Brick spiral...

 Taken with a flash, so the colour is a bit odd.
William Shapespeare Rose

Hmm... I have super-sized, ambitious plans for the gardening day, and it's raining. I've already tried to work on the brick spiral, water dripping down the back of my neck. Aargh! I'm back inside looking forward (not) to having another go. Maybe I need a list? Maybe I need Non-Gardening Partner to help? I feel like being a warm gardener today.

Sunday 15th May - Jigsaw Woes...

In lieu of gardening I've spent half an hour happily peering and poking at my 3000 piece jigsaw. But I realise that I've removed four pieces, rather than putting any in. This is definitely negative time-wasting (as opposed to positive, which jigsaws should be). Time for the bin? Justification - dodgy design, with multiple pieces fitting multiple positions, on far too big a photographic scale...

Much Later...

Well, well, well. I am a success! It really doesn't take much - just application, dedication, and a keen mathematical eye (plus brick cutting tools). Let me say this really slowly. The... Spiral... Koru... Courtyard... is... Finished. Yippee! All the bricks fit in one continuous spiralling floor, level enough for me while relatively kind to the tree roots. It's beautiful. And it even looks like a Koru. Lilli-Puss, my grey Stables cat, watched me cutting the final brick shapes and purred her encouragement.

Please Be Kind...

These hundred-year old bricks now need a blessing, and the earth needs a gentle reminder - no more earthquake aftershocks, please. Please be kind to my small garden with its small memorial.

 I am so proud of myself!
Gardener and Dog on Spiral Courtyard

I've also weeded in the perennials garden on my hands and knees. As sun sank lower and lower I got absolutely filthy. Exit Lilli-Puss, enter little grey Minimus, who popped out of the woodshed to say hello. She is such good gardening company.

 A lovely little cottage - and really warm inside!
Pond Cottage in the Sun

Gloomy Wintry Photographs...

It's really been a bit gloomy (and wintry) for garden photography, but I posed in the middle of the courtyard with my dog. And then I zoomed around looking for bits of colour to celebrate. I found some unlikely 'flowerers' - like a William Shakespeare rose and a shaggy Shasta daisy.

This is definitely the right flowering time for the Toad Lilies - what a beautiful mauve colour they are! And I couldn't resist Pond Cottage, looking gorgeous in the afternoon sun. Just think - I've been 'living' in there for weeks now! What a silly.

All in all it's a momentous day when I finish something. Oh - just forgot - I still need to sweep some sand into all the cracks. But that's easy-peasy stuff, and is not counted. Oops...

Monday 16th May

Facebook friends - I love you all! The glow of pride at laying all those bricks continues as I read comments on the Moosey Facebook page. It's just amazing to get so much encouragement. Something to do with the universality of the circle and spiral shape? I may be over-thinking things here.

 And my bright red gardening gloves.

Outdoor Plans

The predicted wintry weather blast has been distracted (and gone elsewhere), so when I return from swimming I have outdoor plans - more tidying and weeding. Pre-winter weeding, however, is unremarkable, difficult to jazz up wordwise - just wet green things, soggy knees, and no real visual improvement to show for the labour. OK, so some of the dandelion roots might come out more easily, but this uninspiring gardening makes me humph...


Well, well, well. It hasn't been soggy at all. The sun has beamed down upon me, and I've continued my great pre-winter trim. Dahlias and asters, elm tree suckers and gum tree leaves - all have gone onto my bonfire, from which smoke is now merrily swirling. Rather than watch and poke at it I've pottered off to rake more barrowloads of burnables. I'm not particularly content leaning on my rake watching a bonfire, anyway.

 A wonderful contrast to the green Gunnera.
Red Phormium

Blessing the Bricks

Actually I've been trying to compose a sort of blessing for the bricks of my Koru courtyard. There is to be a small dedication ceremony and I am going to speak in English. Well, this just isn't working.

'Right, you bricks. Even though your wall fell horribly down, you never meant to do any harm. Lie at rest here, blameless in this small garden...'

I sound really silly. Rusty the dog had the right idea. He got bored with my bonfire brick oratory and went off to root around in the compost. Hmmm... My gardening day finished with some compulsory pre-winter photography, where I proved to myself again that my garden is still really colourful, and affirmed why I love Phormiums. Oh yes! Love is the word...

Tuesday 17th May

Oh dear. A lazy morning - a sleep-in, then a long pleasantly warm walk with Rusty the dog, but no gardening yet. But I have been out to pick up some bags of horse manure - and I've been thinking about the garden in general. Now that my brick feature is finished (apart from some minor details) I am projectless, in the larger sense of the word (which I just made up). So it's on to small scale garden maintenance. As soon as I've coffee-ed I'll shift some half-hardy daisies into the glasshouse. The predicted wintry blast may still be en route, and I need to be ready. And if that's all I do today, then so be it. I can finish the day comfortably lounging in a trough of the Sine Curve of Gardening Life.

Stumpy the Cat :
My cats love sleeping in jig-saw boxes. This is grey Stumpy.

Later, when Non-Gardening Partner gets home from work, I am ceremonially trashing my unfinished 3000 piece jigsaw (too big, too many ambiguous pieces) which I've been pottering with since late February. It doesn't totally fit on the table anyway. I need to justify this action? Obviously my conditioning and upbringing says to finish the darned thing. No. Enough is enough.

Later, Dusk...

I feel so much better! I've worked for three hours by the glass-house lifting daisies and pelargoniums, moving pots of succulents, weeding, and organising cuttings. It may be late in the season, but if I'm trimming, for example, a favourite white penstemon I might as well try and strike some new plants. I haven't covered the cuttings with plastic pots, though - at this time of year they can rot away.

 Time to go into the glass-house.
Pink Daisy Flowers

I have made an important pre-winter's resolution. When going apres-gardening, and in the mornings, I will not be lazy and turn on the heat pump (thus using electricity). I will light a log fire in the woodburner. Good for me. Today has been great, and I have definitely made it up to the X-axis (referring to the Sine Curve of Gardening Life). But one tiny thing remains a puzzle. I have 'lost' a bag full of fresh horse-poos. Who has moved it and for what purpose? The mind boggles. Please let my dog not be involved in this mystery.