The Last of the Summer Bonfires...

 Also called Bergamot?
Red Monarda

I'm thrilled, delighted, ecstatic, over-the-moon, delirious with joy (and so on) that the fire ban is finally on for the summer. I'm not a compulsive burner, but oh so slowly I've been cleaning up a strip of the neighbour's land over the fence-line, to get a fire break between his damaged pine forest and our property. This always leaves me feeling terribly sensible and responsible, and a bit peeved. So now I can peeve all I like! OK. It's over. No more bonfiring. Phew!

Thursday 26th December

My Apres-Christmas Day plan is simple. When it stops raining I will pick up absolutely everything that isn't where it should be in the garden - pots, hand tools, and so on. I will plant out any unfortunate remaining plants, put my new Maples in pots and place them in the side of the Jelly Bean Garden, and hey presto! The garden will be in better shape for the New Year. So easy when it's written down, hee hee. And no burning! Phew.

But it's been steadily and benignly raining since the middle of yesterday, Christmas Day. What did we do? We enjoyed a lovely family (dogs included) Christmas Brunch, then Non-Gardening Partner lay on the couch to eagerly read his new book - 'DIY Projects for the Back Yard'. He promptly fell asleep. Hmm...

Fluff-Fluff :
Fluff-Fluff must think he's having a groovy body massage lying in the jigsaw box.

Meanwhile I spent ages and ages on my jigsaw, 'doing' the lawn. Early evening I saw my efforts spread all around the carpet. Fluff-Fluff had been snoozing in the jigsaw box. He understands jigsaw etiquette, but some of the other cats are not so trustworthy. Percy, Master of the Flying Table Leap, was that you? Jigsaw lawns take even longer than real ones. Two long wine-drinking hours later...

Beethoven Backlog

I have a dreadful Beethoven backlog. At the beginning of December I put all his sonata numbers into the Advent Calendar, to pull out and play one each day. 32 sonatas into 25 pockets meant that many days had two. During the lead-up to Christmas Day, I'd sneakily pop any 'spare' sonatas into December 25th. Aargh!

 Their season.
Deep Red Daylilies

So this morning I'm up early to knock a few off before going swimming. As one does. Happy Boxing Day!

Friday 27th December

What a hoot! This morning the rain stopped briefly, and I zoomed off do some Christmas weeding for a friend who is away. She's been complaining (nicely) for weeks about the dreadful state of her garden - the weeds, how things have 'got away', and so on. So three of us, armed with every hand tool known to gardening woman, met at 9:30am prepared for a spectacular morning of serious weeding. Hmm... Three quarters of an hour later we'd done all we could see needed doing. What weeds? One terribly small binful. This is supposed to be our Christmas surprise for her, but there's absolutely nothing to notice!

 This grows in the very top of the Herb Spiral.
Salvia - Clary Sage

Mind you, I did find five dandelions and sweetly coaxed them out, roots and all. So what must she think when she visits my garden? I shudder to think.

 I wish they would bulk out more!
Yellow Hot Pokers

Still Drizzling...

Back home here it's still drizzling. It did this all day yesterday, too. I've done some sewing for the Pond Cottage teddy bears. Pyjamas and track-pants are required, and so far I've produced one set of ill-fitting pyjamas, and very fiddly they were to manipulate, too. I've been for a wet walk down the road, and I've thundered through Beethoven's Sonata no. 23, whose last movement 'goes on a bit'. If played allegro and presto, as requested, it would probably sound slightly better. At least it would be shorter.

There are some lovely things flowering in the garden which are specific to late December - red Monarda in the Herb Spiral, yellow Knifophia, the first dahlias, the pretty so-called Flower Carpet roses, and the pale blue miniature agapanthus which hug the pond. And my daylilies seem to be happy this year, though their flowers can get somewhat spoilt in the rain.

But it's been far too wet to spend any quality time outside. The days of rain and drizzle have left the garden rather squelchy and soggy. Smoke bush (Cotinus) branches are hanging down alarmingly over the driveway. Many of the annual yellow daisies have officially flopped over. Its far too wet to get the lawns mowed, and many paths are overhanging with dripping foliage.

 Appleblossom pink.
Pink Flower Carpet Roses

It's certainly too wet to have a bonfire, even if it were allowed. which it's not! Yippee! A smoke-free Christmas week.