Oops. A giant, supersized oops. All I've done for the last three days gardenwise is rake some leaves. I've been preoccupied with dancing (don't ask) and serious musical matters.

My flute friend and I have enlarged our chamber repertoire - as well as Bach, Handel, Quantz, Heinechen and Prokovief we are now attempting Poulenc's masterful (mistressful?) Sonata for flute and piano. Even its whimsical bits are elegant... Sigh...

 It grows into a giant.
Gunnera in Spring

Saturday 7th May

But now it's the weekend, and I must do some proper gardening, as well as practising the Poulenc. I promise. Even though it's a bit drizzly outside and it's warm and cosy in my piano room...

'If a thing's worth doing, then it's worth doing badly.'

My plant collector friend has sent me a funny quote by G.K.Chesterton. It's applicable to any faded musician who used to be jolly good and still means well, musically speaking (herein I classify myself). Hee hee...

Does this apply to gardening, I wonder? Maybe not - scores of serious gardening men and women will disagree, and find it far too flippant. Gigglers who are always trying and never quite get 'it' right will totally understand. So for me as a gardener it applies, too!

 I have to do this at least twice before winter.
Rake Those Leaves Up!

Right. A list, with clear aims...

  1. Rake all leaves off Pond Paddock, and spread in Frisbee Lawn corner over horse manure.
  2. Plant remaining Gunnera clumps underneath the Willow tree stump.
  3. Plant remaining Agapanthus clump. Why leave just one lying forlornly on the lawn?

Now it's late afternoon, and all the Gunnera are replanted. It's remarkably easy digging holes in mud by the water's edge and then packing the mud pieces all around the plant. As long as the gardener is dressed for mud, and remembers that mud is wet and water is cold... Ha! Easy!

Minimus :
Little Minimus is fast gathering votes in my Most Valuable Pet competition. Perhaps you'd like to vote for her?

Little Minimus the grey cat has been hiding underneath the grasses and leaping all over the Willow tree stump. This ugly big thing actually provides a delightful cat-climb, though it needs a serious reshaping and pruning. And unfortunately the results of such need to be burnt, which brings me to the topic of...

The Fire Ban!

Our fire ban continues, and there's a huge amount of trimming which I'm now putting off doing. Being an efficient gardener, I like wheeling barrowloads of burnable rubbish straight to the bonfire. The Ligularias by the pergola are now completely brown and seedy, well ready for their winter cut.

 A Cotinus is just turning colour.
Autumn by the Water

It is really late autumn. A family of coarse Carex grasses have to be dug out from the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden - they've passed their use-by date, and are now crowding out the Hostas. Again I make the excuse that they are destined for the bonfire, and so they stay in the ground, and I wait...

 Silly girl - it's autumn!
The Bride is Early!

Autumn News

The Cercis Forest Pansy is almost bare now, and other red-leafed trees are going down in a blaze of glory. Warm day temperatures have caused some seasonal confusion, and both Brides (Exochorda macrantha) are flowering. Silly, ditzy girls - they think it's spring. Crab-apples on the Malus trees are ripening, though the yellow apples of Charlotte seem to all have dropped off.

Chrysanthemums and Helichrysums keep on flowering, and groups of pink Nerines are blooming too. And my blue Lace-cap Hydrangea is as silly as the Brides, busy producing brand new flowers.

Right. First some autumn photographs and then some piano practice... Non-Gardening Partner has an important part to play in this musical renaissance, too - he is the violinist in the trio sonatas. What a versatile bloke...

Sunday 9th May

Today I finish yesterday's list. And then I have to go in to work (but I am sewing today, not dancing). And then I am picking up ten Phormiums (from their picture they look like Cream Delights). I am trying to get NGP to help me rake up the oak leaves. Wish me luck!

 Producing brand new flowers, late in autumn...
Lace-Cap Hydrangea


Aargh! It's Mothers' Day! And Mother-In-Law's Day... I'm feeling so pleased with myself for completing my list that I momentarily forgot. I love being a mother person - and a mother cat, a mother hawk, a mother dog... I am so blessed.

 Another beautiful late flowering rose - and completely thornless!
Crepuscule Rose Flowering in Autumn

So the Pond Paddock leaves are now snuggling down with horse manure in the corner of the Frisbee Garden. The remaining abandoned Agapanthus has been purposefully planted nearby. NGP could not be enticed to help, but he has promised next weekend to burn my rubbish with me, should the fire ban be lifted. He will also trim the Olearia hedge, which I will burn, and then - lovely man! He has offered to do my paving path around the vegetable garden to the woodshed. He says he will pay for nice big pavers with a pebble finish for safety. And he has promised to practice his violin. What more could a Head Gardener want?

Happy Mothers' Day

Happy Mothers' Day whether this is your special day or not!