My mad garden furniture painting mania...

 With a striped Phormium in the foreground.
Purple Garden Seats

My mad garden furniture painting mania continues - purple, plum-wine, fuchsia, and cool green chairs are now available to be sat on and admired. Little Mac is banned from the garden, however. I do not want a black and purple kitten

Saturday 19th May

After peace and harmony for weeks there have been a few cat issues - Minimus is sulking in the cottage, and Little Mac was a bit shaken up late yesterday, though all is well today. The kitten is slowly changing shape, growing outwards, becoming quite chunky. Aha! 'Chunky' catwise can easily lead to 'tubby' which then leads to 'fat', like Tiger (whose diet isn't helped by quietly and efficiently cleaning up all left-overs from other cat bowls).


I am well and truly 'stumped' regarding the proposed tree house in the Willow Tree stump. Non-Gardening Partner (AKA weekend newspaper reader and general moocher) changes the subject. Non-Gardening Partner (AKA intelligent engineer) doesn't think the stump is designed to accommodate such a structure. Well, I guess I have to believe the second one. Blast! It was such a groovy idea...

 Rusty the dog is helping.
Painting the Adirondack Chairs

Not So Much Later...

I'd love to go apres gardening. All I've done is paint the two Adirondack seats on the house lawn, and my hands are soooooo cold.

There'a cold wind biting,
My house is warm and inviting,
Midsomer Murders is getting exciting... Aha!
And my cats are not fighting.

 OK, so he can be grown as a short climber...
Guy Savoy Rose

No, after a hot reviving coffee I will duck back outside, peer analytically at the Willow Stump, and dig out the Gunnera crowns. They can go with their friends by the pond. It should only take half an hour, and gardening honour will thus be restored. It will certainly stop all that silly rhyming nonsense.

Later Again...

I have just negotiated with NGP. He will chainsaw all the big sprouty branches around the Willow Stump down to exactly the same height. Then I will have a go at wedging some sort of chair in the middle. I just want to sit and listen to the water burbling underneath. The Gunnera is dug out (that was easy).

And here's a sort-of ultimatum from me to me. If I want the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden's rhododendron area to be filled with pink-flowering Campion, then I leave things as they are. If I decide that this pretty weed is not welcome, I pull them all out. Tomorrow. Simple.

Sunday 20th May - The First Frost

I'm up and ready to go, wearing my splodgy painting clothes. I've made a pot of tea and quenched the early morning thirst. But... It's ZERO degrees Celsius outside, with the first frost of the season lightly carpeting the house lawns. Since twelve degrees is considered the lowest air temperature for painting garden furniture I might have to wait around a bit. Well, at least I'll be warm.

 Short and leafless enough to be so.
Possibly Glamis Castle?

Nearly Winter Roses

A few days ago I took photographs of the roses blooming at the moment - it's a cheery thing to do this close to winter. Guy Savoy, silly thing, has the tallest canes topped with flowery clusters. Othello (gorgeous bloke) is still trying to open new flower buds. Of course the latest of all my David Austin roses, John Clare, is still flowering beautifully, with more to come.

And... I've found a runty, fluffy white rose in the house patio garden which I cannot remember planting or seeing before. It looks horribly like (and could easily be) Glamis Castle. It's certainly runty and leafless enough to be so! See what you think...

Today I have two things that NGP must help me with. Just two - and then he is free to enjoy himself.

Eek. We've just had a house-rattling earthquake aftershock. Please don't be on the city end of the fault line... Phew - it was our end. Our house is tough.


I am a bit disheartened. NGP came out to look at the Willow chain-sawing, and humphed that it would kill the tree. It is not a tree, it is a sprouted stump. But I was good - I smiled sweetly, and didn't argue the point.

 Since then it's sprouted again.
The Willow Stump Last Winter

Well, it's now been three hours, and he's been totally AWOL, missing in inaction - not a sight of him or the dog, and certainly no whirring sounds of an eager chainsaw. Meanwhile I've busily gathered up trimmings from the Stumpy Garden, spread loads and loads of mulch, and weeded madly. Decision - the Campion can stay. If anybody wants me, I'll be on the house lawn painting the second coat on the pale green chairs.

Much, Much Later...

I fired up the bonfire, fetched three barrowfuls of gum leaves, and poked sulkily at the flames. And then NGP appeared, and he'd been doing vital Hazelnut orchard maintenance work. He promises next week to chainsaw the stump, and he moved my big concrete pot. He is half-forgiven.

 I'm sure this is correct - I've checked back in the journals.
Yellow Charles Austin Rose

Monday 21st May

Sings, nostalgically: 'Monday, Monday...' Good morning, and a fine Monday morning it is, with no frost, and no wind, and (alas) no sun yet. But these are the early daylight hours. I am staying home all day to garden, with - shock, horror, sequences of diminished seventh chords in tremolo - freshly washed hair! Paint streaks, twigs, etc. all gurgled down the shower drain but half an hour ago.

That reminds me. Being an Adirondack spider in my garden is fraught with danger. There you are snoozing, tummy full, in a cosy wood crack when - aargh! Eek! You've been painted! Yesterday three poor spiders dropped out of a chair, bodies glistening with pale green paint. Rescue was impossible, so I poked and tickled them gently, hoping they'd get their legs moving before everything dried and stuck together. This may not be instinctive spider practice.

Right. Spiders beware - I have another seat to paint. Plus recycled roses (just the stragglers) to plant. And a wheelbarrow full of Gunnera crowns - they're going by the pond.

Much, Much Later...

I have been so good! I've done all the planting, cleaned up behind the pond where the Gunnera grow, and weeded around the Frisbee Lawn. Bad gardeners find someone else to blame, methinks. I'd swear that the compost spread here (bought from the landscape supplier) arrived full of every grass seed available. Alas, it's more likely I've just helped a healthy batch of my own weed seeds to go forth and multiply. Well, unsure of the type of grass, and not wanting to leave little pieces of root behind, I did some serious chemical weeding. Sorry about that, but needs must.

 It's nearly dark.
Gloomy Bonfire

TV Couch-Cycling in California!

I finished in the gloom burning the dry rubbish on the bonfire. And now - my reward, which might seem very odd to the uninitiated. I am going TV couch-cycling in California with a decaf coffee and some lycra-ed blokes. We are on a winding coast road, making for Santa Rosa, and the scenery is amazingly beautiful. I had no idea California could be so empty and green.