Tiny treasures. An autumn bonfire before the rain arrives. A moment of joy - B-puss's memorial tree, Eddie's White Wonder, in autumn colour. A tiny wish - that I'll still be gardening in thirty years' time, when TV News will come and interview me, a wondrous old garden relic, the 'there-is-still-hope' story of the week. Another tiny wish, this one not so self-centred : that my garden will always provide a good home for buzzy things, birds, and butterflies. A monarch butterfly turned up yesterday (the first I've ever seen here) and I worried that I don't grow the 'right' food for it.
Cornus Eddies White Wonder
Back to the present. I'm off swimming. Another tiny thought. When I get home I'll light the wood-burner to celebrate being cosy inside, leaving the coolish autumnal drizzle outside. I collected the wood, fed it past the chain-saw, stacked it, and carried it into the house. The warmth of the fire will be my reward for being a Good Gatherer.
Tuesday 8th April
No gardening again today - it's just been too wet. These autumn days are getting noticeably shorter - and more colourful!
Autumn is Here!
The lawns are green again, and the house gardens are very much lighter (thanks to the felling of next-door's pine forest). And wouldn't you know it - my lazy-bones patio tomatoes are only just ripening properly. The summer hasn't been hot enough for them.
Wednesday 9th April
OK. So what will I do in my dripping, damp garden today? Rationalise the dahlias? Aargh! Weed down the driveway? Another aargh! Take more autumn photographs? Absolutely, remembering that the strong tree colour doesn't last. Rake up some leaves? Hmm... Next time I fill in a form I'm going to put 'Leaf Raker' as my occupation.
You know, I think I need to settle down, drink my coffee slowly, and stop asking rhetorical questions. And here's the plan. To restore calm, I choose one garden (for example, The Septic Tank Garden) and tidy it up. Meanwhile my camera battery will be recharging. Ha! My morning (and, by association, my life) is thus simplified.
Pond Cottage in Autumn
Four Hours later...
Another tiny thing to treasure... warm, dry socks! I love my special winter-wool not-for-gardening socks. I've spent four hopelessly wet and muddy hours in the Septic Tank Garden. Various things needed taking care of. The Lamium had regrown in places, but it was pretty easy to pull out. Several Pittosporums were overhanging the path and needed sawing. The fence upon which the rose Constance Spry sprawls has broken - that's a job for Non-Gardening Partner.
I also chopped the woody Deutzia shrub down to its ankles. This is the most disappointing shrub I've ever known - its white flowers last hardly a week, and yet it takes pride of place in the middle of the border. It would be far too shaming to list the number of huge weeds I've pulled out. But good news - two new Camellias planted some months ago are doing well. They'll be even better now that the weeds have gone.
New Roses! Yippee!
The phone rang just as I'd decided I was too wet, muddy, and cold to do any more. Yippee! My new roses and my new cat teapot (hee hee) have arrived (sent to my friend's urban address, the postage is much cheaper). These are my rewards for a very productive down-and-dirty morning.
+5+5+5+5Aargh! Now a tiny moment of lunacy. I've just caught myself peeping through the online ads for kittens needing homes. What? When we appear to have calm and mature cat equilibrium? Histeria, Fluff-Fluff, and Tiger have all been outside following me around, while young Minimus has wisely stayed hidden underneath the plum tree, squeaking whenever I've plodded by. What delightful cat company!
Thursday 10th April
There's been yet more rain, so today's hike around Mount Bradley has been postponed - the back parts of the track are steep and rocky, and would be really slippery. And we wouldn't see anything except our feet. No point. I can watch my feet plodding around the garden.
Right. I'm off to take some wet photographs.
I spent a couple of hours finishing off the Septic Tank Garden clean-up. Lamium has popped up again - I did a huge dig-out two years ago, but the new pieces are easy to pull out. I understand I might never get rid of it. And talk about autumn colour - it's changing every day. Now the Silver Birches by the cottage are turning golden-yellow. And the row of red beauties in the Dog-Path Garden look beautiful - Dogwood, Maple, Cotinus, and the Copper Beech. There's also quite a lot of brown around, though, as is to be expected. The photographs tell the story!
A final tiny treasure for this page - amidst the mellow colours of autumn, a bright red toadstool (what's what I call them) hiding in the garden. Such a clever thing to pop up out of nowhere.