A Non-Gardening Cat
Yet another 'oops' to throw on the compost heap of my life. Don't worry - compost heaps are good and useful things, and last for almost ever.
OK. Here goes. I've finally purchased a complete set of Enid Blyton Famous Five books. I am not allowed to buy any garden gnomes for at least six months.
Wednesday 27th April
There's just something giggly and nice about lying in Pond Cottage, warm and cosy, wintry rain outside rattling on the roof, wind in the trees... Reading books that I adored when I was eight years old, hee hee... Well, I think I was about eight.
For anyone who despairs that senility is really striking, let me say this. I am also reading the latest Culture sci-fi novel by Iain Banks, and an academic tome on Roman Britain. Heavy! Ha!
Today I have to be a very hard working gardener. I have chosen not to go to the mountains with the walking group - if I slouch around I'll end up feeling oh so guilty, and that won't do. So here's the plan, or more accurately the list. I haven't had a decent list for ages - hope I take notice of it!
- Clean bricks - as many as possible.
- Fill trailer with burning rubbish.
- Plant Cordyline and Photinia - left-overs from Easter nursery sale spree.
- Make the upstairs beds and clean the oven. Aargh! Interlopers!
There will be amazing benefits from me staying home working in the garden. Not only will I be outdoors getting heaps of exercise, but my dog will have a happy, busy day. And for compulsory human socialisation I can zoom off in my break to have coffee with my friend. Right. No more from me until sundown.
Later, Close Enough to Sundown...
A brilliant day. Twenty seven more bricks have been cleaned and laid out roughly - I'm slowly turning that essential boundary corner that a spiral requires. I've also burnt the bonfire, adding four barrowloads of dry stuff to get the rose canes sparking. And I've filled the trailer, parked by the front paddock fence, with rubbish from the back of the Shrubbery for tomorrow's burn-up. Young Minimus provided bouncy cat company while Rusty the dog barked off all the birds.
Look, I've even made the beds and cleaned the oven, which is unheard of. No wonder I'm crowing! I'm sparkling clean, and happy-tired.
Thursday 28th April
Aha! The first frost of the season. A tiddly, only-just-frost, but never-the-less a frost. So my long-term gardening journey takes an abrupt right-turn. I love keeping all the daisies and pelargoniums out in the garden, but they need to be scooped into pots. Otherwise they die! Aargh! Our frosts are never too nasty, but anything with half-hardy on its plant label has good reason to be afraid.
But the sun is shining, there's blue sky, and the outdoors looks inviting. The green garden foliage is sparkling with morning sunshine. Today's plans are simple - first I burn the trailer. Oops - I mean burn the rubbish in the trailer. That will warm me up nicely (it's one degrees Celsius and rising). I'll do it right now.
What a legend! I spent three hours burning (doing the dance of the seven thermal layers for a while as I heated up), alternating the dry rubbish with greener prunings. Buddleias, Lavatera Barnsleys, Scrophularias, Phloxes and Echinopses (?) - all are now trimmed ready for winter. And all the Ligularias by the Pergola are cut down, uncovering the struggling rose Penelope, drowning in a sea of Ligularia and Lamium. I feel so guilty - what a dreadful life this rose leads. She's on her own roots, too, so doesn't have the strongest legs to stand on.
Sunny Pink Roses
And then I spent another two hours outside cleaning bricks. They are all finished, and I need another trailer-load. Perhaps just one more? It would be nice if the end of my new brick garden feature was in sight.
Regarding the Famous Five...
The quickest, smallest thought regarding my Enid Blyton books, which I'm now off to pick up. I've just perused a styly outdoor clothing catalogue, aimed at the farming and outdoorsy customer with money - like me? My set of 22 books cost as much as ONE pair of striped merino-possum socks. This sets another benchmark, really, remembering I'll not pay more than the price of a leg of lamb for a garden gnome.
Phormiums in Autumn
Friday 29th April
Ooooo - such excitement! One day before the Bridal Brunch, when the oddest collection of old-chook brides and ambiguous grooms will gather at Mooseys for mock wedding festivities. Already the contralto bride (she's singing Rule Britannia at the wedding) is kicking up a fuss, refusing to appear in any photographs. Prima Donna! And the hostess bride (me) is now thinking about safety pinning THE dress to shoulders, sides and wrists - a two dimensional bride, methinks, is better than rips and gapes and visible underwear. Aargh! Enough...
We've had our second frost - well, I classify it again as an only-just-frost, in that it doesn't appear to have killed anything (touch wood). But some of the lawns are tinged with white. No problem - it's now two degrees Celsius and bound to rise, with blue skies and sunshine again today. I guess when I get home from swimming I have some nurturing to do. Pelargoniums and daisies, that means you!
Oh delightful day! Balmy, warm, windless - far removed from your frosty beginnings. But wise is the gardener who's one day ahead of the weather. I'm about to sort out the half-hardies.
Two and a Half Hours Later...
I have gone apres-gardening a little early. But I am well pleased with my gardening efforts. Nothing flashy or amazingly creative has been achieved - just good old-fashioned seasonal maintenance. I cut back this and that in the Island Bed, dug out large grasses, and shifted the big white dahlia which is destined for a sunnier spot next summer. Then to get the greenish rubbish burning I collected and added two loads of gum tree rubbish. The fire was a tad smoky, but all offending smoke went straight up.
It's Chrysanthemum Time!
Two pink daisies, five pelargoniums, and a tiny black Aeonium are now in the glass-house. I also shifted tender plants in patio pots underneath the eaves of the house - not that our house has any eaves, but garden readers will understand.
My Weeding Dress...
And now - the dress. THE DRESS! My wedding (not weeding) dress for tomorrow's Bridal Brunch, which has to be extended by some six inches (or 15.2 centimeters for the metrically minded) in order to fit around chunky old me. But the ego is not deflated - I bought the too-small dress from a Charity shop for fifteen dollars, a modest donation. Here goes.
Saturday 30th April
Aha! It's THE MORNING, the morning of our Bridal Brunch. Is everything ready for my visitors? I've cleaned the house, and am about to sweep the patio. Have searched unsuccessfully for my coronation photographs of Queen Elizabeth. I reckon that someone, thinking them in poor taste, has fatally redirected them, confident they will never pop up on the house walls again. Blast!
Much, Much Later...
If a picture paints a thousand words, how many words for a photograph? Speechless? Pictured are three brides (elegant, dishevelled, and blushing), a somewhat mature steam-punk groom, a Prince with a real polystyrene sword, a dapper groomsman, a fairy - and Rusty the dog.
The Bridal Party
Oh dear, dear me. The Bridal Bunch at the Bridal Brunch...