Make every moment count!
Still the mild non-winter gardening weather continues. This cannot last for much longer. Make every moment count! And talking about counting - I have two new shabby chic garden gnomes to pick up, and plans to buy x new roses, where x is an integer greater than or equal to 12. Hee hee.
Sunday 5th June
Excuse any typo mistakes - big Fluff-Fluff the cat needs to sit really close to me. He loves me with the grandest cat-passion this morning - there's fresh pet meat in the fridge. How do cats know that?
Fluff-Fluff, Winter Gardening Cat
Today I have plans for non-Gardening Partner. Allow me to be cheeky and list them (he never reads my journal anyway).
- Chain-saw long branches for firewood.
- Help me get buckets of river sand to sweep over brick courtyard.
- Critically evaluate plans for tree house in willow stump.
Then maybe - just maybe - he can drive me with the trailer to the rose nursery. Eek! I've just found him gazing nostalgically into his wardrobe, murmuring 'My first suit - wonder if it fits me?' NGP, don't go there! Let's go and get the sand before the rain comes. What rain? I just made that up...
Two Hours Later...
That'll teach me - it is raining. Blast! But in the nick of time I've spread the sand all over the bricks. NGP will not chain-saw in the rain, so I guess that just leaves the willow stump and the rose nursery. Right. Here's the rose list, with locations and justifications. Ooo... Now this starts to get exciting! My hand is dithering over the mouse - I might lose the thrust of my list, hee hee...
First the climbers - a second Crepuscule is for the pergola, Lamarque is for Pond Cottage, and Crimson Cascade for the sunny side of the house. Then three artists - Paul Gauguin, Claude Monet, and Leonardo da Vinci - are going in the sunny house border. And that's just the beginning!
I fear I've made a long-standing mistake naming a Picasso Rose. A Google search gives me only three images, one of which is my own. My Picasso is striped. The other two images show a hand-painted rose with not a stripe in sight. Oh dear... So my Picasso is almost certainly Paul Gauguin. It's not just me, either, that gets the painter roses mixed up. Striped roses can be difficult to colour-describe. Paul Gauguin, from several reputable rose nurseries selling him, varies thus:
- Slightly pink petals, with remarkable red stripes.
- Deep reddish mauve with pink and white stripes.
- Maroon and white stripes.
- Deep russet and light salmon.
I've Found Michelangelo...
I can accept that all these are vaguely the same. After comparing descriptions, and looking through my big Botannica's rose book, I've sorted out Michelangelo (the McGredy-bred version), too. Ha! I know where he is in my garden - by the pergola.
Michelangelo Rose - Sam McGredy's
I bought two Golden Celebrations (favourite David Austins) for near the brick courtyard, a Blueberry Hill, and a Papa Meilland - bare root roses selling cheaply at one of the big sell-everything shops. Then just before it got too dark NGP chainsawed some firewood - it's old and dry enough to be burnt immediately.
Monday 6th June
Now there's loads more firewood ready to wheel and stack - a job well done, thank you NGP, who has successfully avoided accompanying me to the willow tree stump all weekend. Blast! I've also been gardening supervised by Lilli-Puss, my reclusive grey Stables cat. She must see the far side of the Frisbee Lawn as her territory.
Clever, far-sighted me - I didn't dig out the large Cordylines which were shifted in here a few years ago, when their visible bits immediately died. And nor should I have, for they are now resprouting, knee-high, and gorgeous. My patience is rewarded - well, more likely my forgetfulness.
Right. I've had a cup of coffee, put on the slow-cooker for the evening meal, and now I need to get back outside before it gets dark. These mild day temperatures just cannot last much longer, either, just two weeks before the winter solstice.
First Winter Camellia
Not So Much Later...
It's suddenly gone all cold and gloomy, so I'm back inside. Great garden news - the very first Camellia, the baby pink one, has just a few blooms. They are so beautiful. And early? I'd have to check my old journals. So the seasons are moving after all. Brilliant!
Tuesday 7th June
This is soooooooo embarrassing - statisticians would have a field day modelling the supply of garden gnomes needing new homes. You'll know I'm picking up two retro chaps today, in about half an hour. But now there are two more up for auction. One of the chaps is playing a 'cello' - naturally I've had to bid. A string playing garden gnome! Honestly - I haven't bought any all year, until a few weeks ago.
Perhaps garden gnomes are falling over in the continuing aftershocks, and garden owners are getting nervous. A bit like my cats, all of whom (except fat Tiger) whooshed out the door yesterday as the house rattled. Not Tiger - she would camp out by the pantry waiting for food as the Titanic went down...
I've bought my new roses, restricting myself to seven more. That makes eleven in total, plus Claude Monet who has not been 'lifted' yet. It's not a very nice day, but I do have work to do. So as soon as the log burner is going properly and I've finished my coffee, I'm off outside. The garden looks wintry now - in fact, the borders are quite bare. Just two silly trees left to lose their leaves - a large Lime and a Liquid Amber.
Three Hours Later...
First I weeded and raked mess out of the Agapanthus garden by the fence, and cleaned up Rusty the dog's Lavender Garden. Then I put the bare root roses in pots of potting mix, and burnt my bonfire. It's been spitting, but not cold, so I stayed and watched the fire and thought deep thoughts.
Ahem. I seem to be having the time of my life, but then every other time has been blessed and amazing too. However, this is the free-est I've been in my mind. Nothing really goes in there unless I put it in myself. This is nothing like the calm resignation of approaching older age - I reserve the right to be totally juvenile and get interested in odd, random things (like Roman Britain and garden gnomes).
I've also been thinking about the tree house. I can now see sturdy steps leading up to a small raised walkway, on a level with the platform in the middle of the tree stump. I hope I can get Non-Gardening Partner interested.
New Roses 2011
I should list my new roses, hopefully not to lose them and/or their labels in the eternal shifting of things around my garden.
- Leonardo da Vinci
- Paul Gauguin
- Kathryn Morley
Right. It gets dark so early in winter. I've got time to curl up with my book before the evening meal. I've had such a good day. But they're all good.