The burning question...

 Cross fingers!
Last of the Summer Burning

Oh yes, yes, yes. With regards that burning question, the hedge trimmings are completely finished. All gone, leaving behind a huge pointy volcano of ash, which I'll dampen down and shovel onto the garden. Finally finished! I've been wisely alternating the hedge burn with other gardening, to lift my smoky spirits.

Have I possibly mentioned before that I intensely dislike having a summer bonfire? The word 'dislike' is a euphemism, by the way...

But I have had good help. Today while Non-Gardening Partner raked and fed the bonfire I did a quick tidy-up of the gardens around Duck Lawn. Now I'm off to trim the edges around the Sleep-Out and dead-head the Bantry Bay rose by the Stables. I've noticed that blasted rose more than once, and so (according to my New Year's Resolution) I have to do something about it.

 This is a mid-summer flowering rose.
Sleep-Out Cherrry Rambling Rose

This resolution is dodgy, and extremely labour intensive, and can have me scurrying round in circles trying to keep honest. I'd like to modify it. Not sure if one is allowed...

Little Mac :
Little Mac the new kitten doesn't have a web-page yet. It seems sensible to wait until we know if he's a he or a she.

Little Mac the black and white kitten has had a two-speed day. He has either been zooming and scampering in and out of the house at full pace, or sleeping soundly in his little basket. Dear little thing. He's already gone up a size. And such an easy, joyful kitten to have around. We are all lucky that he was rescued and has come to live here.

Saturday 7th January

My 2012 New Year's Resolutions are definitely keeping me on my gardening toes. The Pond Paddock gardens, I have noticed (nore than once), are scruffy and need their edges trimmed. And I wonder if I should cut the big bearded irises (they're well over flowering now) into neat little vee-shaped fans? This is being obsessively cosmetic and fussy? I'm off to ponder this and many other questions.

 With its Christmas bunting.
Pond Cottage

Much, Much Later...

I've had a brilliant day - I've done so many good things, with just enough energy left to write everything down. Firstly I have kitten news. Oops. Little Mac, not concentrating, fell in the pond. He swam calmly round in a circle back to me, dragged his extremely wet body out slowly, and looked puzzled. We had a cuddle in a towel, then a feed of beef mince and a snooze in the sun next to big Fluff-Fluff ('little one' and 'big one').

I've done the gardening that I said I would. The cottage garden is weeded and I've popped more plants in - purple cornflowers, purple sage, white pelargoniums, and lime nicotianas. I've trimmed all the edges. The miniature Agapanthus is flowering. Young Minimus provided very squeaky cat company - she doesn't really like the kitten. Early days, though.

Madame Caroline Testout :
Madame Caroline Testout is so beautiful when her growth is new and fresh. Aren't we all!

I've turned the irrigation drippers on the archway roses, but I'm far too nervous to go and check them. I'm expecting dead-heads galore and general mess, and I dread to think what state Madame Caroline Testout is in. Perhaps she'll have had the grace to lose all her leaves - I don't want to see them thick with black-spot. I will have to dig out the two Ghislaine de Feligondes at some stage. Archway roses they are not. NOT. Emphatically not.

Two New Little Bridges

Non-Gardening Partner has bought the wood for my two little Wattle Woods bridges. They each have a span of 1.6 meters, and he describes them as little curved ramps. I've planted my new Azalea by my little pond, and started to dig out the ash heap and tip it on the nearby garden. As soon as I see how the bridges will sit I'll do more plantings.

 OK - I know I look ridiculous!
Cat and Bucket-Head Dog

+10I am so impressed with Rusty the dog. He has been a bucket-head for nine days now, and incredibly cheerful with it - not once has he tried to remove the offending article. I'm sure that humans wouldn't be so accommodating. It comes off on Monday, and he is going to be clipped.

So Good...

Because I've been so good, I'm having half a glass of red wine before the evening meal. I reckon I will last about one hour, no more. But I've been really, really, really, really, really good. Does that mean two and a half glasses?