December distractions abound...

December distractions abound - like the 'too-hot-to-garden' state of the Head Gardening mind, and the making of Christmas presents (which always takes ages).

 One of my Island Bed standards.
Blackberry Nip Rose

Monday 8th December

Oh dear. Oh dear. It's the perfect gardening day - overcast but nicely warm, and not a breath of wind. So naturally, with my perverse gardening history (Mary, Mary, quite contrary) I've been house-bound around all morning, busy creating website gallery photographs, while my dog 'humphs' in the chair. Really - what a silly gardener! Yesterday I was outside in the garden complaining that summer was too hot.

 Fluff-Fluff is walking the upstairs balcony rail. eek!
Scary Balcony Cat

Tuesday 9th December

I am so ashamed about yesterday. Apart from cycling round the block with Rusty the humphing dog and wandering around the garden for five minutes (hello, hens) I had a computer day. But my Christmas calendars are almost finalised, and I've fixed up some pages which have been imageless since the year 2005. Another embarrassment! It's like discovering a grove of head-high perennial weeds. Gardeners (and garden web-siters) must take responsibility for every piece of their patch!

Today Mugsy the cat is off to the vet. She's recovering quietly from her problem, but I think her eyesight has deteriorated (even more). So back we go for a vet check. Hmm...

Gardening Today

Today belongs to my garden, not to my journal, or my photograph galleries, or my calendars. Last year I got the December dates wrong - hope my friends are alert to this! Oops. Anyway, I'll do some edges first, then some weeding and dead-heading. And 2008's Christmas day is on a - Friday? Hope so!

Neelima's Iris :
I've built a small thumbnail of Neelima's latest watercolour to show you. Visit her website to see more!

Congratulations to the Moosey dwarf irises who have inspired a watercolour painting friend. Her artwork is amazing, and I am humbled that my silly pictures can play a small part. Again, the caring and sharing on the gardening-internet makes me smile and giggle. It's such a good thing in this big bad world!

 This is the half-size version.
Roses 2009 Calendar


OK, so it's raining quite heavily. Yippee for my garden! So I'm off to the library to get some more light summer holiday reading. One of my serious gardening books is staying put, though - it's full of seriously inspiring lists.

Wednesday 10th December - Cat News

Mugsy the cat is back from the vet, on valium. The vet talks good sense regarding the quality of life issue, and I feel much more confident. Her back legs aren't working properly - she wobbles a lot and falls over. The vet says this isn't a 'good look' in front of visitors, but other things (purring, eating, wanting to sit on laps) are what matter. Her good eye has some damage, so she needs lots of talk and touch - but we do that all the time anyway! Easy, really. Good girl, Mugsy.

A Damp Garden

The garden is wet and many of the paths are overhanging with dripping vegetation - yesterday it rained all day! Wonderful for the garden, and gave me a guilt-free day building calendars. So far only one of my friends has noticed that last year's December dates and days were mismatched. I should warn them?


I almost forgot. Thank you, Percy the ginger cat, for the dead rodent that I trod on half way down the stairs. A great surprise to start the morning...

'I've had heaps of fun weeding...'
-Moosey Quote.

I've had heaps of fun weeding - weeding fun? Honestly I have! Because of all the irrigation (and rain) many weeds are medium-sized and thriving, so they've been easy to see and pull out of the damp soil. More and more foxgloves are coming out, too - so many self-seeders, different colours from white, lilac pink, stylish apricot and good-old magenta.

Now I have a Christmas lunch to attend. The whirlwind social life of the retired continues...

Thursday 11th December - Dog's Day Out

Today is Rusty's BIG DAY OUT. He goes to the dog groomer. In an hour's time the clippers will start buzzing and Rusty's rolls of fat (and his bottom) will be exposed for all to marvel at. Last year when we returned Fluff-Fluff the cat took fright at the 'new dog' and super-duper-sized himself sideways.+10

OK. So far, so good with little Mugsy's recovery - she's now eating well, chirping (never mind that she's a cat) instead of squeaking, and steadier on her legs. Meanwhile Tiger the Hoover (vacuum-cleaner cat) finished off Mugsy's Valium-laced breakfast - my mistake. I will end up with a houseful of contented dozy felines.

 Cherry pink and white.
Flower Carpet Roses

When I get home I'll return to my enjoyable weeding place. I can't believe I wrote that!

Friday 12th December

Today it's raining again in the garden, which is brilliant for my plants, trees, shrubs, and weeds. So I am going to finish my Christmas calendar presents (which I have been 'finishing' all month - a bit like the garden). There is cricket to listen to, later... A summer home series of cricket! Nice!+10

Oh dear. Rusty the dog no longer has his shaggy, luxurious cream and orange coat, which crimps in the wet. Imagine a Hellers pork sausage (both the shape and colour), add a pointy nose, brown eyes and Harry Potter house-elf ears. Such is the picture of Rusty the dog after his dog-clipping session. It's not a good look, though he feels gorgeous!

 Oh dear!
Rusty the Clipped Border Collie

The animals reacted in a variety of ways. Histeria the happy tabby bounced up to him. Fluff-Fluff took up his usual 'Strange dog' battle stance. Percy (girl's blouse boy-cat) ran away with huge eyes, while Mugsy the fearless (or should that be brainless) toddled up and sniffed his paws. The house humans just laughed out loud. Rusty looked quite confused.