Painting the wooden benches...

 Imagine how beautiful they will look together next spring...
Purple Bench and Agnes Rose

Another wooden bench has gone purple - this time a very beautiful lavender shade. It's on the edge of the Hen House Garden by the water, and will look inspired when the pale lemon Agnes rose blooms in late spring.

Tuesday 22nd May

It was in truth more inspired by the low price tag of two dollars for the paint at the Ecoshop, where I also bought a huge tin, forest green, for the wooden slats on the park benches. They have curly wrought iron ends, and do demand to be boring and serious. OK, I can do boring and serious.

I've also done some raking and bagging of oak leaves, and have started to clear and trim the Hen House Garden itself. A delightful rose (Doctor someone) is flowering high in the bare oak tree branches - I must take a photograph when my hands aren't lavender-purple. I fear this is another rose whose name I think I have remembered, and probably a borrowed memory at that. I'm thinking Souvenir du Docteur Jamain, which a local rose nursery claims has an incredible scent. Ha! My nose can decide tomorrow. He is certainly the right colour and height.

 Oh dear. Another one.
Unknown Rose

Wednesday 23rd May

So what's on the gardening agenda for today, Moosey, Head Gardener? And why are you still inside? The sun is shining, it's 10am, you've already had your morning coffee...

OK, OK, OK. The Hen House Garden gets my undivided attention. I will spread horse manure and mulch. I will rake up more oak leaves and put them in bags. I will finish what which I started yesterday, and thus feel righteous and good.

Too Cold in the Shade

No, wait! It will still be shaded over there, and therefore too cold. Perhaps another cup of coffee, then a quiet potter trimming things in the Stables Gardens, in the sun. Even though it's nearly winter I can still find somewhere warm to work.

Much Later...

Blast. The rose I have always called 'Doctor Someone' is not Souvenir du Docteur Jamain. I've taken a photo - he's too pink. And as for fragrance? He smells fresh and clean, like I should, apres-gardening after a shower. But 'intense and glorious'? Alas, neither of us quite live up to that.

+50+50The sweetest thing - I zoomed off to get horse manure bags at lunchtime, putting Rusty the dog in his kennel. When I returned he popped out of the covered 'bedroom' bit, followed by Little Mac the black and white kitten. Awww - best friends. That's so sweet! If only Minimus the cottage cat would stop being so nasty to the kitten, there'd be total furry harmony.


An embarrassing moment in the back of the Stables Garden when I discovered a very dead rhododendron, completely hidden underneath a huge species Phormium. Poor thing! And it had two dead friends for company - clumps of ex-ornamental Calamagrostis grass. RIP, you three. I'm so sorry...

 Very subtle!
Green Garden Bench

And More Benches Painted

I've painted two of the park benches with my (seven dollars) recycled green paint - a very subtle colour, which I think looks gorgeous. Oh, I should mention the boring things I've done - like wheeling four barrowfuls of rubbish over to the bonfire, putting more mulch on the Hen House Garden, and giving things (like the daylilies) a bit of a trim. I've had a great day.

Thursday 24th May

Had a sleepless but happy night in the cottage (two strong coffees with a friend after 4pm - lethal). Also kept myself awake visualising Pond Cottage's outside walls turning green (I'd be doing the painting, of course). And another thing - after only two attendances at Book Group I am to lead the discussion at tonight's meeting. Such responsibility, pity about the book (one of Bill Bryson's mega-contrived quirky-history catalogue books). Tried to find positives, would rather re-read one of my Famous Five mysteries. I won't mention that at Book Group.

 One of the last trees to colour - a Sorbus.
Sunny Autumn Leaves

Well, today is THE perfect cottage painting day, with a maximum temperature predicted of seventeen degrees Celsius. The early morning is quite frosty, though, and I've lit the log-burner for my breakfast comfort. And so the autumn season slinks on, and the shortest day (the winter solstice) approaches. Ooooo...

Much, Much, Much Later...

I've painted three walls of the cottage green, with just the back one, not really visible from the garden, left to do. I ran out of daylight and day-warmth. Lots of accessories inside have always been green - the mugs, the rug, the bedcover, the armchair ... So will my cottage 'feel' different on the inside, being green on the outside? Hee hee...

 Inside and outside.
Pond Cottage is Green

Friday 25th May

I am pleased to announce the following garden news. Pond Cottage has turned completely green - a seven dollar tin of recycled green paint, and seven hours of continuous brush-work by yours truly. Sadly I've sent several confused green spiders to a sticky end.

One thing I like about me, she said modestly. I get a random garden idea. I talk (blither, ramble on, etc.) about it. And then, quite often, by golly I do it, decisively, perhaps not expertly, but with intelligence and thrift. Ha! Pats self on own back (which is not actually very easy to do, nor is it satisfying).

I have the first photographs, and I now need to add a disclaimer. I have not painted the creamy white bits yet, and the front wall needs a second coat. Hopefully I can finish this weekend if the day time temperature is suitable. I will also ask Non-Gardening Partner to do the really high bits. Mind you, I have graduated to the third step on the step-ladder! Yeay!

Saturday 26th May

Brr... It's just a bit too cold to do any outdoors painting today. So I've just asked Non-Gardening Partner about doing some chain-sawing for me. What's that phrase again - a 'deafening silence'? OK, I can take a hint, for now. NGP made the big mistake last week of saying he'd 'think about it'. Now that's the classic parent entrapment phrase, in my experience, which of course means 'yes', hee hee.

Much, Much Later...

Yippee! NGP is my hero, and the sprouting branches on the big Willow tree stump are down. Several large logs bobbed off downstream - I was standing in the water beneath Willow Bridge to catch them and roll them out. Brr.... Cold, cold feet.

Olearia :
The Olearia that I grow is a tough native New Zealand evergreen - its full name is Olearia paniculata.

I also did some rugged raking and pruned the Olearias in the Wattle Woods. I've trimmed dead leaves off Phormiums and cleared a section of the little wriggling stream.

Today is the first wintry day I've spent in the garden for ages. I positively enjoyed poking at the bonfire as it got darker and darker. Now I'm cooking NGP a Hawaiian pizza as a reward for his superb (and non-grumbling) work with the chainsaw. Yum.