What to do when it's raining?

 A pretty cream and green carex that I grow.
Variegated Carex

Blast! What a way to start my August. Chamber music is postponed, and I've promised myself that I'll do some serious housework all morning if it's still raining. And guess what it's doing? Argh!

Wednesday 1st August

I am now imagining a parallel 'garden transformed into housework' journal. Writes: Oooh! What shall I do first today? I am overflowing with exciting ideas. Vacuum the upstairs? Continue cleaning out the cupboards? Then the kitchen floor needs mopping, and I must, must, must organise the dusting of the mantlepiece...

No, it doesn't quite have the same impact as planting Trilliums, clearing paths, pruning the roses, and finishing off my beautiful evergreen Shrubbery. I am a dedicated gardener, not a houseworker.

Three Houseworking Hours Later...

Aargh! I simply cannot consider three hours of housework to be a set of 'listable' achievements. Oh boy. But the rooms for my soon-to-arrive relatives upstairs are certainly shining! Spider and dust-free they may be not, but they are 'organised' - a word which covers as much or as little as the houseworker wishes it to.

 A very cool pink, though.
Sweet Pink Hellebores

Now for some better news - the rain has stopped, and after my lunchtime coffee I'm going outside to do some mud-gardening. I'm ignoring the Olympics today - our time zone is as far from London as globally possible, so I'm looking forward to some live viewing later tonight. So what should I do in the garden? Ooh, goody, goody, goody. I'm going to be a gardener again.

Three Gardening Hours later...

Perfect! That's better. Accompanied by Rusty the dog and Fluff-Fluff the cat I shifted all the remaining firewood logs, raked up gum leaves, did some gentle tree trimming, planted some more magenta dahlias in the back of the Shrubbery.

 Always getting distracted.
Keep Up, You Two! Gardening Dog and Cat

Then I spent twenty minutes getting nowhere trying to dig out a large green Carex underneath the big gum tree. Solution - I've trimmed all its leaves down to nothing, forcing it into regrowth. I should be grateful that it wants to grow underneath the tree, anyway. Nothing much else will.

 Awwww - such pretty wee faces.
Little Pansies

Sweet Little Things

I feel soooooooooo happy! I really love being outside. I took the camera to capture pictures of 'sweet little things'. And thus I've caught sight of the first shy Hellebores flowering, and lots of brave little pansies poking out of the purple Ajuga.

And the second pale pink Camellia flower of the very early season, along with lots and lots of friendly nearby buds. And fresh new shoots of the peonies. Nice, nice, extra nice - my garden is on the spring move! Shouldn't need a camera in my hand to notice these sweet things, though...

Friday 3rd August

Aha! This morning I'm going to chamber music, to see if my flautist has done any practice on the Georges Hue pieces. I say this smugly because I have...

Much Later...

Chamber music was groovy. But I'm sorry to have absolutely no gardening to report - this afternoon I've been busy again doing housey things. On my way home I dropped in at the Ecostore. This was meant to be - I rescued a garden gnome, bought a lady's spade (I burnt my last one, tipping it into the bonfire with the rubbish), and another Enid Blyton Secret Seven book for my serious cottage bedtime reading.

Seed Catalogue :
Ooops. So far I have over fifty different seed packets on my wanted list.

And there was great excitement in the mail box - a glossy seed catalogue, with real pages to flick casually over, pen in hand. So self-indulgent and quaintly romantic, compared to ordering online. But I'm saving it for later. Dangerous - I'm going to write my preliminary list while having a glass of wine, hee hee...

Escher the brown dog is coming to stay for the weekend. So the cats' litter tray is out of reach of his nose, and I've put some old toys on his couch for him to dismantle. Dear Escher - he's so big, compared to Rusty, and such a squeaky, smoochy dog. A bit of a 'knock-over-the-old-lady' dog, too. On the garden paths I always stop still and cross my fingers when Escher gallops past. And he does keep to the paths. What a good dog visitor!

Brown Gardening Dog

Saturday 4th August

I've slowly digested the Seed catalogue twice, and have put little ticks on lots and lots of flowers and a few organic vegetables. A cane basket sits in the kitchen, full of my own collected seeds, so it will be a good idea to cross-check before buying. How level-headed. I know I'll buy twice as many packets because of the real paper catalogue, too. Online I'm much more frugal. My list includes a stylish Agastache, some groovy Salvias, and a promising blue sweet pea, just to mention a few.

Mid Afternoon...

I've been spreading compost and pruning roses while Escher the brown gardening dog has been running around squeaking with my red gardening gloves in his mouth. He'll swap them for a tennis ball? I've cleaned up lots more burnable rubbish and my last task for today has been to fire up the bonfire. Meanwhile my imagination has leapt ahead three months. How groovy - all the seeds I'm about to order have already germinated (with a one hundred percent success rate) and are ready to flower. Oh yes. Oh ye of great faith - ye must be a gardener...

Gold Medals

Yippee for the Olympics, and New Zealand's gold medals in the rowing. To celebrate I'm making an Olympic steak pie (decorated with five pastry rings) and the two dogs have had some 'Golden Boy' dog roll for their evening meal. Yum!