Good morning April. No fooling around for me on your first morning. I have my Silver Swans ballet class. Then I might leap (a grand jete?) into the last stretch of water (by Rooster Bridge) to finish my autumn water race clean-up.

 Such fun ducking underneath the Gunnera!
Floating Visitor in Water Race

But first, I should write myself an April list. There's the small concern that a listless gardener could become - well, listless! To rev myself into autumnal action I've been looking at older journal entries for the beginning of April.

Last April...

Aargh! Last April we were in full Covid lockdown, and I was a rather stunned, if thoughtful gardener. The year before, Red Fred (a juvenile cat at the time) got stuck high in a pine tree and had to be rescued in the middle of the night. Handy to have a live-in volunteer fireman...

 The rescue ladder, the Bachelor (Beau ram), Nasturtiums, and Big Brown Escher
April Retrospective...

In 2019 there were Nasturtiums flowering in the Allotment Garden (none this year, too dry), and I'd already cleared all the gum tree mess up (the fire ban came off early that year). In 2018 I was busy watching (and writing about) The Bachelor on TV. To be fair, at the time we were selecting the ewes to 'go' with our merino ram. And the year before that big brown Escher was a country dog, living with us, his nose always getting him into trouble. Love you, Escher!

That was then, this is now...

But that was then, and this is now, and my April list just isn't happening - the gardening mind is blank. OK. I'll walk the dogs and talk things through with them. I know exactly what their April list (or any list) would have on it :

April List for Dogs

  1. Throw the ball.
  2. Go for a walk.
  3. Throw the ball again.
  4. Go for another walk.
  5. Throw the ball again.
  6. Go for another walk.

Later, lunchtime...

Oops. I blame Ms Google (the maps lady). On my way to visit a friend for coffee, she took me right past a local rose nursery. 'Roses Half Price' said the sign. Oh dear. Never mind that I already have two dozen roses in pots, all relocations from within my own garden, to find new homes for. What was I thinking?

 These are the new rigosas.
New Rose Labels

Ha! I was thinking I'd love to grow the climbing sport of Blackberry Nip (so fragrant). I was thinking rugosas : Rugspin (my last one died), a yellow Frau Dagmar Hastrup, and a new hybrid called David Thompson. I was also thinking of the beautiful pink single Sparieshoop, a rose which I used to enjoy and which passed on years ago. Oh dear me.

 A hybrid rugosa.
David Thompson Rose

Next morning...

Yes! I've started to clear a space in the Hump Garden for my new roses. I've dug out some huge Anemanthele grasses, one of my go-to foliage filler plants. I've started to remove patches of suckering Viburnum (will take an axe to the roots). Lamium, too, is coming out - it forms a thick matted ground-cover, and keeps the soil underneath terribly dry. Dodgy stuff for me, the invasive yellow flowering form.

My gardening session ended prematurely in the nicest possible way - it started raining. Lightly at first, so I kept on digging and nipping. Then a bit stronger, but still I stayed. Alas, water began dripping down the back of my neck, and getting wet became getting cold - not pleasant. So I've come inside to join Non-Gardening Partner (who has lit the log-burner). Am terribly excited about the new roses - I haven't splashed out like this for a while.

 Used to be covered up with a suckering Viburnum.
The New Garden is Started

So glad I didn't write that list - I wouldn't have had the nerve to put 'Buy new roses' on it. Now am thinking I might return to the rose nursery for another look. Just a peep! Naughty!