My last gardening days of 2012 must be taken really seriously. After several trips into the mountains it's time I settled back into serious gardening mode. The hot winds are blowing, the garden need watering, the edges need trimming, the borders need weeding...

 Strong and uncomplicated!
Red Summer Dahlias

Saturday 29th December

The garden is seriously colourful (there's that word again) - even though many of the rose flowers have now been dead-headed. It's been a great month for the daylilies. Last year I was underwhelmed, threatening them with mass dig-outs. This year - no way! A couple of clumps are still sulking, but I'd definitely blame the Head Gardener for poor positioning. Memo to HG. Remember which ones are unhappy and shift them.

Many of my bearded irises didn't flower this year. So they either need dividing and replanting, or shifting to a better spot, or they need to be left alone to consolidate. Somewhat extreme choices!

To Sulk or Not to Sulk...

Sulking plants are always a bit of a puzzle to me. I'm totally fed up with the rhododendron Chrysomanicum in the Driveway Garden (which flowered beautifully until I shifted it in there). Well, I'm going to shift it again, even if its summer. With the hoses on, of course.

 David Austin beauties.
The Pilgrim Roses


Right. Please would NGP mind sharpening my edge trimmers for me? Would he ignore the fact they're blunt because I left them outside to get rusted? And would he mind finishing off the lawn mowing? He's skirted around the concrete cricketers, and it's not a good look to be playing cricket in the dandelions.


I've worked really hard, leaving the vegetable garden in a better state that it was. I've planted more beans, lettuce seedlings, and another courgette plant. I weeded the herb spiral. But what to do with the sulking vegetable garden tomatoes? Feed them! I'll throw on some fertiliser (nitrophoska?) That's a great idea.

I also decided to completely trim down the Delphiniums in the perennials garden. Maybe they'll reflower for me in the autumn? Ooh, yes, please. I've read that Delphiniums do this for other gardeners.

Sunday 30th December

Good morning from Pond Cottage, where the bellbirds are whistling, and the hot norwest wind is already roaring. Tiger the cat, hungry for breakfast, is waiting for me on the pond dining table. It's going to be another hot scorcher (by Moosey Garden standards, that is). Our heat isn't humid, and there aren't too many summer bugs to be annoying, but there are a few pesky mosquitos around.

 Where is my breakfast?
Tiger the Cat Waits Patiently...

So I'll put the hoses on first, and then test out my newly sharpened edge trimmers. Yippee for NGP!


+10It's wonderful to have sharp and proper garden tools! So silly using the kitchen scissors to trim the lawn edge of a huge garden border. I mean, really! I've tidied up the gardens around the back lawn, and the cricketers have had their grass mown. Little Mac has been the gardening cat of the day.

I Love My Herb Spiral...

The herb spiral (I love it) is overflowing with flowering non-herbs - Salvias, daisies, nasturtiums, even a fragrant pelargonium. The herbs are in there, of course, small and more subtle. Self-sown potatoes have sprouted in some places, adding to the general bustle. I love it - oh, I've already said that...

 This photograph was taken before I weeded out all the lettuce trees!
Herbs and Flowers in the Brick Spiral

Monday 31st December

To complete my gardening year in a serious, responsible way, I've been organising the pots by the house - planting pelargoniums, removing bulbs, repotting, and so on. I love the flowering pots - the nasturtiums are gorgeous, and the sweet peas (so fragrant) are only just going to seed.

 Growing in one of my house pots.
Mahogany Nasturtiums

The last of the flowering annuals are now planted in the house garden, I'm dead-heading the dahlias and have started collecting pansy seeds. My summer of wind and sunshine whooshes along.

Thanks, 2012...

It's been a grand and groovy gardening year. Thanks for everything, 2012. Thanks for providing interesting weather, nothing too extreme, with enough sun and rain to encourage me in my growing efforts. Thanks to the earth for having a gentle year.

I'm now going to retire to the cottage with a glass of wine and think about my New Years' Honours list. So all my cats could receive knighthoods? Sir Fluff-Fluff? Why not!

Happy New Year!