Shocking! Non-Gardening Partner has escaped his garden duties for a day of skiing. And I've been inside looking through old Moosey garden and pets photographs. It's nearly lunchtime - when am I going to start my gardening?

 Beautiful spring flowering perennials - easy to propogate, too.
Yellow Wallflower

Saturday 13th September

My head is full of beautiful flowery colours (the Moosey summer images from last year) and thoughts of my sparkling (and departed) white cat, B-Puss, which always make me sigh out loud. It shouldn't still be sadness - after all, I have eight (not one, two, three, four, five, six, or seven, but eight) other cats who I love sharing time with.

B-Puss as a kitten :
B-Puss is short for Beige-Puss - he was the most wonderful gardening cat. It's OK to miss him a little...

But after a peering-at-photographs session I always miss the real-life B-Puss - the ratio of pictures of B-Puss to the other Moosey animals is rather embarrassing, too. Sorry, all you others! A rapid weeding session should bring me back to earth (ha!) with a thump.

I think I'll start in the pond paddock, where I can admire the results of yesterday's hard work redeveloping the garden behind the pond. Sometimes my garden designs are as instant as packet noodles! Hmm... Last night NGP seemed alarmingly disinterested in chain-sawing behind the pond - he thought the pond looked 'alright anyway'. Ha! Wait until tomorrow...

 I think this is an Australian shrub.
Purple Mint Bush

Actually, the more I think about being in the real garden outside, in real-time (mid-spring), the more I can think of which I'd like to do. Farewell! I may be gone for some time...

 The vegetable garden is in the foreground.
Spring Bonfire

Much, Much Later...

You might think that a person who does nothing but garden, or think about her garden, or write about herself doing or thinking about her garden, would be bored with herself. Not so! Today I have had yet another brilliant idea, namely to 'break in' a small piece of virgin territory and add it to my garden domain.

It's a small idea, but I've never ever cleared along one of the (Vaguely rectangular) pond sides - the one by the Pump-house, where water gurgles in from the intake pipe. Ha! So I'm going to continue my back-of-the-pond path to skirt the water's edge along here and pop out in the Pond Paddock. So far I've raked and sawn down self-seeded Pittosporums, removed a huge sprawling species flax, and had a go at the waterside weedy grasses. My spade isn't quite sharp enough - I figure that NGP will be extremely available (for reasons of guilt) tomorrow to help. I've identified more tree branches to be chain-sawed down, too. Poor chap!+5

Before my pond-path brainwave I'd been gardening well within myself, clearing all the Pittosporums out of one of the house garden borders. I'd replanted the white Daphne, planted a birthday present William Shakespeare rose and a red flowering Salvia, and pruned some of the Hydrangeas. And of course I'd done lots of good, honest weeding, like I said I would. And for the first time in months I had Mugsy the cat for low-impact cat company. Dear little Mugsy - always a little vague, gets easily confused (or lost)...

So now I'm clean and I'm waiting for NGP to get home from the ski-field. I'll be really chatty and friendly to him, I'll proudly show him all my curved thumbnails (little photographs I've been building for the Moosey website), and I'll cook him a decent meal. Ha! Wish me luck...

Sunday 14th September
Non-Gardening Partner's BIG DAY OUT in the Moosey Garden

Right. I've written down the list of trees I need removed, and I'm nervously awaiting the appearance of NGP, who seems to be hiding in the bedroom. Blimey! Older-Lady Gardener frightens Resident Engineer into the closet... Rusty the dog is puzzled, and the minutes are ticking by - it's almost nine o'clock!

 Rusty waits for NGP to put in an appearance.
Dog Waiting Patiently

I tried to reassure NGP by writing the list of his tasks on the back of an envelope (they just fitted). My goodness, I hope he behaves. Touch wood - actually, that's quite an apt phrase...

My Pond Path

I like the idea of a path which encircles my pond. I will definitely make that happen today, regardless of anything else. I must also sow more of my seeds and take more basal cuttings of lupins. In my opinion there isn't a nicer red than can be found in my clump of lupins by the water race. Except for some of the red roses and rhododendrons, I guess. Oops.

 He has lost a lot of his variegation.
President Roosevelt

Still waiting... The suspense... Will NGP duck out the back door and race to the garage to get away? If he starts up the tractor I am done for... Aargh! I hear noises...

Much, Much Later...

Excellent! All my trees have been sawn down, and I've cleaned up most of the driveway mess. I now have a new area to organise - should I turn some or all of it back into lawn? Or turn it into garden and buy new plants? Maybe plant another (less scruffy) tree? How exciting... The pond trees are down, too - I'll clear their mess up tomorrow. The nice thing is that my proposed pathway around the water's edge is now completely clear of branches. I think NGP was impressed with my preparation and organisation - he even went further and mowed the house lawns. A huge thank you to him.

 Stacks of firewood for next winter...
The Driveway Make-Over

I've run out of puff and gone apres-gardening - I've been sitting in the late afternoon sun drying my hair reading my Private Gardens of Paris book. Lots of the gardeners (well, more accurately their designers) all use a bright green ground-cover called helxine, and I've never heard of it. There seems to be a lot of shade in the private gardens of Paris.

Garden Gnome Rescued from Bathtub

Back on the more rustic home-front, I've found my bachelor garden gnome, missing for ten months. A giant oops. Guess who vaguely remembered standing him on the rim of the old white tadpoles' bathtub behind the garage? Well, he fell in, and has spent three gardening seasons submerged in the murky depths. When I first fished him out I was scared that his features would have dissolved. But no - apart from a patina of grubby green, he's just the same as before. Well, perhaps a bit paler for his ordeal. Whew!

 Poor little chap!
Garden Gnome Dries Out

I absolutely love the new things that are happening in my garden. For years I've ignored those scruffy, weedy driveway trees - and now they're down. So easy, really. Now the first impressions of the Moosey Garden can be really improved. And my pond is finally becoming a beautiful place to walk around, and sit by - as it always should have been!