I'm just off outside with my first cup of coffee, which I will drink sitting on the porch of Pond Cottage. Yes! My garden shed has been officially renamed and painted a rusty red, and it's gorgeous.
Monday 2nd August
I am the proud painter - which I did all day yesterday, while Non-Gardening Partner worked away with saw, deck screws and whizzy drill. Ha! My friend Mark is right - nails are not the thing for decks (I didn't know that). Pond Cottage looks so natural now that it isn't blue, nestled in the greenery with Phormiums and towering gum trees. It could have been there for ever.
Today my gardening plan is to tidy up the Pond Paddock Gardens - prune all the roses and perennials, weed, rake up lawn leaves, and replant the Agapanthus (which was moved to realign the path to the Pump-House). All the while Pond Cottage will be in my view, and not that silly powdery blue version which has been in last month's photographs, either, but dressed in its proper colour - a lovely natural slightly browny red. I am so happy!
And it's August - that's amazing, to think that I've been home from my quick overseas trip for four weeks now. I have moved mountains in the garden - well, perhaps not quite...
Garden Gnomes By the Pond
I love my garden shed - oops, sorry, I love Pond Cottage. I've been gardening for three hours in drizzle and rain - clearing dead flax leaves, pruning the Ballerina roses and stopping every five minutes or so just to gaze over to the cottage. I love it! I've taken yet more photographs (they will look exactly the same as this morning's ones).
Garden Gnome Count
I also did a garden gnome count - fifteen pond gnomes, all looking exceedingly cheerful by the water's edge. Some are fishing, two are reading, and the rest are just watching the world go by. Nice. They are very visible from Pond Cottage's decking.
I stopped for lunch and continued my TV-couch-cycling in the Pyrenees (I'm still watching recordings of the Tour de France). But I got cold and tired (in sympathy with cyclists on the TV), and rather than slope off to bed I had the longest hot shower. And now my spirits are back! So I'm going to take my lovely companionable dog for a walk.
Tomorrow is a designated path-maintenance day, and in the morning I'm getting a trailer load of soft shredded bark. I need to make a priority list. In first place - the wee path that goes past Pond Cottage, naturally!
Tuesday 3rd August
Ha! We are off to get path mulch. I wonder if I can spread it all today? I also want to finish trimming the Pond Paddock Gardens, and I need to burn my rubbish from yesterday. Back later.
I am so tired! I've spread about half the trailerload of path mulch but I seriously ran out of newspaper (which I lay first). So I lit the bonfire, dug out two large coarse Carexes from the Shrubbery, trimmed the Lavatera and the Dahlias, and brought out two wheelbarrowfuls of prunings from the middle of the Jelly Bean Border. Unfortunately I mistook one cane of the rose Canary Bird for a suckering elm - blast!
I have also done heaps of fast-forward TV-couch cycling, accompanied by Histeria the tabby. There is always a cat somewhere near - whether gardening (Fluff-Fluff) or walking in the orchard (Lilli-Puss) Now I'm off to bed (that's young Minimus's territory) to read an old Agatha Christie novel featuring Hercule Poirot. Will I remember the twists, and identify the villain?
- Harrier Hawk :
- Harrier hawks soar in the skies above Mooseys - and very occasionally they do run out of food.
Anyway, I hope to get an uninterrupted night's sleep. Last night at some extremely small hour ginger Percy arrived with a deceased junior rabbit, the sparring rights to which Minimus, growling loudly, promptly claimed. Silly Percy just sat and watched - what a kind cat! Thanks so much, Percy. I redirected the unfortunate rabbit and threw it into the orchard this morning - it will make a good meal for a hawk.
Cats - Percy and Tiger
Thursday 5th August
Today I have the whole day to work in my garden. I have paths to much, roses to prune, trees to trim, pots to organise for spring... Pond Cottage needs its window frames painting, and maybe my garden fences could be painted with the left-over red paint. Hmm... I am such a lucky gardening person. Of course, I will run out of mulch, my hands will get sore and scratched pruning the roses, the tree branches will be too thick, I won't be able to find any white paint... And I know I've run out of potting mix. Hey - get that droopy gardener out of this journal page!
I have had a great day, yet again. I've been doing a circuit, which can leave me feeling less than satisfied - while much is accomplished nothing is finished. But isn't that the story of gardening, anyway? So I've been wheeling path mulch, tipping it out, then refilling the wheelbarrow with rubbish (flax trimmings and general garden mess) and taking it to the bonfire. I had two sitting and eating stops on Pond Cottage's verandah, where I looked at the distant views and wrote a paper list of good things and the not-so good.
- The little stone wall by the round-the-pond path.
- The pond Phormiums.
- The flowering cherry trees in the pond paddock - even their winter shape looks great.
- The garden gnomes!
- Scruffy pine tree branches on the Hump (perhaps a professional arborist is required).
- Other scruffy trees around the pond (ditto).
Cats kept popping out from exploring underneath the cottage, I drank my coffee, and finished my Agatha Christie novel. I could see right through to the old fashioned rose garden (though of course nothing is happening in there just yet). The water gurgled into the pond from the intake pipe, and my clutch of red-hatted garden gnomes made beautiful reflections in the water. In my more snobbish days I fancied Azalea and rhododendron flowers reflecting thus. How pretentious!
Just after sundown I took my dog for a walk down the road. It's now light until about six o'clock (nice!), and I even had washing out on the line today. Ha! A sure sign that spring is not too far away. Some little lemon primroses are flowering, too - must take a photograph tomorrow.
Saturday 7th August
Not a moment to lose - we are back from swimming with wood to finish Pond Cottage's decking. At 6pm (a very specific time, this) a cold southerly is forecast to hit Mooseys, with snow down to three hundred meters. Thankfully Moosey's is at one hundred, but hey! Three hundred meters is only half an hour up the road...
So where's this nasty weather got to? A small sign - the clouds are thickening. I've been busy clearing another path, raking up oak leaves, and then trimming and burning yet more rubbish. Gardening underneath gum trees - aargh! I've removed a Pittosporum from the garden near Pond Cottage (which is fully decked). I've also laid out stones for a small pondside border, possibly for water-loving irises and smaller marginals, just across the lawn from the cottage. Sitting on the verandah in the fading light - what a beautiful spot! I love being a gardener.