A crisis of confidence...

 They make a pretty picture with my white garden furniture.
Shasta Daisies

Oh dear - how the mighty have fallen. I've had a hemi-demi-semi-crisis of confidence regarding the size of my one-woman country garden. Hmm... Could it be - perhaps, possibly, maybe - a little too big for me? Aargh!

Thursday 9th February

I am so cross with myself. Yesterday I did some fairly sensible gardening in two enjoyable sessions - each of about two hours. I glided around the garden in its entirety, dead-heading roses and dahlias, pulling out Lychnis, and doing lots of obvious trimming and clearing. And when I went apres-gardening I felt quite pleased. My garden felt beautifully big.

Blame Larry's Home-Made Wine...

Aha! Then came the evening meal, and a large glass of Larry's home-made, naturally fermented wine, which I blame totally for the Moosey mood-swing. It didn't take long (watching a rather gloomy TV programme called George Gently probably didn't help).

 All clear!
Path Into Middle Garden

No, my garden was definitely not beautifully big - it was awfully, horribly big! Far too big - and I didn't look after it properly! It was too messy and I didn't work hard enough to keep it looking good. What was I thinking, making giggly plans for expansion, wanting to get new plants? I didn't even keep the house patio and decking swept properly. And so on and so on.

A Cosmetic Counter Plan...

Well, this morning I have a cosmetic counter-plan for all that wine-induced dribble. I'm off to trim the lawn edges and clear the paths over the water race. The gardens will immediately look better. This will be my first session. Then I've promised myself sushi for lunch. I will choose something nice to do for Gardening Session Number Two. Then I might go apres-gardening and watch a bit of cricket, play a bit of Schumann (piano), maybe read my Amazon exploring book... And then I can return for a graceful clean-clothed final fling - maybe just a spot of path-raking. And then half a glass of wine, well diluted with nectarine juice, and I promise not to grump.

Morning Tea (Just Hot Coffee, Alas)...

I'm just checking in to say that I feel heaps better. Middle Garden's tidy-up is almost completed. I've had to have a few stern words with the Golden Hop and with young Minimus (my grey cottage cat). She's been hiding in plants then rushing out to frighten Little Mac the kitten. The 'I-want-to-play' vibes are missing. Better to leave the kitten snoozing in his basket with the big benign ginger cats. The bigger and more ginger you are (in the Moosey feline world, at least) the nicer you are. Dear me. Perhaps I need more ginger plants in my garden, hee hee. Back in a wee while.

 All tidy - for now!
Back of the Dog-Path Garden

Details, details - I've potted up the little foxglove seedlings growing in the middle Middle Garden's path. Look after the smallest things and then the biggest will be easier to manage, I reckon. I've removed some dreadful dead-looking brown tussock grasses, and shifted pieces of an ailing blue iris into this vacant sunny spot. Now (shock, horror) I might squirt some weed-killer on the path. It's part of rationalising my energy quota. Oops. And a gardening kitten is definitely banned while I do this dreadful deed.

Much, Much Later...

Oh yes. I..... Have..... Been..... Good! I've just about finished the Dog-Path Garden tidy-up. I just kept on going late into the afternoon, doing my work quietly, listening to the cricket. Lawn edges are trimmed, interior paths are clear, and I've even weeded the stony dog-path by the water.

 Please don't blow over!
More Shasta Daisies

Two embarrassingly lush gorse bushes, hidden away in a Berberis are now cut down, and the water-side species Phormiums are well trimmed. On the house-side of the water race white Shasta daisies are in full shining glory. Until they flop over (please don't) I will love these daisies passionately. They look so clean!

 I have to check the name.
Orchard Rose

I saved my nasty chemical weed spray for the weeds underneath the orchard roses. This has been designated an area of minimal maintenance (AMM), and that means lazy weeding, I'm afraid.

The little irrigation drippers have been on for five hours, giving the roses a much needed drink. Even Parkdirektor Riggers, most robust and unromantic of red climbers, is flowering madly again.

Friday 10th February

It's a lightly drizzling morning, and I've started off badly by watching the Downton Abbey Christmas special. Will a cup of hot coffee rouse me from my TV-soapy, moochy, reflective mood? What gardening should I do today? Oh dear...

Late Lunchtime...

+10+10+10Phew. My gardening mojo returned, and together with friends big Fluff-Fluff the cat, Little Mac the kitten, and Rusty the dog I've been clearing up the garden by the pergola. Weeds - out. Large woody Senecio shrub - trimmed (I should have done this years ago).

Mermaid Rose :
Mermaid is almost an industrial strength rose - plant it with caution!

An old Mermaid rose has sprouted again on the corner. Regretfully I cut it down. This rose used to adorn the fence here, when there was a fence. I also burnt some gum leaves. All the other rubbish went over to the boundary.

Little Mac has had lunch and is curled up in his current favourite cat basket. He smells of catmint. I feel so much better for having done some gardening work. And I took a lot of silly and hopefully cute photographs (seventy-one, in fact). Must have a peep. Aaaaw! Little Mac looks gorgeous. But I knew that.

 My little gardening friend.
Little Mac the Kitten Smiling

Saturday 11th February

Not much gardening possible today, sorry. Swimming, a leisurely morning tea, and then a singing engagement in the afternoon, where my friends and I 'du-rum'-ed our way through the theme from the Pink Panther - very successfully, I thought. Tumultuous applause from the audience, at least...