This morning's score : Winnie the puppy 1, green Echeveria on the patio 0. The devastation happened last night after I'd gone to bed. Poor plant, its pieces scattered around the room, potting mix all over the floor. So our sweet little puppy is turning into a 'destructo-dog'? Each day something ghastly happens to yet another of my garden treasures.
Tuesday 16th December
On our first walk of the day I took photographs of the roses in the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden, and trimmed the noticeably needy lawn edges before my chamber music flautist arrived. It was rather nice - the dogs and I missed her car arriving, but heard the sound of her tootling flute on the breeze.
This afternoon I found Winnie lying with the kittens on their bed. Aww... So cute? No!!!! Something was missing. Where were my cherry Doc Martins? Aargh! They were eventually found and rescued from the middle of the Frisbee Lawn. I should be thankful they had no chew-marks. Phew.
Off to the Dog-Park
So we all went to the dog-park. OK. We always meet different dogs - this time a German Shepherd whose serious owner operated a sharp, shrill, annoying whistle. And to little avail, hee hee. The lady sounded like a demented referee, and her not-so-obedient dog took little notice when she wanted him to leave. She had to remove her shoes and drag him out of the middle of the stream.
Winnie the Puppy in the Garden
But I shouldn’t have laughed at this, for Winnie also decided that she didn't want to go home when I did. It was touch and go there for a minute. Even the lure of the tennis ball didn't work. But the important thing is that the puppy had fun and really enjoyed herself. That's all that matters, right?
Bright Pink Iceberg Roses
Wednesday 17th December
Last night Winnie scored again. When I got home from my Christmas Carols Choir rehearsal, I found a chewed-up variegated Agapanthus on the floor rug. It is another of my special little patio plants. Grr... I was so cross.
Cats are so much easier to come home to than dogs. Cats don't get bored and cart your cherry Docs off outside to be tenderised. They can be trusted to be home alone and behave properly. Apart from the occasional piddle in the pantry (Tiger the tortoiseshell!) or Fluff-Fluff getting the big-bully gleam in his eye and charging off after poor gentle ginger Percy...
I've brandished the scary rolled-up newspaper twice, finding Winnie in the kittens' bedroom riffling through the kitty litter. Now before the rain arrives we are all going gardening - I'm going to barrow some more loads of mulch onto the Welcome Garden. Then we'll go to the dog-park. And boy, there'd better be obedience. Or else!
I've been working on my music scores, and I have a slight concern - Winnie the puppy, who I do not trust at all, has gone missing. I've called and called. What on earth is she up to? Aha! Here she is, drenched and muddy. Eek! She's dug a hole somewhere near water? I need to check.
And Why is Winnie Wet and Muddy?
Dreading what I might find, I walked around the pond and down the water race to check for dog-damage. Nothing. Then I went off to check the watering. Aha! I found the hugest mud puddle, with water spewing merrily out of the tap. Winnie had chewed through the end of the hose and dug a large hole for the water. She is so naughty! Well, I call it naughty, but that's a human perception on things. She was just playing! Hmm...
Late Lilac Rhododendrons
Friday 19th December
Oops. I've enjoyed two more glorious non-gardening days, during which I've played music, taken the dogs to the dog-park, had coffee with my friends, and nosed happily around the Charity Shops. I've also been busy finishing off the music scores for my Blues Band. That's thirteen songs scored for rhythm section, trumpet, trombone, saxophone, and vocal group. Thank you, Sibelius, for doing the transposing of the parts for me.
I've put up and dressed the Christmas tree, out of reach of Winnie and her chewing mouth. It's not a real pine tree - bad memories of our pines crashing down in high winds, with hours and hours of cleaning up that followed. You can see that none of this has anything to do with the garden. Oops. But I have been watering the plants, picking roses for the house, taking photographs, and so on. Doing the light-weight tasks that summer holidays are made of, really.
And the Kittens...
The kittens have been out and about in the house and garden. They are the sweetest pair, quite uncomplicated, and easily fit in with the other furry family members. Winnie and Tiddles the tabby often 'play' together in the Olearia hedge (with the kitten completely in charge, naturally). Buster loves to sit on Non-Gardening Partner's lap in the evenings and watch TV with him.
Single Red Flower Carpet Roses
Meanwhile some interesting things are happening in the garden. Three quite shiny-leafed rhododendrons are the latest of bloomers, and it's nice how they totally overlap the roses. The large patch of Alstroemeria in the Island Bed is now flowering, and the blue perennial Salvias continue to be smothered in bees. My recently discovered favourite annual called Orlaya is flowering. I've planted it in the Cottage's garden, where the white lacy flower-heads contrast beautifully with the bright red blooms of The Corsair rose. Now I just need the Sweet Peas around the verandah to wake up and grow.
Rusty and Winnie
And I need to be a little more diligent this weekend. When I wander around with the dogs I see much that needs attention. But then again, gardens are made to be enjoyed, and one doesn't always need to lurch back to reality and pull out a weed or dead-head a rose. Just smell, and touch, and gaze, and peep - such things are so important. But don't forget to keep checking on that puppy...