Dogs have taste?

Good morning world, cats, garden, spring flowers, blossom, and Rusty the dog, whose kennel I will be approaching nervously. Yesterday he found something 'dog-tasty' in the back paddock to munch on. Eek. Here's a no-brainer : never employ a dog as a taste tester!

 And where has that dog-nose been?
Rusty the Dog

Sunday 22nd September

Today I promise to do some proper garden-noticing. The hostas are up, and lots of the roses have fresh green growth. Alkanet and the much nicer Forget-Me-Nots are covered in little blue flowers. Tulips in pots are flowering, though thanks to the wind they look very bedraggled. And how come I've totally got their colours mixed up? Blame a virus? Some have gone all stripy.

 A bit wet!
Exochorda Flowers

More Camellias Flowering

More of the late Camellias are blooming. My red Camellia which honours the memory of Sifter the cat is flowering in its patio pot, and in theory there should be wonderful colour echoes with the nearby red tulips. Except I have managed to combine one orange, one red, and one magenta-purple. Hmm... Be thankful for the red polyanthus plants, I say, otherwise my colour credibility would be severely compromised.

Wet Brides!

Also on the patio the Brides in their pots are flowering. Exochorda are the oddest shrubs. They sit there shyly, giving no hints - in fact they 'play dead' for the first few weeks of spring. Then suddenly - blooming heck! Right. It's time. Rooster Bridge, here I come. The chain-saw brothers will be here again later this morning, and the garden will be noisy again. Not a problem - in fact, it sets off the bellbirds, and the pheasants. Competition?

Much Later...

Two great, hard-working hours in the morning, then it just got too wet. We had a lovely break visiting friends, and then came back home and back into it. The rain had eased, and I got my bonfire going - most of the Wattle is now burnt. Piles of branches have been shredded, and I've started stacking firewood logs. And the two chain-sawing brothers were here all day loading a huge yellow truck - they are real men, not to be put off by a few annoying drops of rain.

 Pretty pink flowers,
Gay Baby Camellias

And as for that real garden-noticing? Well, does picking some rain-droopy daffodils for the house count? Hope so.

 What have you been eating?
Rusty the Dog

Monday 23rd September

What happens is this. All weekend I feel really good. I'm helping Non-Gardening Partner, who works just as hard as I do. And then comes Monday morning, and I bound outside with huge hopes in my heart. And then I get garden-clean-up lonely. I mooch, I semi-sulk, I feel a bit sad, I see the hugeness of the mess left, rather than the brilliance of the areas already cleared. Aargh!

When doubt strikes, eat something! So I've come inside to get some lunch. On the tray I have a pot of fresh pet meat (for Lilli-Puss), a dog biscuit (for you-know-who), and a large fizzy drink with a plate of smoked streaky bacon and fried eggy-bread (for me). Oops - a rather unhealthy mixture.

I've Got Green Fingers...

Better wash my hands - my gloves have holes in them, and my fingers get quite green handling the pine branches. Green fingers! Hee hee...

OK, I'm now inside for afternoon tea. My plod is getting slower and slower, and my mental state is getting duller by the minute. I am sick of trundling mess to the bonfire. But there is visible progress - Rusty the dog agrees with me (I have just waved a dog biscuit at him). And I only have to do one more session, then I can wash my hair and go couch cycling in Wales (the Tour of Britain, highlights only). Ooh, goodie...

The Gardening Ipod has been sitting a fence-post with Bartok's string quartets playing. The bellbirds love this music and have been flying around the trees above, whistling and making their 'tch' sounds. Hee hee.

Much, Much Later...

It's the end of a worthwhile, hard-working day, and I'm proud of my efforts, even if my mood has slipped somewhat. After all, one doesn't need to be outrageously happy to spend the day cleaning up a garden. And I even did some weeding.

 In the driveway with the blossom trees behind him.
Rusty the Dog is Looking Sad

Tuesday 24th September

Oh well, I've cleaned up for nearly two hours, but it's been lightly raining all the while, and I've got very, very wet. That's OK. I'm warm inside and dry now, and it's jigsaw time. Maybe a day inside doing lots of nothing, even a wee sleep in the early afternoon? Have the day off, Moosey?

 This is the memorial tree for dear Smoocher, my ginger and white cat,
Mount Fuji Flowering Cherry

Later, Lunchtime...

No, no! The drizzle has stopped, the sky is much brighter, I'm having a fortifying cup of coffee and some toast, and then I plan to continue my work.

Much, Much Later...

Another huge clean-up afternoon, in which I got my bonfire going, and trundled back and forth with loads of mess from the side driveway. Big Fluff-Fluff decided to keep me company, and he takes these duties very seriously. He stayed in the clean-up place, and every time I returned he wailed desperately at me. 'Where did you go?' I told him that he simply has to trust me. I always come back.

Rusty the dog started his day just looking bored, but ended with the saddest brown eyes, so we went for a walk down the road. Actually I was feeling a bit sad, too, so we were a good pair. It's been another of those 'too big' days. So silly!

The blossom is so pretty, with pale pink and white weeping cherries in the driveway flowering, plus the Mount Fuji in Cat Memorial Row. It's Smoocher's tree. The Golden Elm blossom is just starting, that delicate lime green colour.

 A beautiful pair.
Red Cordyline with Pink Rhododendron

So heavens knows what I've got to feel sad about - absolutely nothing, I reckon.