How Do I Love Thee?
Non-Gardening Partner - how do I love thee? Let me count the ways... You brighten up my dullest times, you put up with my silly rhymes... And you bring me home ten bags of miniature Agapanthus plants, knowing I will like them. Brilliant chap!
Bags of Miniature Agapanthus
Mind you, a well-trained NGP will always say 'yes' to free plants, particularly if prepared to transport them home in the back of his or her car. And a good gardener will plant them immediately, thus giving the NGP instant feedback. Then the following question can be asked without seeming too greedy: please are there any more?
Non-Gardening Partner's Autumn Theory
NGP has an autumn theory. It is the beginning of the garden gnome season. In autumn, he reckons, a garden's vegetation starts to die down, exposing the gnomes in all their 'glory'. Aargh! Take those awful things to the dump AT ONCE!
Abandoned Garden Gnomes
This explains why absolutely no gnomes have needed me to rescue them over summer. But I need to increase my vigilance now. See, I told you he was a brilliant chap!
MInimus the Cat
Saturday 13th April
I'm very smiley and pleased with myself, because these latest Agapanthus are now all happily planted in the garden behind the pond. That was quick! The planting holes, for once, were really easy to dig, and I'm rather hoping that nature might like to water them in for me.
Young Minimus 'helped' by leaping into the middle of newly planted clumps, ears flat, cat-maniac look on her pretty little face. Silly grey cat! The gardens around the pond and the cottage are her garden domain.
Thinking of my other grey cat, I've already spent a pleasant half hour in Lilli's Cat Lounge, with Lilli being very attentive and smoochy. I've bought her some so-called coffee table books from the Charity shop for 50 cents each - huge, glossy pictorial books of the 'beautiful New Zealand' variety. One had a rather nice description of some lumpy tussock hills - like the folds of a carelessly dropped blanket, it said. Nice.
Pond Paddock in Early Autumn
Guess what? Autumn is making good progress. I've just noticed the golden leaves on the birch tree in the pond paddock. Last week I was raving on about loving the greenery. Now I have to add 'goldery' and 'reddery' - colourwise the prunus trees are firing up, too. Click goes the camera, click, click, click...
Autumn Chestnut Leaves
Sunday 14th April
Autumn is sooooooooooo nice. I love the pond in autumn. And I love the cooler evenings - snuggly double-duvet nights in the cottage, where Minimus builds a cat-sleeping nest underneath the covers.
I have only one regret this autumn (well, only one that I can think of at the moment). The oak leaves are starting to fall, which means I'll be starting to rake them into bags. Last year's leaves still haven't produced proper leaf mould. Hmm... I think they need more moisture.
Today I've done a bit of this and that. I've filled the wheelbarrow with mess from the Pond Paddock gardens. I've helped NGP sort some hazelnuts (it's harvesting time) in the orchard. I've taken a batch of Agatha Christie and Isaac Asimov paperbacks to Lilli's Cat-Lounge and spent a happy hour there with Lilli (who was in a kittenish fight-my-feet mood).
I told Lilli that some misguided people might think we were mad, sitting in an open sunny hay barn on comfy armchairs talking and purring to each other. But she was not to worry. There were much madder people around - not that she was a person, anyway - like the ones having party celebrations in the streets of London just because an ex-prime minister had died of old age. A little gentle cat-and-gardener madness was nothing.