The gardening world always feels hemispherical...

The world always feels hemispherical when I start planting daffodil bulbs. Gardening friends 'up there' are enjoying their first daffodils in bloom, while I've got 650 recycled bulbs to plant. My garden will be springing some surprises in seven months time!

 Things to look forward to.
Some of My Fancy Daffodils

Friday 3rd February

I think it's going to be a wonderful day - that is if I behave myself. My Shape Up For Life Campaign is going well, and the cricket starts soon. I'm off to plant some daffodils behind the pond, and clear up things in this part of the garden. It's a beautiful, restful place, and the view over the pond to the cottage adds to my sense of belonging. Hee hee. The cottage of my dreams, where young Minimus my lovely grey cat lives, is real.

 So pretty.
Pond Cottage

Little Mac the kitten (AKA 'Little One') and Fluff-Fluff, supreme gardening cat (AKA 'Big One') are waiting in the kitchen for action. So why am I wearing a clean white cotton shirt? Best get changed.

 Planted along the edge of the pond.
Miniature Blue Agapanthus

Later, Early Afternoon...

I've worked for three hours, and I'm worried. The soil in the garden behind the pond is poor, and water won't soak in at all. I've been hosing and bucketing water on without much success. The soil desperately needs organic matter? Compost? Mulch? Serious watering? All of the above, I suspect. This weekend I'll get a load of compost, and spread some mulch on top. Maybe I can get horse manure too. Anyway I've cleaned up this garden, raked the paths, and planted about one hundred daffodil bulbs in appropriate places. Now I'm inside to watch a bit of the cricket.

All my miniature Agapanthus plants are flowering, and I'm extremely happy with these newcomers to the garden. I have little rows of them in quite a few places, and they are such a pretty, unassuming blue. Like dahlias, agapanthus flowers seem to be out of favour with some gardeners. I understand that the big species plants can be too thuggish, even invasive in the right conditions, but these little ones are really sweet and refined. I've used them as an edging for the cottage garden - the flowers are the same pretty blue colour as my decorative bunting.

Late Afternoon...

It has been a wonderful day - I knew it would be! I've worked hard for five hours, I've snacked on tasty food (one of the big rules of the Shape Up For Life Campaign), and now I'm clean. The cricket is going along nicely, and I'm about to have my last cup of coffee for the day.

Clematis montana :
Yet in spring this rampant Clematis is really beautiful. In this thumbnail it covers an archway.

I've cleared mess out of the back of Jelly Bean Border, raked more of the gum bark clear behind the pond, and picked up some Clematis prunings en route to the dumping place. Non-Gardening Partner has been proactive, cutting it down from the driveway's flowering cherry trees. Clematis montana tends to strangle them.

Little Mac the kitten has followed me everywhere. He just loves gardening. He scoots up trees, flops down to snooze underneath the plants, and chases anything that moves. He's been on the move for five hours, too, and now he's curled up in a chair fast asleep. I love having a tiny little black and white kitten for gardening company. He makes me feel very special.

 Some of my gnomes...
Gnomes By The Pond

I love the feel of the gardens by the pond, too. It just might be my favourite place in the garden. There's something about water, and reflections, and gnomes fishing, and little cottages, and...

 A red beauty.
Bishop Llandarff Dahlia

Saturday 4th February

I'm good! I've got a trailer-load of compost - one cubic metre, or twelve large wheelbarrowfuls, according to the landscaping centre. I've got my own bags of gently rotting oak leaves (I daren't call it leaf mould), plus five small bags of horse manure, plus some slabs of old pea-straw. As soon as I've had my coffee (yum) I'm making garden lasagne on the garden behind the pond. One of my hoses reaches in to provide some water (the cheese sauce, hee hee), and buckets of water from the pond can be tipped onto the plants.

So how good am I? This is the 'goodest' type of gardening ever - it may not make for colourful photographs, but it's soooooooo important. Point made, without too many exclamation marks or upper case shouting words, hee hee... Right. I'm off.


Well, I am pretty good. I didn't finish, but I've tipped a huge amount of assorted organic matter on that garden. I took count of my progress (as one does when things are a bit repetitive). I spread eight wheelbarrow loads, with eleven shovelfuls of compost in each. Ha! Maths...

Non-Gardening Partner :
The gardens always look better when the lawns are freshly mown.

Non-Gardening Partner has also been good. He's mowed my lawns, and now has gone off on the tractor to mow the orchard grass. Well done, that man! And me, too.

Brr... I need to warm up. I inadvertently watered myself, and my gardening shirt is really damp (body heat is not working). I think this might be a sign to pack up for the day.