Have I missed something?

Eek! Where's November gone? It's three-quarters finished. And I think it might have turned into summer - the barbecue is coming out of storage, and the patio pergola roses are flowering. Only yesterday it was the Wisteria - or have I missed something?

 Look at those Tiger toes!
Cat Stretch

Sunday 22nd November

Cat Alert! Tiger the tortoiseshell, approaching week five of my 'Shape Up For Life' campaign, has just sneaked into the pantry and is sitting inside a huge dog biscuit bag, eating the crumbs. She's shocking! But she is getting into a better cat shape. And Lilli-Puss the grey is back (after 48 hours AWOL) - she's filled up with food, and is smiling in the heated pet-bed upstairs.

New Seeds to Sow

Some new mail-order seeds have arrived - these are from a small private local business. I'm so impressed - the pretty coloured pictures on the packets are just enough to fire up my imagination. I can already see swathes of pink and blue Salvia Horminums, and I'm already snacking on my summer crop peas.

Birthday Rose Garden :
Some of the most beautiful flowers are just about to bloom in DOM's Birthday Rose Garden.

I should be getting the garden ready for the arrival (yippee!) of Daughter of Moosey late this afternoon. I notice that her Birthday Rose Garden is just about to erupt with fluffy pink peonies and assorted roses. Already it's chock-full of self-sown cornflowers of every possible colour.

She will like the 2009 version of my vegetable garden. As a welcoming gesture I've left a few weeds in it, and I have fat blobby carrots, beans, and peas for her to sow - plus yet another punnet of home-produced lettuce seedlings. Mother-daughter bonding of a gardening nature is very important. .

 This is one of the strongest colours.
Red Aquilegias

But it's drizzling, and still a bit cold after yesterday's southerly cold front. However our slightly odd weather is nothing compared to the extremes in the north of England at the moment. All those poor people - and rivers. And what about the gardeners? It's far, far easier to put water on a garden than take it off. Late yesterday the pump for the big irrigation went back into the pond. It will be time soon to have all the swishers on in the night.

Great Aquilegias

One last comment before I learn the schmaltzy words of 'The Lark Ascending' for a choir performance this afternoon. Yippee and hurray for the Moosey Aquilegias.

Unlike the rhododendrons (not that one should compare aristocratic shrubs with annoying self-seeding perennials) the aquilegias are having one of their best spring seasons ever. Such a variety of colours - thanks, bees.

Monday 23rd November

Yippee! Daughter of Moosey is safely installed in several layers of thermals - arriving from more tropical climes she thinks it's really cold here - and it's summer! A bit of speed-weeding in the vegetable garden should warm her up...

Today I plan to generally potter about the garden. Lawn edges need trimming, there's watering and weeding to do, and I have a few new shrubby plants to find places for. And I am determined to have lunch on the new cane patio table, no matter how cold it feels. Right. While waiting for my swimming companion (DOM) to get out of bed (she's hidden underneath three down duvets and one woolly blanket) I'll do some piano practice. It is summer here. Honestly! It must be at least 12 degrees (Celsius) and rising...

 Fluff-Fluff the cat is helping...
Me in My Vegetable Garden


My new cane table and chairs are brilliant. The upper patio (ha!) is a great vantage point from which to view the swirling shapes of the garden, while eating whitebait fritters and a selection of healthy gourmet salads. Hurray for my ten dollar furniture, the beautiful garden out there, and the cook (me). The cats like the glass-top table.

Tuesday 24th November

Yippee! DOM is still here, and yesterday afternoon I put her to work. New leeks, beans, and lettuces are planted, and she gave a seaweed concoction to all the tomatoes. Then she took lots of photographs of lounging cats and digging Head gardeners (me) and she trimmed some edges.

Today we have a naughty plan. If we were feeling furiously energetic we would cycle a small rail trail (25 km) to a country cafe for lunch, and then cycle the 25 km back to the car. But - oops - we might just drive straight to the cafe instead. A strong, blustery wind (not conducive to all-day cycling) is blowing. Pergola rose canes and aquilegias are flopping down and my beautiful apricot iris is lying on the lawn. It's a no-win situation for big irises - companion plants prop them up, but crowd them out for flowering space.

This means, of course, that I can do some gardening. I'll put the hoses on, tie up the rose canes before a night-time visitor gets their face scratched, and cut the irises for a house vase. Then maybe we'll just cycle around the country block with Rusty the dog. He'll enjoy that.

Wednesday 25th November

It is summer! The first cricket test match of the season has started - I listened to the commentary yesterday while weeding in the Birthday Rose Garden. I still love those forget-me-nots, though - I forgive them, and wouldn't be without them. And then we had out first barbecue... Yum. Later today I'm going to continue the weeding - the water's warm enough to stand in the water race and clean up the banks. And it helps keep the gardening body (and mind) cool.

Jerome the Grey :
I'll be updating Jerome's cat page later today.

But first some sad news - DOM and I are off to the vet with my oldest cat, Jerome the Grey, for that last, inevitable visit. What a grand life she's had - eighteen years of smooching and purring and claws in my face in the middle of the night. Aargh!

In her younger days Jerome was a real paws-on gardening cat. All my early pictures of the Moosey Garden show her following me into different garden areas, or sitting on tree stumps. Lilli-Puss, the grey upstairs-cat apprentice, will miss her. We'll all miss her. So I probably won't write any more today.

 We will miss you, Jerome.
Jerome the Grey