Non-Gardening Partner behaved himself...
I will need all week to recover from my brilliant weekend - brilliant because Non-Gardening Partner behaved superbly. He did all his chain-sawing, and wasn't overly critical that I required certain things (like a conifer) sawn down to the ground.
Monday 29th August
So today I've been rather slow and moochy. I've just spent two hours tidying up and burning the last pieces of that conifer. I seem to have a second wave of Camellias flowering - luckily, since the earlier blooms got rather browned off and spoilt by the snow that fell. The deep pink one now towers over my outdoor lamp, conifer-less and clearly visible from the house. I love seeing the colour pink - it's one of my spring pointers, as well as the lemons and yellow of the daffodils.
Oh no - I've just remembered! I should have cleaned up the Pseudopanax chopped down in the Appletree Border. Guess what? There's now so much space in here, and I'm immediately thinking roses. No, no, no!
Cats in a Heap
Tuesday 30th August
So - I could sit here drinking coffee, going through my latest photographs. Ooh - look at my silly cats Percy and Hissy, intertwined on their sleeping chair. Oh my - that conifer was soooooooo too big! Such an improvement, should have cut it down years ago. No, wait a minute - years ago it was the right size...
Or I could write down a sturdy list of things to do. For example, I must dig out the Yellow Wave Phormium by Middle Bridge, which is now totally swamped by the surrounding shrubs (a New Zealand Myrtle and the winter flowering Viburnum tinus). This flax is nice enough to pot up the divisions, rather than put on the bonfire. There's the Pseudopanax which needs clearing in the Appletree Border - and the huge Moonlight climbing rose, and the Miscanthus zebrinus, and, and, and...
And the huge pine tree branches in the Hump need to be deconstructed. NGP sawed them up as best he could, but all is messy and interlocked. Hmm... Perhaps another cup of coffee, while I survey my options...
Yum. My bread is ready, and I've found some not-too-ancient plum jam (home made!) to spread thereon. And the Appletree Border is cleared. See - I say I'm going to do something and I just get out there and do it. Well, sometimes I do... Some thoughts regarding Moonlight rose, which I grew from a cutting. This rose is very odd to prune - every spurt of growth has a dead bit on the side somewhere (I haven't explained that very well) and one has to prune from within. Ouch!
Oh, I also have a sore shin, but whatever! I'm tough. So I'm going to rest and elevate, and crochet some rows of my woolly blanket for Pond Cottage (it's half-finished). And, thinking of what I do in Pond Cottage (I'm reading all the Famous Five books in bed, hee hee), I'm up to book sixteen, and am camping out on Billycock Hill tonight, sleeping on a heather bed and drinking water from a spring. Groovy! As usual Enid Blyton is following her much tried formula and there are tunnels to explore - that's probably tonight's adventure.
I'll be back much later this afternoon, probably with smoky hair and hopefully with lots of news regarding gardening progress.
Brr.... It's got rather cold. I've made a good start clearing up bits of pine tree in the Hump. But then the wind started whooshing around a bit, and my bonfire became slightly alarming. Naturally I stopped feeding it, raked it into the smallest heap, and made sure nothing went wrong. The smoke was swirling everywhere, chasing me round in crazy circles. And this sore shin is a puzzle - at my graceful age it can hardly be an athletic injury. Maybe an over-use of the wheelbarrow? Or just a boring bruise...
Wednesday 31st August
Oh boy! Minimus (my cat) and I got well and truly 'possumed' in the early hours of the morning. I woke up to the sounds of a possum galumphing all over the verandah of Pond Cottage, trying to climp onto the roof. I opened the door with the torch and there he was, ring-round eyes, clinging to the verandah post, a metre away from me. Eek!
Pond Cottage and Early Prunus Blossom
Possums are serious pests in my country - squeamish readers, you should skip the next bit! I wasn't equipped with anything to humanely kill him, so I grabbed Pond Cottage's broom to whack him away. This wasn't pleasant - it felt like a nightmare, as if I was whacking a cat. It didn't help that Minimus was watching. Success after the third blow - the bruised possum thumped onto to the ground and fled. I apologised to young Minimus and retired to bed to think about animals and cruelty. I should try and trap this possum and hand him over to a vet for the you-know-what.
A Bright Sunshiny Day
What to do today in the garden? It's such a bright, sunshiny day (that's a song lyric), I have a Phormium to dig and divide, a mess of pine tree logs and branches to sort out, and a trailer load of compost to spread. I must work really hard. Then, and only then, can I approach the end of the last day of August with a proud smile.
First of all I redeemed myself in the eyes of the Goddess of Garden Wildlife by rescuing a tiny wax-eye, dazed and confused after flying into my house window. This sweet little bird, sitting on the patio tiles, only just escaped the jaws of Tiger the tortoiseshell. She is the laziest of my predator cats, and likes her prey pre-stunned and waiting at ground level. Hmm...
I've been modular - collecting a barrowload of rubbish, replacing it with a barrowload of compost, duly dumping this and filling the barrow with firewood. This goes by the Stables, then then off I go to tackle the pine tree mess, collecting a load for the bonfire. I've also dug out the snow-squashed Anemanthele grasses around the driveway bend - there are plenty of small seedlings to build replacements.
Look - it's been such a glorious, spring-like day, and so I'm going to sit in the garden and enjoy a leisurely afternoon cup of tea. But which seat? There are so many to choose from. I think on the Adirondack up on the house lawn, from where I can enjoy the pink Azalea in the Island Bed.
End of August Thoughts...
I am so lucky to be a gardener. And I'm lucky that I have such a nice dog, who listens to me (he does, honestly!) and usually agrees with everything I put to him. So, Rusty, do you think we should go back into the Hump and clear up more pine tree mess? No, I didn't think so either - anyway, I'm far too clean. Does the pine pollen bother your dog-nose? A fine yellow dust is covering everything - it's particularly noticeable on the glossy dark green Camellia leaves.
This August has been such a groovy month - one in which I've always been kept guessing as to the weather. And underneath my nose all sorts of little spring things have been busy developing leaves and flowers. The garden has become more and more colourful, and the tones of green much warmer. Yippee!