Is it too late?
Four more April days to go. Eek! Ironic that I can now clearly remember things I should have done at the beginning of the month, like sowing my autumn-winter seeds. Is it too late? Hmm...
Calendula and Bee
Thursday 27th April
Is it ever too late? I will find that out in a month's time. Today I am off swimming, and I will return with a new bag of seed raising mix. Then there will be sowing action, importantly my sweet peas, which I always fondly associate with English allotment gardeners (while such gardeners have probably moved on to more global things like Asian salad vegetables and such).
These last days it has been raining (a good thing) and I have been busy (tramping over the drizzly hills and biking along the drizzly country roads). A glass-house session would have been extremely comfortable, and sensible. I often wonder if it is an old-womanly thing - having the brightest ideas weeks after they are needed. Best not mention dahlia staking - the big whites, flowering late, are spectacularly floppy. Hmm...
My web-master, in a moment of sweet honesty, has suggested that my journals 'do dribble on a bit'. Therefore I will stop now. When (and if) I return I will have a trugful of gardening-only details to record.
I have sown lots of seeds in pottles, and sweet peas in deeper pots. All claim to be fragrant - the sweet peas, that is. What, indeed, would the point of a non-fragrant one be? Mind you, many rose breeders have put huge time and energy into non-fragrant roses. Pretty silly, really.
Everything is labelled. I have pansies, tansy, calendulas, cornflowers, petunias, four seasons lettuce... It would be nice if the weather stayed warmish for - say - the next three weeks?
Mugsy the Cat
Friday 28th April
The Moosey cats and dogs - one of my friends calls them the 'fur-family' - bring me such joy. Long, happy lives are lived out in the house and garden. So many places to explore, sunny spots to snooze in, rodents to - discourage? Hmm...
But some sad cat news - Mugsy the Cat has been missing now for two days. I've looked in all the house gardens (even under torchlight) - there's just no sign of her.
I've been searching with very mixed emotions - Mugsy has always been a lucky-to-be-alive cat, one of the original Moosey cats, a wee treasure. And old cats must be allowed to go simply, choosing their own garden place. Dear little Mugs! Thanks for being such a survivor, and living happily with us for so long. Hugs - and hisses? - from all the other cats, and a nosy smooch from Rusty the dog.
Back now to the realities of neglected garden life - so many weeds! So many little things to do!
Little Things List
- Rake up fallen Oak tree leaves.
- Put in bags. Think leaf mould. Think of the grass in the Pond Paddock breathing again.
- Dig and relocate bright pink asters.
- Plant in one big, stylish clump, not thirty-plus little straggly ones.
- Transplant ornamental grass seedlings.
- Get them out of the vegetable garden now, before tempted to let them winter over.
It's now late afternoon and I've only spent two hours in the garden, weeding the house gardens. It's been a little disheartening - there are so many tenacious weeds, particularly along the back of the Jelly Bean Border. Funny - I don't seem to notice them when I'm out swimming, or biking, or tramping... So tomorrow I will lay newspaper and mulch right along the edge. It's better to have a strong weed-suppressant plan than random weeding attempts every two months. Today's little list can be easily shifted to tomorrow. Cheer up, Moosey! Just think - we might even win the cricket!
The Pond Paddock
Saturday 29th Aprl
Half an oops today. I ignored the above list, since it involved locations in the Pond Paddock. One thing at a time - the back corner (oops, it's curved - the back sector?) of the Jelly Bean Garden got its mini-make-over. It was enlarged, a Hypericum removed, and some sulking Red Hot Pokers shifted out from underneath a shrub to the open, sunny edge. There was space for a Forsythia and two bush roses - Henri Someone and Mme Ernest Someone-Else. Full names? Sorry, I'll get the labels later.
Rainy Days and Saturdays...+10
Then the good stuff. When gardening in the rain, any old gardener can speed-dig holes and speed-plant roses, then disappear inside to dry off. It takes a deep connection with the good earth to clear the weeds, gently plant, and then provide layers of newspaper, mulch, and pea-straw. And all the time the rain pours down, and the gardener gets wetter, and cat companion Fluff-Fluff skitters around, lying in each planting hole, fighting off the rake and the spade. I don't usually get such 'paws-on' cat-company...
- Crab Apples :
- Crab Apples are wonderful small trees - spring blossom as well as autumn fruit.
I'll return into the wetness this afternoon after lunch - I want to try taking some arty raindrop pictures. There are also colourful things I need to photograph before they blow off, or turn brown, or both - the crab-apples, the yellow chrysanthemums, the floppy white dahlias (oops), the little weeping maple, and of course those lovely Dogwoods. Autumn colours in my wet garden! Lovely!
Sunday 30th April
The Moosey office is upstairs, and overlooks the Moosey piano room's roof and the Big Gum tree in the house lawn. A narrow balcony has its top rail level with the office window. It's a perch rather than a seat, from the perspective of an athletic, well-balanced cat - one who wants to stare in at the head gardener. Good morning to Fluff-Fluff and Jerome the Grey, both thus perched - please don't fight!
My Favourite Dogwood is Fast Fading
Today had better be good! That means productive, with at least the Jelly Bean Garden finished. Then possibly the pond paddock leaves collected into bags, all excess sale plants planted, and all mulch and pea-straw spread on the appropriate garden. Mulch which sits in a pile in the Orchard paddock is 'not mulch good'! Hee hee...
The back of the Jelly Bean Border (which I can see from the Moosey office) is now properly winter-mulched. I've been very modular - my wheelbarrow has been filled with the following, in no particular order: firewood, pea-straw, burning rubbish, composting rubbish, tree prunings and flax trimmings from the pond paddock, and hedge clippings which missed the chipper (spectacularly spitty on the fire).
- Mugsy the Cat :
- Mugsy has her very own cat page, written way back in 1999, in the cats and dogs section.
But... I can't find the plastic leaf rake. And there's no sign of Mugsy the cat. I have looked in more of the deepest, darkest, shrubbiest garden places - nothing. Perhaps she doesn't want to be found...