The garden zooms along...

 Looking quite relaxed? Yes!
Minimus in a House Cat Basket

Right. February has turned into a very fast month. And the garden zooms along - now full of colourful dahlias. The fountain grasses have seed-heads which shine in the sun. I think everything looks really lovely - But, of course, I'm biased!

Sunday 15th February

Minimus the kitten is inside again, skittering around downstairs playing. Kittens play so much - with chair legs, with pieces of fluff, and tissues tied on string which Head Gardeners so thoughtfully provide. Minimus is a collector - he grabs his trophies and runs off down the hall to hide them outside the back door. It has taken all of three days for him to be quite at home.

Today's big question - Where should I plant the variegated woodland violets? I'm thinking in the small pond garden, underneath the Ballerinas (they're roses). And today's big clean-up must be nearby, at the back of the Jelly Bean Border. So my gardening day is at least spatially efficient.

'Both be busy.'
-Moosey February Motto.

We are an industrious pair, Non-Gardening Partner and I. He's busy doing guttering (responsible home-owner = good gutterer). I'm raking and trimming and collecting up hoards of rubbish which he can later help me dispose of. 'Both be busy' is definitely my motto for the second half of February. And what a team! Between us we have a squillion gum tree leaves to burn later when the fire ban comes off.

 He is the same colour!
Fluff-Fluff in the Flax

Mid-Day, with Kitten and Cat Company...

Done brilliantly, with lovely kitten and fluffy large cat company. Lots of weeds are up, elm suckers removed, and I've trimmed the Hebes overhanging the Pachystegia insignis. Ha! You can see I am in a correct naming-of-plants mood, after doing web-work on the What Plant Am I? Quiz.

As I crawled underneath the Berberis (one simply cannot push past this shrub), kitten following happily, I thought fondly about my Garden Club visit to Cloud Farm. This was a natives-only garden - sometimes I wonder about my own mixed-up policy to New Zealand plants. But then my garden has such low rainfall that swathes of New Zealand bush aren't really an option.

Anyway, it's good to feel affirmed in my muted celebration of indigenous shrubs. Pachystegia insignis are reasonably trendy (when not hidden underneath Lychnises and weedy grass). And there's definitely room in the Jelly Bean Border for a few sculptural flaxes - the other plantings are a bit functional.

 And Heuchera.
Dianthus Stone Wall

Minimus learns quickly. He's inside after his kitten-lunch, sitting on a chair, looking for all the world like a normal cosseted house-kitten. He has survived the morning's main outdoor hazard - one large fluffy cat zipping up the huge Cordyline trunks, tempting him, showing off. 'Anything you can climb, I can climb higher...'

Tuesday 17th February

Today I have plans. Yesterday I didn't have any - I ended up in a semi-sulk and threw out my offending bright yellow checked gardening shirt (as one does). I grumped through an hour of Brahms on the piano, went for a raining cycle ride with the dog, ate far too much food, and did no gardening what-so-ever. My excuse? I had the wrong shoes on. Pathetic!

So today I am gardening for two. I'm going to work in the little garden at the back of the house, with hand digger and scratcher and Minimus the kitten. That's Minimus who a week ago was the woodshed kitten and is now the Moosey house kitten. Though he still goes to bed in the woodshed (snug in his maroon Mongolian woollen blanket) at night.

What Plant Am I? :
Try the What Plant Am I? quiz - you might end up being a Bladderwort....

And I'm doing yet more work on the What Plant Am I? Quiz. I hope I've spelt 'carnivorous' right! The variety of plants which a happy quiz-taker can end up being has doubled in the last two weeks, as I've rediscovered some of my older photographs.

Ah - such sweet memories of the gardens on the West Coast of Scotland, and gardens I visited in Canada. Lonely little red Cordylines I found stuck in beds of stones, beautiful blue Himalayan poppies (my one plant is lost), yellow perennial summer daisies and daylilies...

 Lots of lovely new plants to be!
New Contenders for the What Plant Am I? Quiz

Enough dreaming! I have work to do and Minimus the kitten needs to do his gardening training. My dog, too, prefers poking and snuffling around outside to 'humphing' in a chair. I remind myself of my New Years' Gardening Resolution (yawn yawn) - enjoy paying attention to garden details!

 In a patio pot.
Pink Daisy

Lunchtime, Triumphant...

I have worked so hard! I've also been sensible - potting up rooted pieces of ivy that I've trimmed, rescuing a Camellia from the Clematis montana, and rescuing a beautiful oak-leaved Hydrangea from long thorny canes of the cherry rambler. I've limbed up Pittosporums and trimmed the lavender, the flaxes, and the Teucrium. And I've pulled out about thirty rogue potato plants. Oops.

Minimus, tummy full, is on my lap smooching and purring loudly. And this dear little kitten's original fate was to be feral? What a complete smoocher he is, and so responsive to human company. And he eats avocado...

Much, Much Later...

I'm about to have one more gardening session, this time in Rusty the dog's Lavender garden. Maybe I'll just do some weeding, maybe I'll plant my spare Scabious plants... anyway, it will be mellow and fruitful. I've got the evening meal cooking, and some cold beer to look forward to. And tomorrow I'm going walking in Castle Hill, amongst the huge rock formations. Yippee!