So what should I do first?

 Go on!
Clean Up This Mess!

Am up very, very early. So what should I do first, on this grand and long gardening day? Rake up the autumn leaves and put them into bags? Take some more photographs of autumn leaves and autumn roses?

Wednesday 18th April

Common sense is so annoying sometimes. It dictates (silently, inside my woolly morning mind) that I need to finish a task started yesterday. I'm cutting down a woody Senecio shurb. Aargh! Shrub! I can't even spell properly this early...

OK. I can do this. I can finish things. Just watch me. Perhaps another coffee, non-decaffeinated, before I start the finish?

A Bit Later...

'The finish of one thing is inevitably the start of another.'
-Moosey Words of Wisdom.

Now I've decided the whole garden in the middle of the back lawn needs a serious make-over. There will be much digging. And then I be a virtuous soil-nurturer and spread compost all over what's left. Ha! Another gardening truth, which of course I should have known: The finish of one thing is inevitably the start of another.

 Beautiful blue.
Annual Salvias

Details, Details...

I need to remove all the invasive Lamium, I will have to dig up excess Ligularias, divide and replant Phloxes, while not treading on the Trillium (sadly singular), getting scratched by a rose, or slicing through any daffodil bulbs. And can I be bothered with a Wintersweet shrub which sulks and refuses to grow properly?

So I'm going to have an early lunch and watch Miss Marple. Then I will transform myself into a gardener-contortionist with six hands and excellent balance.


Well, it's 'sort of' done. In other words, I've created some new things which need finishing. The Phlox is riddled with Lamium, for example, and needs cleaning thoroughly. I made an executive decision and dug out all the Ligularias in the middle of the garden, making theoretical space for roses. And I dug up another two buckets full of Red Rascal potatoes, to add to the sackful I dug yesterday. They've all migrated from my kitchen compost heap. And a puzzle - where is the English rose Ellen? She's gone - but where?

 Please keep flowering!
Flowering Autumn Dahlias

I'm off to the doctor's to get a 'flu injection for winter. Winter - eek! And when I get back I'll find out who 'dunnit'. Miss Marple already knows, of course.

Ellen Rose :
Ellen is a pastel David Austin rose, and has her own rose page, with photographs.

A personal footnote of gardening triumph. Aha! I've found her! Ellen was moved out last spring into Pond Cottage's little garden. That's odd - I haven't quite noticed her flowering there yet. Hmm...

Still, it shows the value of recording where plants are shifted to and from. And leaving the labels on the roses, even if it looks a bit silly.

 All from the Oak trees.
Pond Paddock Leaves

Thursday 19th April

Oooo - a slightly nippy night. Might there soon be a little overnight frost? It may be time to say goodbye to the dahlias, and those silly, too-slow pumpkin plants. Best not to mention the tomatoes - this summer has not been consistently warm enough for their taste, or for my taste, sadly. I need to start raking up autumn leaves. They get bagged, and thrown in the hollow by the Pump House. Then, with nature's magic, they turn into leaf mould. Well, they should. I tend to get leaf sludge.


Ha! First of all I finished the garden in the middle of the back lawn. I've spread compost, fixed up the stone edge, and all the shrub rubbish is burnt. I had a pleasantly smokeless bonfire, showing just how dry those woody old branches were. The Senecio will resprout, though it may not flower this coming summer. It isn't the first time I've sawed this shrub down to knee-high.

 Percy on the post, and Fluff-Fluff on the dirt.
Two Ginger Gardening Cats

+10+10A muted thank you to the two ginger boy cats who kept me company, scooting in and out of the new garden. But boys! Please stop rudely wiggling your bottoms and peeing on my plants, right in front of me - after making sure that I'm looking. It's a mild version of 'cat flashing'...

And only three bags of oak leaves (so far) raked up from the Pond Paddock. So the gardener leaves the leaves for another day. Ah, but there will be many more...