It's the time of year when wonderful water becomes so important. Without watering, many of my plants would struggle to be sad summer survivors. The big irrigation ran last night, so lovely for my thirsty garden. Non-Gardening Partner estimates about 50,000 litres went on the house gardens in four hours. Wow!
Wednesday 15th January
-1.6kgBut a figure that is less pleasing - big Fluff-Fluff weighed in this morning at 7.6 kilos (imperially 16.7lbs). He is officially obese, and I am killing him by over-supplying him with food. As a cat-lover this is just not right. Ha, big Fluff-Fluff. You are on a diet.
Fluff-Fluff the Cat
No More Measurements
I'm not planning to measure anything else today. Except I have done an hour's Schumann piano practice, hoping that my resident violinist would take up the hint (and the bow, so to speak). No show, so I'm about to cover some thin squabs for the white wire seat behind the pond.
This is the perfect cool, leafy place to continue my summer reading. The chair cushions can easily go in the pump house when not in use. I am still - ploughing? plodding? trudging? my way through the Booker prize novel The Luminaries, trying to read it totally in the garden. This is not a bedtime book.
And as for Fluff-Fluff - the strategy is simple. A proper breakfast, then absolutely no snacking in the daytime. Cuddles, rather than cat-food. Sit back, scratch his tummy, and watch the pounds (kilos) fade away.
Oops. I didn't really do much gardening. I bucketed water onto the Pittosporums on the fence-line, and gave each of them a tiny whispered plea. Please grow big and strong and screen me from the neighbour's mess. For encouragement I pulled out a few weeds.
The cushions for the white wire seat are finished. It's easy to carry them, plus a hot cup of tea and a book, all at the same time, without spilling anything. These are my requirements for outdoor furnishings to be a success.
The Water Race
Each cushion side has a different material - one a tiny pattern on black (long, long ago I would have called it a 'granny print), the other a soft mid-green covered with white machine embroidery leaves (the less-imaginative might just see white blobs). They've been christened - I read my serious big book sitting on the green side.
Thursday 16th January
Aargh! Water worries last night! Non-Gardening Partner went off to Fire Practice, and I went over to the cottage, to find the pond was overflowing madly. It has a gravity-fed intake pipe, and I couldn't work out how to stop it from filling. A shallow lake of water lapped around the Jelly-Bean Garden, and there was a waterfall over the far bank, flooding the hollow around the Pump-House.
Poor young Minimus the cottage cat, 'stuck' over the other side, climbed carefully along the logs edging the path. My cats do NOT like wet paws! But the cottage floor got covered in muddy paw-prints, as did my creamy white sheets and green patchwork bed-cover.
I worried, as one does, as to what damage the water was doing. When one's partner is an engineer one tries to apply good logic when things break. Is this a maintenance emergency, and should NGP therefore be told immediately? Or can it wait? Can I possibly fix it myself? In the case of the flooding pond, shouldn't I be able to see how the valve on the pipe works, and therefore be able to turn the silly thing off? Hmm...
Tiger the Cat
Chamber music - Bach's wonderful trio sonatas, with Tiger the cat lolling underneath the violinist's music stand showing off her belly. After this rather voluptuous furry distraction we were interrupted by NGP's personal fireman's beeper (in tune) going off. The hot nor-west winds were blowing, and there was grass fire a block away. Eek! But we did get BWV1039 done and dusted first - this is such a cheerful, tuneful, positive work. Yippee for G major! I honestly think that Tiger enjoys listening to us. Dear cat!
Now I need to pick up the gum tree bark off the lawns, knowing there'll be more to fall. How silly it is to become obsessed with garden maintenance. Accept the futility of keeping the garden tidy and indulge in the occasional desperate lunge towards perfection, I reckon.
First I did a long session weeding along the water race banks, sloshing through the water. This is my summer gardening treat - splashing my face with the cool clear water, getting my arms wet rummaging on the bottom for stones. It's almost idyllic, though pieces of tree rubbish can suddenly come floating past. I dead-headed the overhanging daylilies (surely one of THE most futile exercises ever) and kept a wary eye out. Once an exciting large red plastic bucket floated into my property. Yes, for a gardener a large unannounced red bucket IS exciting!
Then I sat with my big book behind the pond while the water intake pipe gurgled merrily. The bellbirds chirped and the wind danced in the leaves.
My Reading Seat Behind the Pond
It was like sitting by a small mountain lake, surrounded by forest and bush, listening to a waterfall, with shelter (my cottage) just across the water. So magical. No - much, much more than 'magical'. I can't think of the right word.