A pleasantly symmetric month...

 The bees love these flowers.

I'd like to welcome myself to February, a pleasantly symmetric month at exactly four weeks, through which I plan to float in spirit, while I physically continue my garden maintenance programme.

Tuesday 1st February

It's a wonderfully windless early morning, sun sparkling, with that typical coolish temperature edge (cardigan or warmish jersey needed) that I associate with autumn. No way! I'm still celebrating summer, with big flushes of dahlias, echinaceas, and shasta daisies. Crepuscule the apricot climbing rose is fully blooming again. So is Mutabilis by the house, my oldest rose, easily overlooked when taking a break from flowering. Roses, roses, roses - just when I despair that I don't spray (and should), you produce a beautifully affirming display.

Lately several Moosey garden items have featured in publications. On a serious note, I'm proud in a shivery way that Amnesty International has used a photograph of Moosey garden river stones - in a campaign against the stoning of people. So difficult to make further comment on this.

Masquerade :
I grow the climbing variety of the rose Masquerade.

Back in the lighter world of gardening, the rose Masquerade will feature in a German gardening magazine. Masquerade gets rusty, so quickly loses the 'wow' factor in my non-sprayed rose garden, but this rose is a Moosey heirloom.

And on the feline front - a first for Tiger the tortoiseshell cat. She will (hopefully) be inspiring an artist who wants to paint her. Go Tiger! Such a sweet face, expressive round eyes, fat cat-cheeks... With artistic licence, she may even look slim and cuddly...

Right. Today I don't really have any concrete plans (nor do I have any concrete garden gnomes - the new chaps haven't arrived yet, hee hee).

 A stylish variegated specimen.
Gnome Underneath a Cordyline

But I do have a tray of blue Lobelia to plant by the pond, and gum bark to pick up from around Rusty's dog kennel. Then there's weeding. These are rather minor tasks in the grand scheme of nature.


Money is weird. This morning (through Kiva) I lent money for a woman to purchase three bundles of wheat flour, cooking oil and sugar for her business and livelihood. Then I spent just as much myself on light-hearted accessories for my lifestyle of plenty - a new jigsaw, a linen tablecloth, garden tools, more books and a chamber pot for Pond Cottage (purely decorative, of course). And I consider myself a reasonably thrifty person because I recycle and sow my own seedlings. It doesn't really come close, does it...

 I don't usually grow this flower - I like it!
Annual Larkspur


Speaking of seedlings - my blue Lobelias are all planted. And speaking of recycling - I have a ridiculously rampant recycled rose which I dread might be American Pillar (?). It has garish pink flowers, and a touch of mildew, and three small pots of it (I broke its big roots into pieces) have been going crazy behind the glasshouse. I'm encouraging this monster to scramble over the dark side of Pond Cottage from a huge pot. This could be my biggest garden mistake yet (said the gardener who planted THREE Golden Hop plants to cover a medium sized tree stump).

And I've tidied up lots of little things, swept the morning decking, and rearranged the pots. Little details all add up.

Wednesday 2nd February

I'm a bit annoyed with my weather. Some people are hopeless - really, I should be gushing thanks, counting my flood-free blessings, and all that. It's just very windy again, and really noisy - so intrusive for a serene, thoughtful gardener (me). I've bought a big retro sun umbrella for the table on the pond decking, but one simply cannot launch a big umbrella on such a windy day. So I'm going to put the little drippers on the orchard roses and then re-evaluate my day. Perhaps I could go op-shopping and then get sushi for lunch? Hee hee...

 Pretty pink!
The Fairy - Pink Roses

Last night the big whooshy irrigation ran for three hours. I had to abandon Pond Cottage for the main house in somewhat dramatic fashion, zig-zagging (not so deftly) through rotating streams of water in the dark with a fading torch. Aargh! Pond Cottage's front window was leaking, and the end of my bed was cleverly being irrigated. Aargh! Towels did the trick, but I couldn't sleep...

Thursday 3rd February

My night by night chronicle of Pond Cottage continues... Nothing watery this time, just a cosy comfortable night with Minimus my little grey cat - her first overnighter! Apart from bringing me a (dead) sad little bird in the morning we had a very pleasant time.

 He is waiting for me to come over to the cottage.
Fluff-Fluff Cat Waits by the Pond

I've cut out the rectangles for the (machine) patchwork duvet cover, and I'm now on the track of a better bedside lamp (for old eyes reading in the evening). I also have a super-sized crochet hook and a pattern to make an oval rag rug. I'm going to test out my skills with some bright orange retro curtain material (hee hee) for the lounge. Why not? It's the new retro rustic look - 'Bilious Chic'? Hmm...

Right. I am a gardener. I have watering hoses to turn on, and a dog desperate for a cycle ride. Plus weeding, and clearing, and more weeding - but we won't go on about all that.


I've had a brilliant day. I did at least a couple of hours garden naintenance, the details of which will not be elaborated on. Phew! And then I started two crafty things at once (as one does) - sewing up my bed cover for Pond Cottage and trying out my crochet on some bias cut rags.