Outbid in a garden gnome auction...

Ridiculous. Two days later and I'm still feeling sad having been outbid in a garden gnome auction. I've had to speak severely to self. Moosey, be thankful that losing some scruffy garden gnomes is all you've got to be sad about. Foolish oldish woman!

Saturday 28th January

Today I've been quietly trimming the second overgrown Hypericum in the back of the Septic Tank Garden. Constance Spry, a beautiful once-flowering rose, has been completely swamped this past summer. It's too hot to burn the trimmings, so I've dumped them on the fence-line. Little Mac the kitten has been terribly excited, chasing the overflow from my wheelbarrow.

 A great gardening companion.
Little Mac the Kitten - 8 Weeks Old

I finished the afternoon sitting by the pond. I listened to the cricket and dunked my feet in the water. The gnomes over the other side of the water were quietly going about their business. Minimus the cottage cat came and lolled in the sun with us. It was all very restful until Little Mac went to jump in the water to chase a dragonfly. What a silly kitten!

 An annual salvia that I love.
Blue Summer Salvias

A Summery Summer...

I love being in my garden, even on hot days like today. That's just as well, since my garden does have a reasonably long, summery summer...

Sunday 29th January

My goodness - the 'internet gardening community' (this phrase always sounds as if it's been demographically measured by a marketing agency) is a real, kind, and friendly human place. As well as getting affirming (and much needed) feedback on my own garden, I've met new gardening friends in person. Recent lovely visitors, friends via Facebook, have now sent me a printed book of photographs of the Moosey Garden. My garden through another's eyes and camera - the most smiley gift I've ever received. It has certainly helped me in my sad moments of gnome-grief. Kris - thanks so much!

Gnome-wise, this morning I made my peace with Nigel, apologising that his brother gnome wouldn't be coming to Mooseys after all. There will be other brothers, I told him. Now I'm over it. Honestly I am!

 With Canna lilies.
Summer Dahlias

Shape Up For Life 2012!

Great personal news which is now to be made official - Non-Gardening Partner and I are back on our 'Shape Up For Life' Campaign. My new gardening shorts are - ahem - a disappointing fit, and at swimming I noticed NGP's paunch (one shouldn't broadcast this to the world, I guess).

Great Fun!

Shaping Up for Life is great fun (she said desperately). It means, for example, that a homemade loaf of bread lasts about four days, and there is always fruit in the bowls to snack on. Rusty the dog also benefits as he gets to eat left-overs, rather than the house-humans. That doesn't quite look right...

To celebrate the second morning of the SUFL 2012 Campaign, breakfast was to be a soft-boiled egg with coffee - after an hour of gardening. Things in the kitchen were humming. First of all I boiled water only for exactly four minutes. Oops. Then I tried with the first egg. Aargh! Too soft and runny! Shape-Up-For-Lifers take their protein intake seriously, so I tried again. Third time lucky - a free-range egg has never tasted so good.

 This is the back of the Septic Tank Garden.
The Shrubs Are Trimmed

The clean-up in the back of the Septic Tank Garden is finished, and I'm lightly ashamed (?) that I let the shrubs in here get away. Now I can see Pond Cottage through the fence, upon which I am training the rose Constance Spry. The clematis from the archway had also got loose - little wonder that poor rose didn't flower much. I hope the red Weigela will survive. I've had to chop it down at the knees - if it objects I can plant a replacement.

 Little Mac and big Fluff-Fluff.
Kitten and Cat Playing

Right. I'm off outside again. I'll garden until the bread is cooked, then I'm allowed to have just one (fattish) piece for lunch with smoked salmon and salad. Such are the little things a Shape-Up-For-Lifer looks forward to. Yum!


Little Mac came gardening, as he always does when I'm near the house. I love looking after the new kitten. Even young Minimus the cottage cat has accepted Little Mac, and big Fluff-Fluff is very gentle when they have cat-wrestling matches. As I so often say to whichever cat is trying to get up too close and personal: There's room in my heart for all of you. Awww...


Perfect. It started to rain just as the bread-maker beeped. I've trimmed the rose, tied it in to the top of the fence, cleared the Clematis, and dug out some old Euphorbias. And I've taken lots of photographs of Little Mac, now a Size Five kitten and fast growing into a catlet.