I've been quietly pottering around underneath the blossom trees. Yellow daffodils are scattered everywhere. I'm still catching up my energy levels. But the spring garden is such a beautiful place to relax in... And my pet lambs are doing OK.
Thursday 23rd September
Sorry about these detailed Moosey health reports - yesterday a temporary setback, but today I feel much more bouncy, like the paddock lamb that I saw running alongside its mother this morning. You good sheep, you! I've not heard the newest lamb bleat once. The mother is extremely attentive, and is always right alongside her baby, never leaving it behind (as sheep mothers do). Phew! My ovine faith is restored...
I probably will be a bit lazy, though. Yesterday my pet lambs Milly and Stu had a great afternoon sideways-bouncing themselves (it's a lamb style) around in the Pond Paddock while I read my book on the verandah of Pond Cottage. This weekend we will try and organise a bigger daytime 'enclosure' on the lawn, so the lamb creche will only be used for the evenings. We offer five star pet lamb accommodation...
The Moosey housekeeping standards have had a bit of a shake-up as well as the Moosey house and garden! After a day house-sitting in a speck-free house (two visits a week from the cleaning lady) I've been wiping family photographs and trying to generally sharpen up my downstairs environment, paying particular notice to accessories.
My American gardening magazines now loll in tidy yet casual piles, the cat beds have new woolly blankets, I've even dusted Son-Of Moosey's beautifully framed clown and monster pictures (done when five years old). I'm trying hard to create a quirky, personally stylish living space.
Some serious visitors arrived and gushed politely: 'What a cosy, homely room!' Aargh! Perhaps the golden garden gnome (my piece de resistance) squashed onto the oak dresser was a mistake. My swimming friend reckons that huge classic simplicity - for example, an obese bowl of five hundred daffodils - would have impressed, but I rather enjoy my thousands (ha!) of daffodils in the garden. I only pick them when they droop or fall down.
But there's more. Imagine driving up the Moosey driveway past daffodils, green lawns, and huge flowering cherry trees. The garden borders stretch on and on, the stone wall is visible, there's beautiful greenery and some rhododendrons are flowering, too. It's magical - yes? I'm obviously expecting a visitor to be impressed. But what I'm not expecting is the following:
Visitor: Oh, your garden!
I'm nodding, beaming, waiting for some big compliments.
Visitor: Now I can see why you're always tired!
OK. Right. I've been a bit under-the-weather. It's a virus, not a garden overload!
Daffodils in New Jug
Saturday 25th September
I did some lovely lamb gardening yesterday. Even Tiger the tortoiseshell cat came outside to see what we were all up to. I weeded around the house gardens while the pet lambs nibbled at the grass. Sorry, Stu lamb, but you are the thickest lamb I have ever known - always wandering off in the wrong direction, getting lost, and then bleating fortissimo.
Today has started very gently. We've been to the local Farmer's Market (I bought the grooviest old jug for my house daffodils). We also looked at the fault line, where the normally straight rural roads now do an interesting zigzag. Non-Gardening Partner has tried putting up a sheep enclosure, but Stu lamb got himself dangerously entangled in the netting. The holes are too big, and a strong, thick lamb (hi, Stu!) can push too much of his body through.
I've got a barrowful of weeds etc. to dispose of, and then I'm off into the orchard to prune the archway roses. I've been given four more recycled roses - two look like Icebergs and two look like Dublin Bays - they need a serious prune and then a soak in the bath behind the garage. Then I'm weeding for an hour in Duck Lawn, getting it ready to receive the newly fixed-up garden bench. I seem to be full of beans... This is good!
I've done everything. Tidying the roses was jolly easy, and I'm just in time, pruning-wise. Yippee and yes - I think I must be better. I had afternoon tea by Pond Cottage with the lambs, who are getting fat and heavy. Milly still likes being cuddled, which is not a particularly 'lamby' thing to enjoy. Stu lamb, Mister Tough, won't even allow much hand patting - unless he's hungry, when he lets me rub under his chin.
Fluff-Fluff the Cat with Bossman Garden Gnome
Fluff-Fluff has followed me around all day. I've got some silly photographs of him posing (his idea, not mine) with the garden gnomes at the back of the pond. Oops - must remember - Bach the original Moosey gnome is still underwater somewhere. I must try and fish him out before his clothes start peeling.
For my vegetable growing records I've got the following tomato seedlings: Principe Borghese (Italian), Tomato Peron (Argentinean), Amish Paste, and two yellow varieties, Gold Nugget and Jubilation. The smaller ones are definitely going into grow-bags on the patio.
Cat and Gnomes
Sunday 26th September
Question: Would I like to buy some Plymouth Barred Rocks - two hens and a rooster? I can't guarantee their safety from wild ferrets and stoats, or small, determined marauding dogs. But I'd love to 'rechook', and I would promise to be a more proactive hen owner - shutting their orchard door properly at night, and so on. Have to think about this one.
Today I've planted my four new roses alongside the water race, weeded, and trimmed the garden edges. When the narrow waterside border is properly 'done' it looks really nice. There are lots of new patches of daffodils along it, too, which I planted last autumn. Good on me! Such vision - or possibly just an excess of mixed daffodil bulbs? Hee hee...
The lambs have been out and about, and are starting to nibble grass (when not nibbling at my shoelaces). Little Milly isn't the strongest lamb on the block, though, and I'm hoping her health is OK. Stu lamb is a big, barging bundle of wool. Tomorrow I'll get some chicken netting to sure up the ram paddock fence (and thus contain Stu). Then the lamb creche can be moved in there with a piece of roofing iron above, to provide a shelter. Nothing but the best for these Moosey pet lambs!
I would like to congratulate the weather today. It's been just balmy and beautiful - the sort of weather that sees one lying full length on the grass lawn smiling and dozing off, rather than weeding. Oops.