According to the newspaper's daily horoscope, 'Digging (up information about a favourite topic) should keep me out of trouble'. Well, I'm going to be digging up some squashed roses today, as part of my garden's pre-winter clean-up. This counts? Hee hee...

 Can you spot Histeria the tabby?
Welcome to My Garden!

Wednesday 11th May

I love being what I call a 'proper' gardener. Rather than scraping at the surface, rearranging a few pots, and then wandering off, I am weeding, spreading compost, shifting squashed plants, dividing and refreshing perennials, and mulching. I am using all the good, proper gardening verbs.

 A lovely late rose.
Wet Fairy Rose

Roses Need shifting

Delphiniums in the Willow-Tree Garden are now completely submerged underneath a rhododendron. Variegated Scrophularia in the next-door Dog-Path Garden is impossible to weed underneath (tendrils of nasty grass lie therein). And there are several roses which cannot see the light - a fate they do not deserve. They need shifting.

Advice for Partners...

News regarding the new spiral (Koru) brick courtyard - Non-Gardening Partner has promised to help cut some bricks, and is buying a wide chisel today for me. My plan has worked! Partners of Non-Gardening Partners should take note. Nagging doesn't work, nor do guilt trips. I used a balance of personal pride and joy with a gentle, wistful sadness at being incompetent and unconfident. The gatherer appealing to the hunter? Hee hee...

My goodness! Twitter is down. 'Over-capacity'. What is the modern world coming to? Is this because of the corruption charges regarding the next two football World Cup? I can't think of anything else which could buck the Twitter system, hee hee...

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

Lunchtime, Freshly Baked Bread...

But what the headline doesn't say is 'soggy in the middle'... But sweet success in the garden, at least! I've divided and replanted the big pink Bergenias, bagged the path leaves, shovelled compost on, widened a path, shifted roses into pots, cut up two aged Heuchera into at least twenty new plants.

And in all of this I've managed not to slice through any spring daffodil bulbs. I've also found a stray hand digger, mulched underneath the Leyland hedge. Good for me!

Mouse in the House?

Oh no. I'm getting strong signals from Tiger the cat that there may be a mouse in my house. She's camped out on the top of the cane bookcase, looking very cramped and uncomfortable. Odd cat. She and Rusty the dog are having armchair wars at the moment. Strictly speaking it is a dogchair, but Tiger keeps jumping onto the arm, trying to put Rusty off.

Right. As a reward for extremely good garden behaviour I am off to the nursery. I have three things to think about:

  1. A memory-plant (or tree) for Sifter the Cat.
  2. A memorial tree (there is a difference!) for Stu lamb.
  3. A nursery gift voucher to spend on meeeeeee.

Later, in Order...

I wonder about a fairly grunty Camellia for Sifter, planted in a large pot on the patio? Then I could choose an early flowering variety, without fear of frost damage. This plant is especially for the artist who painted Sifter's portrait. As for a tree for Stu - I'd love to find a Prunus serrula. Lastly, as for meeeeeee... My voucher could be well spent on some impressively expensive secateurs called 'wolf' with a five year warranty. Alas - they will not be guaranteed against inadvertent mulching. Given my incorrigible attitude to my hand tools, three dollar specials are not a false economy...

Thursday 12th May

+20Oh dear. It's been THE most wonderfully balmy, warm, windless, gardening-perfect autumn day ever - and I've done no gardening at all! I've been socialising, and then trying to finish my 3000 piece jigsaw (aargh!). I've also had a cat day - taking young Minimus to the country small-animals vet. She's sick, with an abscess infection. Poor Minimus - I cried in the car (big sook). I'm off now to pick her up after her tiny operation.

 My vegetable garden is full of these bright flowers.
Flowering Calendulas

Oh, I also vacuumed the house. But that really doesn't count, in a gardening journal. I promise to be better tomorrow. And my time is never wasted dealing to the good health of my cats.

Friday 13th May

Minimus is in much better spirits, thanks to the modern wonders of penicillin and vets, but I've left her in Pond Cottage on the bed to snooze, out of the drizzle. We are back with the grey wet stuff, but it's so beautifully warm for late autumn that complaints are churlish. I wouldn't dare!

 A white Flower Carpet rose.
White Rose - Still Flowering

Nursery Spending Plans

I have nursery spending plans. With my gift voucher I'm getting a mid-range pair of secateurs, now that the rose pruning season is almost upon me, and a fancy knickers-pink Cordyline, one of the oddest hybrids I've seen yet. A strong red Camellia will be nice for Sifter the cat's memory-plant, and Stu lamb gets a basic plum tree. There - not done, but decided, the fun bit!

I also have to make a breakthrough with the foliage in my 3000 piece jigsaw, too. It's high time this was finished and put out to grass. In this I am very much at the mercy of the photographer's focus and depth of field...

Later, Mid-afternoon...

I'm off with my dog for a walk, during which I tell him my garden woes. For there is much that displeases me today - my garden lacks any semblance of order or control, there are weeds and seedlings everywhere, and I keep finding smothered plants. And so I've divided and replanted a beautiful smoky blue Geranium and several Bergenias along the house side garden. The nuisance red Dahlias are now trimmed and I've collected seeds of Cosmos, Salvia horminum, and Helichrysum. Dare I estimate the number of Alkanet seedlings I've removed? Aargh!

Minimus as a Kitten :
Young Minimus is now nearly two and a half years old - that makes her a cat-teenager.

I've also been keeping an eye on young Minimus (who is much livelier today) and have cleaned her 'wound'. I suspect that Histeria is the cat responsible for this, but all I can do is glare and scowl at Hissy, putting on a scolding, unpleasant face. This is not a good 'look'. OK - I know. I am very protective of Minimus.

Tomorrow's tasks already suggest themselves: Sifter's camellia, named Roger Hall, is ripe and ready for the pot (sounds like I'm making chicken stock), and I have purchased a hand brick cutter which is called - a scrabbler? - for finishing the brick courtyard. My new Cordyline has the silliest name - Wal's Candystripe - and is ideal for 'dynamic landscaping', which I like to think I do all the time, hee hee...

Later, After the Dog Walk

Thanks to my dog, I've completely changed my attitude to my garden. It is, after all, in the throes of the winter-clean-up. And as for order and control - well, that's just not my style. I am free-spirited and romantically random, and just need to do more weeding to compensate. Anyway, I love my pansy and forget-me-not seedlings, and wouldn't be without them in spring.

 Gardening is soooooo boring!
Yawning Dog

Saturday 14th May

I'm going swimming, and then I'm having a decent gardening day, one where I work until dusk, and I come inside thoroughly tired and proud, and I have accomplished lots. I will have paid attention to details, I may even have finished something. Ha! Stern words.

Much, Much Later...

I managed five hours without stopping. And now I've stopped I don't quite know what to say. A speechless garden blogger - make the most of it!