My spring garden is suddenly very pink - there's lots of pink blossom like the weeping Crab-Apple over the water from my burning heap. The two flowering cherry trees in the Pond Paddock are just starting to bloom.

 By the stone wall on the edge of the Shrubbery.
New Tulips

Tuesday 7th October

There's a huge pink blossom tree down the driveway. And of course the big rhododendron by Middle Bridge is in full pinkness. I love pink.

Percy :
Percy my young ginger cat now has his own cat page.

Good morning to Percy my purring ginger cat, flopping his soft furry body on me as I type. It's all change in the cat baskets - Histeria is sitting in Stumpy's, Mugsy in Tiger's, and Tiger is in Percy's chair. Big Fluff-Fluff is in the 'right place' - squashed into his cardboard box behind the computer, cat-snoring. Poor Rusty the dog - the lone canine in a pack of cats. More the omega than the alpha male.

 My disabled two-tone cat.
Mugsy the Cat

Cat Blogs

I've been thinking - lots of cats have 'their own' blogs. So when I run out of my things to say I can assume the personality and viewpoint of each of my cats? Hmm... I am, after all, the Great Mother Puss.

Or Chook Blogs?

I did once try writing 'A Day in the Life of a Chook' - not terribly successfully. Peck, peck, scuffle, peck... No, even though I repeat and repeat and repeat myself, I think I'll stay a person writer.

Right. Time for some gentle garden action. I can see the new tulips in the Shrubbery from the computer table, and the first big blue irises are flowering. I should plant new bulbs each year - they look gorgeous.

Meno Mosso

Gardening today is allowed to be slow. I've huffed and puffed my way through the last two days, attitude triple positive, tempo allegretto sostenuto, with no ritards. Perhaps today can be much more meno mosso!

 The first of the big irises to flower.
Big Blue Iris


I've spent another huge day clearing in the Wilderness, almost reaching the top of the 'hill'. The Chestnut tree looks beautiful now that the ground underneath has been cleared. What beautiful green foliage! Late in the afternoon I lay down in the grass near my rubbish fire to watch the smoke and think. I was drifting off to sleep when Rusty the dog, wet from chasing pine cones down the water race, sat on me. Aargh! He is a heavy dog!

Tomorrow I'm off walking in the foothills - I need a day off from raking, wheeling, and burning rubbish. The Wilderness may only have two or three working days left in it - better to space things out nicely, have something to look forward to, that sort of thing...

Thursday 9th October

My goodness - it feels like I've had a lazy gardening day. But I've added up the time I've spent doing seeds, weeding, and raking - and I've been working for about three hours. So all is forgiven. Not much energy is spare today, though.

I've pricked out lots of seeds - mainly blue cornflowers, pansies, and lemon calendulas. All my geraniums and succulents have wintered-over successfully. Again, with minimal effort and little science, my glass-house practices seem to have worked. Good luck, probably - it's almost time to wheel out the pots. And how about an I-will-faithfully-water promise?

 That's its name!
Unique Rhododendron

Now the most exciting summer-symbolic thing has happened - there is late afternoon cricket to listen to. Cricket means summer, and my cricket radio finally makes name-sense. I'm off to the couch with my Hidcote garden book and my spectacles (this is serious).

Friday 10th October

I'm going to have a much bigger day in the garden today. I wonder if I could finish clearing the Wilderness - then I could organise the irrigation and start some shrubby plantings. But first - swimming, and on the way home I'll buy some more potting mix and pick up more horse manure. Looking after the three 'Esses' (?) or 'S's' - self, seeds, and soil. That's a fairly good spring summation!

Hidcote Garden Book :
I'm enjoying reading this book on the famous garden at Hidcote. The writer first visited Hidcote in 1949.

I've had fun reading my new library books - as well as my big book on Hidcote, and my super-scary Garden Sourcebook, I have a cute American magazine full of cottage garden plantings and garden sheds which Non-Gardening Partner has found at the local library.

The magazine Country Gardens features real gardeners pottering about in their gardens - rather a quantum leap from the Hidcote book. If I get tired of either elegant or homesy garden descriptions my latest escapist couch-travel book has a really well-written bloke going on as many long-distance Indian trains as he can...

 Iris flowers are not easy to photograph - such an odd shape!
Purple Iris

More Things Flowering

The Choisya (Mexican Orange Blossom) shrubs have now started blooming. More dwarf irises are out - including some beautiful purples. There are dotty blue forget-me-nots everywhere. The pinky-red rhododendron called Cornubia which I shifted into the new Driveway Garden is flowering mady to show its appreciation of its new, prime location. The ornamental Maples are in leaf.

But... there are beautiful yellow dandelion flowers in many of the borders, and absolutely all the lawns need mowing. This means that absolutely all the edges will need trimming. The Moosey sheep are being shorn tomorrow - which removes NGP from my greedy grasp.