Music and gardening...

 Not to be painted, this one.
Pond Paddock Bench

Playing chamber music (particularly Bach and Vivaldi) with my flautist-friend is one of my greatest loves at the moment. It's almost as inspiring as gardening. If I had to choose between the two, I'd choose both. Oh, and reading in bed...

Tuesday 15th May

Thinking about my recently ordered clutch of new roses, and feeling guilty - eek! Last spring a reputable rose grower (me?) bought and planted two new pinks - Leonardo da Vinci, and Kathryn Morley - near the edge of the sunny Pond Paddock border. I even remembered initially to give them buckets of water. What I suspect then happened is this: self-seeding red Centranthus took over, and the roses struggled for air and light in the confusion of late spring and summer. Please, please let them still be there, with some stalks still growing. I can't remember either of them flowering. Hopeless.

 A brilliant colour for late autumn.
Pink Flower Carpet Rose

When I get home from chamber music I'm going to approach this border gingerly, not-always-green fingers crossed. Several smaller Flower Carpet roses have to come out, and I need to prune back the background shrubs. My new-rose reputation is threatened, and I'm nervous...


Phew! Just as I thought - Leonardo is there, sulking underneath the Centranthus, while dear Kathryn is completely submerged in perennial Umbrella grass (that's what I call it). But they are both still alive! Phew! This is good news.

Have I done any gardening? Not exactly. I arrived home with my head full of Vivaldi and my car full of tins of recycled exterior paint - luscious colours like fuchsia and purple, a dull lime green, and some reds. Total cost fifteen dollars - brilliant. So I leapt outside immediately and painted the rest of the house-side fence. If a colour-fanatic looks closely, it changes from nose-bleed red to a more terracotta, cherry colour. Hee hee.

Chanticleer Seat :
Chanticleer is a delightful, whimsical garden in Pennsylvania.

If the weather is warm enough tomorrow I might paint some of my wooden garden chairs and benches. I've been meaning to do this for so long now - ever since visiting Chanticleer Gardens in the USA. The bright colours may be a bit 'out there' for those of conservative persuasion (like Non-Gardening Partner), but will delightfully brighten up the garden this coming winter.

Wednesday 16th May

Right. Which comes first - 'rescuing' those rediscovered pink roses, or painting? It's quite cold, but the sun is trying to shine. The wind is huffing and puffing, so lots of the late autumn leaves are falling.

 I think that's a Lime tree, just dropping its leaves.
Front House Fence

Later, Apres Painting...

I've nearly finished the front house fence - it's a slightly different colour again from the other ones, hee hee. Then I painted the single Adirondack chair (by the Stables) a deep winey fuchsia-pink.

There was quite a bit of animal activity. Lilli-Puss the grey Stables cat appeared for a meal, with brother Percy by her side. My dog snoozed on the grass, barking at the occasional low-flying bird. I painted on. Then Mac the kitten arrived and smooched one of her white sides in the chair leg. Oops.

Back to the house I ran, followed by a black and fuchsia-pink kitten. I grabbed her, a tea towel, and the pet shampoo. After lots of gentle scrubbing and rinsing in the kitchen sink, her vivid white fur has the palest of pink tinges to it. She's forgiven me, dear little thing!

Thursday 17th May

I'm going outside, and I'll finish the fence painting. But I also have to do some earth-gardening. And more trimming and clearing, raking autumn leaves into bags, and raking gum leaves up for the bonfire. But first I need to enjoy my morning coffee. Best to make plans after coffee, I think!

 Aha! They are going to turn purple.
These Garden Seats Need Painting

It's rhetorical question time. Where to plant a Lantana? And two beautiful little Spiraeas - one variegated, one lime green? And four more recycled roses, waiting, waiting, in buckets of water. And will the Driveway Garden's wooden bench and chairs look OK painted purple?

 She lives in Pond Cottage.
Young Minimus My Grey Cat

You see, the odd thing about wooden garden furniture (and fences) is this. When left to peel and fade they become quite invisible. Freshly painted they shout out, I notice them, and worry. But surely they look better?

Much Later...

Ha! The house fences (old post and rail sheep fences with garden both sides) are totally finished. While painting, my next big gardening task became really, really obvious - to tidy up the 'inside' of the little car layby garden. Well, it's done.

Out, Out, Damned Ivy

I've removed all the ivy, which was strangling the weeping silver birch, completely covering its trunk - as well as spreading itself all over the ground. I was responsible for planting it and pointing it up the tree in the first place. Ouch!

Along the newly red, beautiful painted fence I've trimmed dead canes off roses, pruned Pittosporums, ripped out Berberis seedlings that I don't want, and so on. Little Mac the kitten has one red-tinged ear - an improvement on yesterday. But she really loves being nosy in the garden.

 All done, two coats and all!
Purple Garden Furniture

Friday 18th May

Aha! Two wooden garden seats and a bench are now purple (They've had two coats). Little Mac the kitten is not - she stays black and white with a red ear. And I've done some proper gardening - I've enlarged the cottage garden so some of my newly ordered roses can fit into it. I've also raked lots of leaves. Now if I could only find my 'lost' hand tools (all my favourites seem to be missing)...

It's Mid-Summer in Midsomer

Inside the house, apres gardening, the log burner is lit and I'm about to watch Midsomer Murders. I've just met the new Chief Inspector Barnaby, and I like him! It's also lovely to look at the English village garden scenery, full of colourful mid-summer flowers. Some of the old brick buildings look amazing. Old bricks in my world are not so appealing (brick buildings and walls all fell horribly down in the city's recent earthquake).