Kittens on the Bridge
The new glass-house garden is nearly dug, and the new back lawn is nearly finished. I'm ready to go shopping for a small specimen tree - I'd like another wine-coloured Cercis Forest Pansy. Hmm... What a good excuse!
Tuesday 21st August
Whenever I check the morning mail and write my morning journal, Percy the ginger kitten arrives and sits on my lap, purring. He is quite a chunky shape now, and as his features mature he reminds me more and more of Smoocher. Percy is a brilliant gardening cat, too - as are all three kittens. Good morning, Percy! That's pronounced 'Purrcy' - how appropriate.
I'm off swimming to wake myself up, then I'm zooming straight home to dig and dig and dig and dig - and get that new garden finished. I'll also be finding new places (maybe fence lines) for the Shasta daisy clumps. This rather large, tiresome, and jolly-hard-work digging project has had one consolation - I haven't bought any new roses for at least a week.
I'm not seriously grumpy with it, either, I just want it finished. This afternoon! Or else!
It's hard to dig and wheel and shovel and sulk at the same time, though. I could blast the back lawn with some mentally inspiring Mozart music, like they do in school libraries...
Well, I did my best, and I even took photographs of the last fence post surrounded by lawn, humming 'The Last Post' - oops. But I stopped just a little too soon - I reckon there's one more day's work. Then I sat on the house patio in my muddy gardening clothes, with a library book on foliage, and promptly fell asleep. My book did give me some ideas, though I am several steps ahead of this particular author. I love grasses, I grow grasses, and I have loads of 'exotic' Phormiums, hee hee. Interesting chapter headings - one each for hostas, grasses, ferns, and big-leafed plants. The author thinks that hostas are responsible for the upsurge in foliage plant interest, that they provide a sort of stepping-off place.
Which one will Stumpy the Grey choose?
Six Out of Nine Gardening Cats
The gardening cats (I had six gardening cats today) all took turns to writhe and wriggle in the chopped back catmint. Naturally as soon as I ducked inside for my camera they decided this was all far too stimulating, and wandered off. The reason I never get any photographs of little Mugsy is that she rarely comes outside now. She's had a good winter, though - she gets lots of small snacks when the kittens are fed, and lots of indoor attention.
While half snoozing I had one really good tree idea for the glass-house garden - it involves shifting a new tree planted a year ago (an Esk Sunset No. 2, I think). The two flowering cherry trees in the pond paddock are already ominously spreading towards it. In a few years it will have no sky room. Esk Sunset No. 2, if that be its name, is a beauty, with variegated dull pinky salmon and green leaves.
Tomorrow my plan is to go walking on the Peninsula, and have the day completely off from the garden. I deserve it!
Thursday 23rd August
Ouch. I have a soft tissue digging foot injury, which played up on the walk. Then I tripped badly over an untied bootlace at the very end of the day. More ouches - badly bruised knees, forearms - and definitely pride! So today I've been recuperating, allowed only a gentle hour to prune the hydrangeas and trim the ferns. Lots of elevated foot rest, and book reading - my latest library book earnestly chronicles the history of the 'Rustic Garden'. It is a very serious book.
Tomorrow I will return to the garden and shift that new tree (Esk Sunset No. 2). Definitely no right-footed digging is allowed. The offending gumboots have been thrown into the bin. My lovely, supportive NGP (Non-Gardening Partner) has dug out the last fence-post - finishing that new lawn is now up to me. But I'm never ever going to do serious gardening in limp gumboots again. Decent boots or shoes which support the foot are now compulsory. Ouch!
Friday 24th August
I am apres gardening, having spent a leisurely, pain-free three hours in the garden - including some careful digging. The new lawn now has the smallest dirt piece left, which I will ceremonially fill tomorrow , with camera clicking. I've dug the hole for the tree, and I have a few last questions, rhetorical, which I will now list, concerning the new Glass-House Garden.
Does The Glass-House Garden Want...
- The spare Shasta daisy clumps?
- A couple of roses - Teasing Georgia and her friend?
- The two spare hebes?
- Some more tussock grasses?
- Some Gunnera seedlings, waterside?
- Another tree - a little red Maple?
And I have questions regarding the proposed site of the arched bridge. Does NGP (Non-Gardening Partner) realise that I am terribly serious about this? And that I require his input, commitment, and construction time? He can't really be thinking about going skiing all day tomorrow, can he?
I've been trying to read a spring mail-order catalogue, with my sore foot elevated on a chair. It has not been relaxing - Percy the ginger kitten has kept leaping out of nowhere to land on and subdue what he thinks is a lurking sock-monster.
The TVP Culprit
Aargh! There has been a cat disgrace of dog-disgrace proportions in the house, too - far worse than last month's phantom pantry piddler. An unknown feline (suspected to be Fluff-Fluff) has pee-ed on the new flat screen TV, and it is not working. This is an emergency - the Rugby World Cup starts in less than three weeks. Warranties and insurance do not usually cover pet pee. Not when there are nine cats. Aargh again!
Saturday 25th August
This morning the Moosey house only has one cat - little Mugsy. I have thrown out all the others and shut the laundry door. We are now a normal household - apart from a nuisance dog who desperately wants to go for a bicycle ride, there is one mellow feline snoozing on her sheepskin pet-rug. Calm - nice! How long will this last?
- Histeria :
- Histeria the kitten is fast becoming the Miss Personality and Friendship of the Moosey nine cats family.
Today is THE DAY. I will finish laying the new lawn. It is time I had something new to talk about... Hello, Histeria the tabby kitten, and big white B-Puss - how did you two get back inside? ... Not to mention something new and challenging to do outside. Hello, Lilli-Puss - how did you get in?
Aargh! Now FF, suspected pet-piddler - that TV was new! - has appeared. This is hopeless. Where is the leak, so to speak - which door? Which window?
While I remember, I have another list of random garden tasks which I keep forgetting to do.
Don't Forget The...
- Standard roses by the laundry.
- Shift them.
- Red Fountain Cordylines.
- Properly pot them.
- Pink Flower Carpet rose.
- Properly wine-barrel it.
But guess what? Lots of my spring seeds in the glass-house are up. Yesterday I sprinkle-watered them, as opposed to flooding, which I do when lazy. I'm very pleased.
David Austin Roses
Later... Lawn Success!
The new lawn is finished, smoothed and level. The new glass-house garden is not quite finished yet, but I've been busily wheeling in loads of compost and wet ash, and tipping out bags of old leaves. I haven't shifted the tree yet - those Wattle Woods paths distracted me. The hole in the ground (in which Esk Sunset No. 2 will stand) has been a source of great interest for the gardening cats and kittens - each one has leapt in and dug some more dirt out.
Three David Austin roses are planted on the grass edge, two plain red cordylines (ex-pots) nearer the water, and lots of forget-me-nots sliced up from the Wattle Woods paths. And my goodness - these paths are looking great, with their new covering of mulch. And a tiny bit of colourful spring-flowery excitement - hellebores and pulmonarias in flower, and the first red rhododendron blooms have opened, as have several more Camellias.
Waterwheels and Birthday Bridges
I think NGP understands that I do want a waterwheel and an arched bridge, like I saw in Attadale Gardens. I took him out to indicate a possible place for this bridge - between the end of the completed Glass-House Garden and Duck Lawn - and he grunted intelligently, not a bad sign for an engineer. It's my birthday soon, hee hee.