A for April

Aha! A new month, A for April - A for Autumn. I've got two full gardening days before the garden visitors come to wander around my hopefully not-too-wet garden, wearing hopefully sensible shoes. I hope they enjoy themselves.

 Named after a poet.
John Clare Rose

Friday 1st April

Ha! A day of quiet achievements. I spent the morning clearing specific hazards (eye-level pointy flax leaves) from all paths and bridges, under the watchful gaze of my Quality Controller (friend). She even noticed that I'd cleaned the house windows - well, some of them.

Wattle Woods Path:
Some paths may come, and some paths may go, but the Wattle Woods paths go on for ever.

Then I made a start on sweeping the patios, and a second friend arrived to help in the garden. Well, we certainly kicked something! Now the network of paths in the Wattle Woods behind pond cottage are raked, their surfaces properly weeded, and they look welcoming. We located a tiny hole in the ground where honey bees were busy coming and going, so this part of the path has been blocked off. Hoses have been coiled up safely, and the bonfire has been beautifully burnt. Well done, us! I know I'm biased but I think the wattle woods are a wonderful place to wander in autumn. The foliage is so green, and I love all the paths. I LOVE my paths!

Now I think I'm totally on track to enjoy myself when the visitors arrive. Unfortunately the weather is promising an off-track experience - a southerly is due that very afternoon. But we'll weather the weather whatever the weather... The unwise might suggest a host of umbrellas, but they'd just get reverse-blown - does that make sense?

 And my beautiful coloured Phiormiums (flaxes).
Autumn Colours by the Water

My garden is giving off really tranquil, mellow vibes. Many autumn trees (like the Dogwoods) are starting to colour. And John Clare, an English rose who keeps very late hours, gardenwise, is flowering. Oh joy, what a pretty pink! There are many blues, too - Delphiniums, Aconitums, and those gorgeous little asters - and dahlias here, there and everywhere offering up spots of red and yellow. And those lovely Liriopes which I totally ignore and rediscover each autumn, with their appealing little purple flowers. All these lovely splashes of colour sit in amongst a really fresh, happy green.

Saturday 2nd April

Have I fed Lilli-Puss? (my cat who lives in the Stables) asks Non-gardening Partner. Not yet, replies me, first I have to twitter. Oops - I mean tweet. So sad when the sending of an artificial message to zoom off into the cosmos comes before the morning Lilli-Puss ritual - purr, smooch, cuddle, smooch, crunch... Eek! Back soon.

Lilli-Puss has her own page in my cats and dogs section.

No psychological cat-harm done - phew! Dear Lilli. In retrospect, she would have thrived being an only-cat. But when I see her (maybe only once of twice a day) she's so loving and friendly - and happy. Our relationship is just conducted on a longer time-scale than the other cats.

Much, Much Later...

Aargh! All I've done today has been housework. Aargh! Call it an autumn-clean if you like, but I would still rather be weeding in the garden. I have all of tomorrow morning to tidy up the house borders and the wee herb and lavender garden by the laundry steps. What a weird day. Clean kitchen surfaces and washed floors are nice, but I think I much prefer looking at raked paths. Oops...

Sunday - Performance and Garden Tour Day

Well, well, well. Here I sit, quite early in the morning, in a sparklingly clean house full of beautifully dusted eclectic clutter - Son of Moosey's framed clown picture (an heirloom, crayoned over 25 years ago), indoor garden gnomes, dried Phormium flowers in the coal scuttle - and the stylish centrepiece, my black grand piano. It's the day of the choir performance and garden tour. After a whole day of housework I'm going to do some gardenwork - I deserve this!

My morning's gardening is as follows:

  1. Trim and weed the immediate house gardens.
  2. Water and tidy all patio pots.
  3. Encourage Non-Gardening partner to dig out Phormium stump in Dog-Path Garden.
  4. Hang All Blacks flag somewhere in the shrubbery.

A friend is coming early to clean the cobwebs off all the garden seats and benches, and casually scatter cushions around. She'll also pick posies of flowers for the house rooms. These little details, just tiny delicate touches...

 My home away from home.
Pond Cotttage in Autumn

Easy! And I need to spruce up Pond Cottage, because people will naturally want to peep inside - I would! I've been 'living' in it for more than five weeks now, enough time for the nearest trees to be changing colour for autumn and gently dropping their leaves.

 This is Rusty the dog's chair...
Can't You Read, Tiger?

Much Later - Go Tiger the Cat!

The garden performance and tour went really well! And I am sooooo proud of Tiger the cat - she's been extraordinarily friendly, popping up to people and 'talking' to them, then running off to see someone else - acting like a hostess-cat. And all morning while I was doing the final garden trim she followed me around, trying to be a gardening cat.

Rusty the dog had to be put in his kennel because the choir wears black trousers and he is a light blonde hairy dog. People don't want their posh black singing pants covered with creamy-white dog-hair. But he came out later to show-off his pond-jumping skills.

All in all it was a lovely country experience. As the choir sang 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' a fantail got all excited and flitted around overhead, twittering loudly. I watched a spider drop slowly out of my hair (oops). And one rogue wasp landed on my arm while I was singing Hallelujah. I flicked it off discretely and it very nearly landed on the alto in front of me. Oops again. Some autumn leaves fluttered down on the audience's heads, too - that was very evocative.

I've really enjoyed getting the garden ready, and I must say that having the house clean is extremely pleasant. I'm very happy. So what shall I do in the garden tomorrow? Hmmm... Maybe have a day of rest, having deserved it. Back to childhood - I have two Famous Five books I'm reading. Will I remember any bits of them after more than fifty years? This is surely good practice for senility, when I will only remember things from way back then, hee hee.