Happy Christmas!

Summer sunshine, bellbirds singing so beautifully, cats behaving oddly (Escher the bouncing brown puppy stayed overnight), and my house family-full - life is really good, if one can forgive the surface interruptions (i.e. the pesky, scary aftershocks). And it's Christmas!

 Rusty the dog - behave!
Merry Christmas for 2011

Saturday, Christmas Eve

Escher the bouncing brown puppy is here, spreading his uplifting, all-inclusive puppy-joy throughout the rooms and the Moosey garden. He (a chocolate labrador / german pointer cross) sits obediently, and holds out a paw on command. He also chews horse manure (aargh!).

Puppy and the Cats

The puppy is so much fun, a view not shared by the Moosey cats, slinking past the windows and peeping around corners. Even chubby Tiger the tortoiseshell whooshed through the kitchen, not daring to stop to check out the fresh cat meat on offer. Escher loves Rusty the dog. I'm not sure the feeling is mutual yet.

 Either playing or sleeping - what a life!
Escher the Brown Puppy

Later, Mid-Afternoon...

Well done me. I've fixed up the edge of the Hen House Garden, replanted the row of miniature Agapanthus, and burnt the rubbish on the bonfire (I hate burning). Escher has gone home and all the cats have magically reappeared, cool as cucumbers. They have an inate sense that 'Puppy has left the building'.

Christmas Bunting...

Now I'm debating what to do next. I've put my Christmas bunting up on the cottage verandah, and now it just might be time to assemble the tree. It's a fake - but it does have 'naturally highlighted tips', hee hee.

 Complete with festive bunting.
Pond Cottage

Even Later...

Ha! I spent two more hours raking and burning up rubbish. Then Non-Gardening Partner mowed the house lawns, and I've left him shredding the big hedge branches.

 Golden smiles for Christmas.
Golden Smiles Rose

Christmas Carols

Now I have to go and sing Christmas carols, so I am freshly showered, with clean, non-smoky hair and scrubbed fingernails. And it's Christmas Day tomorrow - my goodness, that was quick! Happy Christmas Eve, everyone.

Sunday 25th December, Christmas Day

Merry Christmas! We've had a nicely lazy family day. I did some Christmas dead-heading mid-afternoon while Non-Gardening Partner stacked firewood. It's been a day to enjoy the garden from afar rather than get too close to anything. I've taken Marie Curie's wise words as a warning:

One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.

Rusty as a Puppy :
Rusty the dog is now just over seven years old.

Escher the puppy came to visit this morning - I'm sure his legs are longer than they were three days ago. NGP and I agree that we will get our own new puppy in a few years. The idea is to discretely overlap ones dogs, for the sake of dog-fun and dog-learning. Right, Rusty? Hope that's OK with you. I reckon you're about half way through...

Monday 26th December, Boxing Day

I'm enjoying the slow-down feelings that Christmas brings. And I love the way the garden just sizzles away in the sunshine, without being too demanding. This afternoon I've been working hard, though. I've placed the latest load of river stones along my wriggling stream and cleared out some scruffy Japanese Irises. Possibly this could be a place for the variegated irises sitting in watery buckets - as long as I can engineer a tiny water leak for them.

 One of the rescued standards planted in the Glass-House Garden.
New Pink Rose

Fat Roses...

Then I raked up four barrowfuls of hedge trimmings from the orchard and burnt my rubbish. I'm too scared to go too close to the orchard archway roses. The two Ghislaine de Feligondes have spread far and wide, and now Coconut Ice is displaying a similar tendency. They look like fat old women in pinky floral dresses, hopeless for archways.

A huge thank you to the staff at the specialist rose nursery who recommended them for such. Have you ever wondered why I've never bought any more roses from you? Have you? Well? Huh?

Excuse me for that silly outburst. I am wiser now. I now know that rose choosing is the responsibility of the Head Gardener, and she (or he) alone. Hmm...