Calamity with the Christmas calendars...

 It's little Minimus.
Cat Calendar Page

Oh dear, dear, dear. My Christmas calendars are at the printers, but half the months have their Mondays turned into Sundays etc. Naturally my priority has been choosing just the right photograph of Percy the ginger cat from his gallery of beautiful images...


I have forgotten the first rule of a successful calendar - get the dates and the days RIGHT! Oops...

And for anyone with eagle-eyes, I know that this picture of September's calendar page has the wrong day-dates, and too many days... But isn't that a gorgeous picture of Minimus the kitten?

Tuesday 22nd December

Aargh! Blast! The printer was too quick, so I have sheepishly ordered eight more correct calendars to be printed. Some with mistakes are to be recycled - I will have lots of framed colour photographs of cats in the garden.

Get 'It' Right!

Family members may not mind seeing obvious corrections. I am a foolish person (and sometimes a foolish gardener) - the day I really 'get it right' will probably be the day I expire...

 Isn't he beautiful!
Fluff-Fluff Cat by the Mexican Daisies

Now to the garden. I haven't done anything yet - apart from sulking about my calendars I've been doing the Christmas vacuuming. This afternoon I'm meeting a friend for last minute Christmas shopping (charity shop style). When I get home I'll do my gardening work.


My foxgloves are strange plants - all of a sudden they turn up everywhere, lurching madly up into the sky and flopping all over the paths. Yet I don't notice them 'growing on' at all. Next year I will take control of my foxgloves, and personally choose places for about sixty new apricot ones - my own seedlings.

 They have the prettiest speckled markings.
Foxgloves Close-Up

Wednesday 23rd December

Today I must finish the garden clean-up and plant the remaining roses (three). What else? Do the Christmas food shopping - the Shape Up For Life Campaign makes this fairly modest (no Christmas puddings allowed).

 My best buy of 2009 - it cost me ten dollars.
The Patio Table

Wrap, Plant, Shift Money...

Wrap the remaining presents (and plant Non-Gardening Partner's Wintersweet). Shift some money around - aargh! My Christmas calendars have already blown the budget...

Thursday 24th December

I am a gardening disgrace - yesterday I did nothing except wrap up presents for the cats and Rusty the dog. I did buy some organic plant food, though, which I've slurped all over the tomatoes. Poor things - they won't know what's hit them.

I am semi-organised - I think we are having a Christmas breakfast, and then later a barbecue. But the garden simply isn't ready for the big day. Let's hope that I can report solid progress later today (after I've visited a friend, oops). I know what I need to do, but just in case:

  1. Dig out the dead Cordylines, replace with Grevilias.
  2. Plant the three remaining roses and the Wintersweet.
  3. Trim, weed, and pull out foxgloves in the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden.


I am back from the last piece of silly shopping I am ever, ever doing. My budget starts - NOW! My friend says it's easy to budget - one simply earns more or spends less. I'm choosing the latter.

 Pretty blue!
Garden Bunting

She has created an eclectic potager in her back yard - an assortment of raised oblong beds are edged with old concrete retaining blocks, pieces of old timber, and generally anything she can lay her hands on for free.

Who Needs Shabby Chic?

And who needs shabby chic garden accessories? My friend has made blue bunting out of an old chair cover and hung it all over her garden, draped from tree to tree. I like her bunting. I am inspired.

The Rules of the Moosey Budget

So here are my new rules. No more plant spending sprees. No more online plant auctions. A petrol budget, and ten dollars per week to spend on silly things. No more expensive cat food with the words 'gourmet' or 'feast' on the label - sorry, cats.

And go easy on the gnomes - I now have nineteen painted gnomes installed in my garden, and two more concrete blokes arrived today by courier (it's my Christmas present from the family). That's probably enough, considering that this time last year I only had one...

 They've multiplied!
Oops - Count the Gnomes Now

The things I really like (apart from gardening) don't cost anything - playing the piano, talking to my cats, doing things with Rusty the dog, reading, and so on. So it will be easy to be content - surely... My New Year's Resolution for 2010 (sorry, I know this is a tiny bit early) is to 'look after that what I've got'. Dodgy grammar, but a great message.

Much Later...

I only did one of the items off my list, but I did it well. The Stumpy Garden had lots of old forget-me-nots to pull out (an oddly satisfying process), I trimmed the lupins right down, dead-headed the roses, and voila! Instant success.

Burgundy Iceberg :
Burgundy Iceberg is an interesting coloured rose - it has its own page in the roses section.

Several Burgundy Iceberg roses are in full flower, and the standard Blushing Pink Icebergs look fabulous (until one gets too close). Opulence is being richly opulent (hee hee) and Strawberry Ice looks good enough to eat... These roses are good 'doers', and I must show my appreciation by taking some photographs.