I didn't buy anything at the nursery sale!

We called in at the first of the autumn nursery plant sales, and I didn't buy anything! In the 'old days' I would have insisted we arrived with the trailer, and my wallet would have been twitching, hee hee... Anyway, I still have my miniature Agapanthus to divide and plant, and a friend is donating me eight roses that she no longer has space or water for. And Escher the brown puppy is coming for a sleep-over, so I'd better cover the horse manure on the Driveway Garden with mulch before he arrives. Just let me enjoy this hot coffee first...

 The most beautiful colours.
Nancy Steen Roses in Autumn

Saturday 9th March, Much, Much Later...

Escher the puppy has been bouncing around all afternoon - apart from tending to eat horse manure, he is the perfect gardening dog. Most importantly, he doesn't dig holes! I've divided and planted another two clumps of Agapanthus, choosing to place them alongside a Shrubbery path.

 Light Pink Iceberg standards.
Roses and Daisies

Then Non-Gardening Partner mowed the lawns, and, since I have 'misplaced' my best loppers, I had to walk in front of the mower checking the lawn. What on earth have I done with them? It is extremely embarrassing to be so careless. Escher the puppy is apprehensive about the scary ride-on mower, since he hasn't met this noisy thing before. The deep pond is still scary, too, but he goes in the water race (his feet can touch the bottom). Puppy steps, puppy steps...

Sunday 10th March

+40Hmm... Sleepless in Pond Cottage? Thank you Minimus for bringing me a wriggling midnight mouse. And thank you again, for bringing me a second smaller one, three hours later. Then squeaking on the verandah until dawn (it felt like that) because I shut the window on you.

Escher and Rusty :
Escher is a German pointer chocolate Labrador cross. He's six months old now - still a puppy.

Escher the brown puppy and Rusty the dog have been out around the farm for their early morning constitutional. I successfully stopped Escher eating the horse manure on the garden, so he found a dead mouse instead to chew. Slowly. And he wasn't giving it back. No way! Aargh! My animals are making so many connections with mice these days.

 I rather like the black-red effect.
Precious Platinum Rose Flowers

Much Later...

We have picked up the new roses. Named varieties are Superstar, Precious Platinum, Virgo, possibly Barcarole, plus others she's not sure of. I'm so excited, having just cleared a large chunk of the sunny side of the Island Bed. The roses were already dug up and waiting for us, definitely the icing on any recycled rose-cake.

I've potted all except the hugest rose with the littlest apricot flowers - Perle D'Or on steroids, maybe? The Precious Platinums, too, have enormous trunks, and need to go straight into the garden. Their flowers are jolly nice, nothing like I'd expected.

Monday 11th March

Bleary-eyed again after another mouse presentation ceremony in Pond Cottage - this one at 4:30am. Alas - it wasn't possible to get back into a proper sleep, with Minimus squeaking in the moonlight to be let back in. Cats certainly know how to sound sad. And now I see Little Mac the kitten and ginger cat Percy with a deceased mouse on the house carpet (courtesy of Histeria the tabby, about 10:15pm last night). Aargh! Percy is demonstrating: 'Stretch your paw, grab it like this, fling it up at an angle of 60 degrees'...

 Minimus and Little Mac are not exactly best friends yet.
Kitten, Cat, and Cricketers

Just Doing Their Job...

So the Moosey cats are keeping the autumn grounds and outbuildings clean, just doing their job. Life is so unfair for mice - they get such great warm-and-fuzzy write-ups in children's books. The cold hard realities of farm life must come as a bit of a shock...

I found my good loppers, by the way. I had carefully placed them in the old wheelbarrow under cover in the garage. There is no truth in the rumour that I'd left them in the garden to be rained on and get all rusty.

Later, Mid-Day...

Right. I need to save money. This is semi-serious. So I have made some shattering monetary rules:

March Money Rules

  1. No more garden gnomes.
  2. No more online plant auctions.
  3. No more charity shopping.
  4. No milky cafe coffees after swimming.
  5. No more double avocado sushi lunches. Single avocado only.

Add to the above my resolution to make one less trip in my car per week, and to look after my gardening tools better so I don't need to spend money replacing them. There - it's done. If only Greece's problems were so easily solved, hee hee... Now I'm going to have a (non-milky non-cafe) coffee, and then do some more March gardening.

 The standards are not doing well at all.
Rhapsody in Blue Rose


A random, unplanned afternoon - I've been weeding the vegetable garden and harvesting vegetables. Rusty, companion dog, has been digging near the kitchen compost heap, snorting and groaning like an old man in physical distress. I'm suspecting a ferret or rabbit. 'Go get it' I've been saying, and on he groans, digging deeper and deeper. Alas, he 'still hasn't fouuuund what he's looooking for'... Do I trust him that something is actually down there - except potatoes and earthworms?

So the large recycled roses still sit in water, six clumps of Agapanthus await planting, and the edges of the back lawn are still un-trimmed. But hey! I found two large pumpkins growing on a plant I pulled out by mistake. This is a first - I've picked them, and now I think I wait a couple of months? Hope this is right. And I've collected some dried peas from a very successful row of sugar-snaps. The pods and peas stayed sweet and crispy right through the season.