New red rhododendrons are flowering...

 Ooooh goodie!
Red Rhododendron Bud

There are colours in my garden! Two red rhododendrons are already flowering, new to me in the blooming sense. I shifted them last year into the gardens around the Pond Paddock. Both are sheltered from the frosts, by luck rather than good planning.

And the first of the tiny spring crocuses (croci?) are flowering in the house garden - I've gently weeded around them. Golden yellows and cool blues. You sweet things!

Escher the big brown dog is enjoying his country house weekend. And (phew!) he hasn't done any binge eating of my horse manure, like last time.

Sunday 5th August

+50Little Mac the kitten is an absolute legend! She loves Escher, the biggest brownest dog in her little world - smooching him, showing him her belly, and sitting up on a stool at nose-height to communicate on more level terms. I am so proud of her.

 In amongst the rhododendron buds.
Fluff-Fluff Cat in the Garden


As for the other cats - big Fluff-Fluff and Histeria tolerate the extra dog in the evenings. Well, it is meal time, after all. Tiger is here and there, not troubled.

Ginger (AKA girl's blouse) cat Percy will have none of this - he's not sure he wants to come inside the house at all. And he's even invisible in the garden, though he's taken to popping inside the cottage in the middle of the night to bravely fight the rug monster (and chase young Minimus). Aargh!

And Roses...

Today I have to finish spreading compost and simultaneously plant my remaining two roses (Midnight Blue and Munstead Wood). I've decided they can go at the side of Pond Cottage. There must be lots more serious rose pruning, too. This is my A-Task for August.

 In the afternoon winter sun.
Pond Cottage

Much Later...

It's been another great day. I've done what I said I'd do, and even burnt my rose prunings etc. And I've got three bags of potting mix and the hugest bag of seed-raising mix, all ready for those flowers!

Monday 6th August

Today it's been quite damp, back to the winter colours of green and brown. But I've spent ages trimming all the old ferns, whose fronds are splattered all over the house paths. At this time of the year it makes for a somewhat slippery journey. I've also planted a patio pot with spinach seedlings. I am instructed to provide them with nitrogen every two weeks, so I've put the pot directly underneath the bird feeder - seems sensible! Two blue pots are planted with dwarf sweet pea seeds.

Mac the Kitten :
Little Mac has her very own cat page, with her young kitten photographs.

And I've trudged over to the dumping place by the fence and back, with my trusty kitten by my side. Mad Eyes Mac is a supreme gardening companion, much better at inter-personal gardening relationships than Rusty the dog. He's spent the whole day either barking at the birds (unpleasant) or in a heap on the lawn looking as bored as he possibly can.

A handy hint for traditional poets: 'coincide' rhymes with 'go inside', which I discovered while telling my dog what we were going to do. It's obvious, but I never thought of it before... Right. I have a rescued gnome to paint, a meal to prepare, and some serious piano practice to do before a concert tomorrow. And the Olympics to catch up with. So busy!

 This one is in the Appletree Border.
Another Red Rhododendron

Tuesday 7th August

Today started with lots of music and ended with rain, with a quick dog walk down the road in between. Now, if only I'd fitted in some gardening as well the day would have been perfectly balanced. Those two red rhododendrons are now very, very visible in the garden borders. Dear things. They are obviously early flowering varieties, and have been the nicest of winter surprises. A tiny splash of unexpected colour is a wondrously powerful thing, gardenwise.