What to do first?

Right. It's drizzling and damp out there, and I'm feeling a tad dozy. What to do first? Take the dog for a cycle ride to shake off sleepiness, I think. Then hot coffee to warm up the damp gardener-cyclist. Then write a plan, maybe a list...

 This is one of my most favourite groupings of shrubs and trees.
Autumn Colours in the Garden

Friday 15th April

Or maybe a little visit to the nursery to spend my new garden voucher? The day is unfolding rather nicely...

 Autumn reflections in the pond.
Pond Cottage

Well, it's much, much later, and only two hours was spent in the garden today, with my friend helping me mulch and clear the top of the Welcome Garden. All the rubbish was duly burnt on the bonfire. There was autumn beauty everywhere - I kept stopping to grab the camera, because the shrubs and trees seemed so unbelievably brightly coloured. I also wonder how long these colours will last. Autumn can zoom past my nose, and if I'm not concentrating I can miss so much.

Saturday 16th April

Aha! Less intrepid readers should turn away right now. For we are going swimming, in an outdoor pool which is rather lightly heated, in the middle of autumn (which is a nippy time). And why do we do this?

Some of us (Non-Gardening Partner) are having free hot lunches at work, as well as tenderly prepared home cooked evening meals, and need to balance food intake with exercise. Others of us (me) are meeting friends and catching up, while shivering and thrashing our legs and arms around in the water. Seems odd, but it's productive - like a virtuous gossiping session, if you like.

And then another load of firewood is to be swapped for another load of bricks. Brilliant! I can get back to creating my new brick path, which is going so well. The Dog-Path Garden will be much enhanced by this garden feature, and I'll be able to see it from the back lawn.

 Me, hard at work.
Cleaning Bricks

Sunday 17th April

Damp drizzle and beautiful autumn colours, seen through the windows of Pond Cottage, have greeted this slowly wakening Head Gardener. Last night I was kept slightly awake by young Minimus in one of her moon-mad cat-moods. And things kept dropping randomly into the roof - probably just big drips of water from the tree above, but sounds in the night always suggest something substantial and scary.

Bricks and Brickbats...

Today I do have my load of bricks, all ready for cleaning and pathing. But I'm starting the morning doing more clean-ups of the rose web-pages, which are full of banal, embarrassingly lightweight sentences. I obviously need help in describing, for example, David Austin's pastel roses. A creative writing course? I could sub-contract out, but perhaps others have this same problem...

Geoff Hamilton:
You might like to meet Geoff Hamilton in my roses section.

Here I am, describing Geoff Hamilton:

'His flowers are light pink, and very pretty, in an old-fashioned rose way.' I haven't exactly said anything, and this rose deserves better. At times like this I'm jolly thankful I'm not trying to review wines...

Two Wet Hours Later...

I've cleaned twenty-one more bricks and laid them on the surface of the Dog-Path Garden to show Non-Gardening Partner my spiral courtyard plan. He was most encouraging and may even help me axe down the tree stump which is in the way. It's 75% rotten. I've arrived inside for lunch with a camera full of yet more photographs of autumn colour.

 Golden colours.
Autumn in the Driveway

A Spectacular Show

During these last few days my garden has been putting on a spectacular golden and red show, and it's hard to imagine anything more beautiful - until I peep at my pictures of late spring roses in bloom (but that's another matter and another season entirely). Fulfilled gardeners live in the present and enjoy the season of the day!


Oh dear. It's almost dark in the middle of the afternoon, and raining fiercely. I've just arranged to meet my friend in the outdoor swimming pool tomorrow morning, and now I see the predicted temperature is five degrees Celsius, with cold southerly gale force winds. Hmm - we'll see how strong this gardener's stuffing is!

Welcome, winter? Aargh! Too early!