Oops. Non-Gardening Partner has got wind of my thoughts about him chain-sawing down pine trees. Wonder how? It really is bad form for the NGP to read a garden blogger's journal pages. And I definitely give too much away. Hmm...

Sunday 15th August

Right. For this next August week I have to think bigger than usual. I cannot just potter away expanding my new garden area. Every day worthwhile general garden maintenance must be done. That's rose pruning, perennial trimming, weeding, and so on. It's like this. If I am fool enough to have a big garden, then I must take the consequences.

 The conifers come alove in winter.
Conifers in a Wet Winter Garden

And in the middle of my grand sweeps of garden expansion time must be given to little things. Attention to details, like the following:

And I must keep up appearances, too. That means raking paths and not leaving things lying around (like garden tools). And follow up all my good intentions. If I catch a whisper of an 'Aw - great idea - I should...' thought, then I jolly well do it. No ideas should be wasted.

 A tall Azalea which flowers early.
Pretty Winter Pink

But There's More!

But there's more. Today I also have piano practice to do - the flute-piano composer of the day is Prokovief - what a brilliant sonata! I am also picking up four large Phormiums - two Yellow Waves and two species Phormium cookianums, to plant in the new garden. And I will finish spreading my pea-straw. NGP has promised to 'look at' the small trees I want chain-sawed down, and he also has two garden benches plus the wooden outdoors table and four seats to repair.

Can there be a bit more? I need to paint the window frames of Pond cottage, plus some of the verandah surrounds. I love Pond Cottage. NGP might be doing some work on it today putting up the spouting. All in all these tasks might seem rather excessive, but hey! Gardening is one of the greatest joys, and time spent in the garden should be timeless, if you know what I mean.

Monday 16th August

Yesterday I had a brilliantly productive day, because NGP helped me! Three annoying gum trees are down. NGP made me count the tree rings, just to prove his point that I was killing something old - fifteen years old, actually. But I don't care - they were self-seeded trees and I didn't want then there!

The four new flaxes are planted (they look gorgeous and huge), lots more pea straw has been laid, I've planted the new crab-apple tree (called Barbara Anne) as well as the Philadelphus. My new outdoor dining suite now sits on the pond decking, looking very inviting. I need to get a sun umbrella for the table.

 This is the new garden I have been working hard on.
New Phormiums Planted

NGP also trimmed the top of the rose growing up the archway at the side of the house, and I pruned Graham Thomas, Phyllis Bide, and the white Icebergs in the Jellybean Border. I even burnt everything. And I had brilliant cat-company all day from little Minimus and big fat Fluff-Fluff. Even the sound of the chain-saw didn't deter them. I love it when so many of my busy plans come to fruition.


Eek - five degrees and drizzling. Another eek - my animals! Lilli-Puss popped up besides Rusty the dog and I down the road on our walk - we had to return and distract her with food. I've always suspected Lilli of doing a bit of independent wandering, but this is not to be encouraged!

Country Dogs :
Country dogs like Rusty do lead wonderfully colourful lives, though. What has he got in his mouth in this tiny photograph?

Then I went to check the bird's winter food - a huge hanging ball of lard, pure fat, with assorted seeds on the outside. Hmm... The food and container were nowhere to be seen. Rusty the dog has some odd functional problems of late, namely diarrhoea... Mystery solved? Country dogs do eat disgraceful things, and country dog owners have to be alert - aargh! Enough said!

I've just had a chilly lunch on the new dining suite, and taken yet more pictures of Pond Cottage, which I am hopelessly in love with, like a new baby one peeps at in wonderment every five minutes. Oh dear. It's really quite cold out there, though, so Rusty and I have retired inside. My photographs probably look cold, too, but that's the way it is!

 Peeping through the gum tree on the house lawn.
A Distant View of Pond Cottage

Note to self - the cyclamen drift that I have is common-garden Cyclamen hederifolium. The plants will not be flowering now, in late winter. So I am not doing anything wrong (like over-composting them) - phew!