Will I get my Christmas gardening done?
Roses to Dead-Head
It's the weekend before Christmas - will I be able to get all my Christmas gardening done? I still have sale plants (roses, and perennial geraniums) to find garden places for, and my vegetable garden is a semi-disgrace.
Saturday 22nd December
Grr... I am furious with my rooster, who managed to get himself on the other side of the chicken netting from his hens. He was seriously stressed and horribly pecky, twirling through 180 degrees at the end of my protective stick, trying to get a peck in at the back of my legs. It was scary! I warned him about the cooking pot - aggressive roosters are surplus to requirements - and then had to retreat to get reinforcements (the dog, and Non-Gardening-Partner).
Already today I've been pottering on my Christmas calendars - flowers, roses, snoozing cats, and one totally full of Rusty the dog photographs. I'm almost ready to launch into the garden. Some weeding first, and then some tree clearing - NGP will operate the chainsaw.
Rose Golden Tribute
Success - lots more logs are chopped up ready to stack for firewood. It seems symbolic that on the longest day of the year, mid-summer's day, we are busy working for winter. I've also weeded three barrowfuls, and cleared some rose prunings. From the number of foxgloves I keep finding to pull out, there's definitely a cottage garden element to my planting schemes!
My Mutabilis rose - and one of the pergola Crepuscules - were damaged last winter by wind, and foolishly I didn't tidy them up at the time. I am trying very hard to keep up with the rose dead-heading, too. It's coming up to the in-between season for the early rose flowers, while later bloomers like Sally Holmes and the pink Fairy are at their beautiful best.
My cat rescue friend Judith has been busy hand-rearing some small kittens, found dumped on a back road. It's really shameful that folk can do this - allowing a house cat to breed has a pledge to nurture the resulting kittens and find them homes. Only two of the four kittens have survived.
Foster Kittens at Ten Months
The Moosey website continues to support the Trap Neuter Return programme, and three more young adult feral cats have recently had their compulsory vet trips. To think that Histeria the kitten growled and hissed and spat at me so much, for so long, that I almost returned her to the paddock! Oops. I may never foster any kittens again, but I'm richer for the experience (some may say 'poorer', feeding eight cats).
Sunday 23rd December - Lunchtime...
I'm feeling lazy, so I've come back inside after one hour of cleaning up tree mess. I've been stacking firewood-sized logs in piles and wheeling out barrowfuls of gum and pine, which are then dumped onto the appropriate fence-line heap. I've had great cat company - namely Histeria the tabby and big boy Fluff-Fluff, who has insisted on following the wheelbarrow everywhere it went, squeaking the minute he thought he'd been left behind. Such a tiny voice for such a huge cat...
Earlier this morning I took the Moosey Christmas photograph - well, I tried to. I'd made the words 'Merry Xmas' with rose petals in front of the catmint - a bad move. My letters kept getting rearranged as besotted cats sprawled all over the plants, and then the dog charged through to chase a passing aeroplane. Then the sun came out - aargh! Here it is, anyway...
I still feel lazy, but being a good Head Gardener who does what she's told (by herself) I've spent another hot hour dead-heading and trimming things. The Clematis Montana on the driveway fence is growing again, as I knew it would. I am going to keep it trimmed. In fact, lots of my Hebes, just finishing flowering, could do with a light trim as well. That inspires me to make a gardening list for tomorrow (Christmas Eve). I need to complete all task items between swimming and carol singing. Fa la la la la...
Christmas Eve List
- Trim Hebes.
- Plant new roses, perennial geraniums, etc.
- Weed somewhere.
Remember that one of the standard Olive trees was - ahem - removed discretely from the Birthday Rose Garden? Well, the owner of said garden, Daughter of Moosey, arrives home in seven days time. And there's definitely room in her garden for the new plants. They simply cannot spend Christmas dumped in the driveway in their plastic bags. In fact - why not plant them now? It would make that list shorter... Hey - the plants could be her Christmas presents... Oops...
The Back of the Birthday Rose Garden
Monday 24th December - Christmas Eve
Hurray for Christmas! Yesterday I planted all the new things, with lots of water, and I cleaned up the inside of the Birthday Garden. Today I'm going to get all the other house gardens ready for Christmas.
It's the start of the holidays. Cheeky folk reckon that retired ladies who garden full-time are always on holiday - this is not true. Yesterday afternoon I lay down on the grass in the shade with cats Histeria and Fluff-Fluff and my mind was flooded with happy holiday thoughts - jigsaws, barbecues, cricket, family, sunshine, piano playing, biking with the dog... Time to take stock and give thanks, I'd say!
I could now write a new Christmas Eve list, but it would be full of words like 'dead-head' and 'weed' and 'sweep' and it would feel almost as boring as 'Christmas vacuuming'.
Shocking Revelation! Cat Disgrace!
Yesterday lovely son-in-law interrupted Tiger the cat about to commit a disgraceful act on the DVD player underneath the new TV. Finally, after months of speculation, accusation and counter-accusation, the cat-culprit who piddled on the rather expensive flat screen television is thus exposed and brought to justice (son-in-law bellowed and threw his glass of water on her). I always thought it was Fluff-Fluff, asserting his semi-manhood in front of the new boy-kitten Percy. Sorry, Fluff-Fluff.
Merry Christmas Fluff-Fluff
Right. I have done some Christmas vacuuming, and had my morning coffee. I fancy a bike ride with Rusty the super-groomed dog. Then I'll do some gardening. No need to rush - after all, I am on holiday!