Alastair Reynolds). Nobody gets all sad about gardening in science fiction books. Aquilegias don't all fall over in the wind, nor are newly planted deciduous Azaleas discovered dying of thirst.
- Minimus :
- Read about Minimus, the woodshed kitten.
One thing - I must remember to collect Minimus the little grey cat. She was with me gardening along the Driveway this morning, and is usually carried back into the house and upstairs. Otherwise she just stays put, hidden in the greenery, and is all too easily classified as 'lost'. Calling from the house doesn't seem to work. What a strange little cat!
Saturday 21st November
Sorry about ending the day in a grump yesterday - a half-decent sleep and I'm feeling positively positive again. I found Minimus, waiting patiently underneath a rhododendron. Lilli-Puss my reclusive grey cat has taken to keeping 'summer hours'. I haven't seen her for 24 hours. The third upstairs cat, old grey Jerome, is still alive and hopping (literally). And she still seems happy.
I've decided that my roses are really nice after all. I'm still feeling a few tiny twinges of rose envy after the Garden Club trip, where carefully trained climbers dripped over doorways and around windows. Mine tend either to compete for space in the garden or climb over things - like trees. My Buff Beauty may not have an architectural house-front to adorn, but she's beautiful and free, reaching up through the Crab Apple tree.
Buff Beauty Rose
I have two splendid gardening library books to read later today, both hand-achingly heavy things. One's an Encyclopaedia of exotic and unusual plants that temperate gardeners can grow. I'm a temperate gardener (both in mood and location). The other goes back to my English gardening roots - The Gardens of the National Trust is its title, and it promises much. I am prepared to see dripping roses expertly trained around doorways and windows, though. These will be grand English houses with gardening staff.
Right. I have to organise dear Non-Gardening Partner to mow lawns and shred Leyland branches while I'm out at my choir rehearsal. And he has to move the garden seats and benches - just mowing around them is not acceptable!
Hee hee. I am the proud auction winner of two Camellias and six Grevillias, all in rather large planter bags. I've stopped bidding on other peoples' roses - the season is too far gone, and the last two thus acquired are struggling in the Island Bed. I'll put a hose on them now and then go help with the shredding.
While I remember, one of my new Lilacs is finally flowering - this seems really late. But it's pretty - and it's pink!
I've had a great day. I finished preparing the shredding branches - yippee, a job well done. I shifted my hoses around, planted my new Louisiana Iris (her name is Dixie Deb) prominently by the pond in the sun, took photographs of roses to heighten my rose-self-esteem, and moved the bags of horse manure before the flies found them. Oops.
Cane Patio Table and Chairs
Great news! I bought a 'weathered' cane table and four chairs for ten dollars last weekend, and Non-Gardening Partner has just fixed a few things and carried it onto the second house patio. She's a beauty! Now the barbecue needs to come out, and then we'll be all set for summer sitting (and eating).