A song for early summer

 Such a pretty flower.
Blue Aquilegias

A song for early summer. 'Where have all the Aquilegias gone? Gone to seed-heads, every one.' But so quickly - one week they were splendid in saturated colour (particularly the brilliant blues), the next week and they've finished. Did I take enough notice of these spring charmers? No. Did I take enough photographs? Definitely not. Sadly their passing seems to have a greater impact than their initial flowering.

The Kittens Are Coming...

Today I have to organise the spare bedroom downstairs, which I plan to use as a base for two kittens arriving tomorrow. Yes, two kittens. Oops. The compulsive rescuer in me opened her big mouth. 'Well, if you're absolutely stuck, and you really can't find a home for them...' Big mouth, big heart, oh dear.

Meanwhile I am continuing to follow (with moderate gusto) my Life Improvement List. I will regurgitate it below, just to remind myself. It's a list of choices, so this can't be too daunting, right?

Each day I must :

So far this morning I've cleared out a shelf. A motley collection of microwave cookery books (from back in the day when these first burst into our kitchens) is off to the rubbish. Wow!

 A soft yellow David Austin rose.
Pilgrim Roses

My random gardening task isn't very deep or meaningful. I have to trim the Aquilegias behind the glass-house and thus clear the path. After I've taken the dogs to the dog park. Right. I'm off.

Much Later...

I've spread more mulch on the garden, taken the dogs to the dog park, and trimmed those Aquilegias. Heaps of ticks for me today.

Friday 5th December

It's been an animals-morning. Winnie the puppy went to be micro-chipped, then the dogs and I went for a long walk (more like a gallop) twice around a country racetrack. And then - oops, oops, oops - I picked up my two new kittens. They're in my spare room downstairs, dear little things. They're quite tame, but possibly not used to being handled and cuddled. No purring so far. The sleek black boy kitten is called Buster, and the pretty little brown spotty tabby? Oh dear. I need a way of whispering her name. 'Tiddles' it is, I'm afraid. Tiddles the Tabby.

 Oh dear.
New Kittens - Buster and Tiddles

Items to tick off my list today : I hung up my two new retro wall ducks in the cottage, barrowed more mulch, and picked peonies for the house. I played my daily dose of Albeniz piano music (for Advent), but it was rather light and repetitive. Not that there's anything inherently wrong with being repetitive. Garden writers do it all the time...

Saturday 6th December

Non-Gardening Partner and I have both spent lots of time in the kittens' bedroom playing with them, stroking their fur, tickling their chins, and so on. No purring as yet, but two happy, lively kittens are pleased to have the company. As for Albeniz? Today's 'piece' pulled out of the pocket in the Advent Calendar is 121 pages long, titled 'Douze Pieces Caracteristiques Pour Piano'. I haven't started it yet. I haven't actually done any gardening, either. Oh well.


Sorry to end today on a critical note, but I'm not so impressed with these tiddly little piano morsels by Albeniz. In contrast, I discovered his Iberia collection a few years ago and blundered through it wide-eyed, amazed, and absolutely entranced.

 With Fluff-Fluff the cat.
Roses on the Patio

Sunday 7th December

This morning Tiddles the tabby purred for about four seconds. I haven't yet managed to get another purr out of Buster the black, but the kittens come running up to me when I appear, and are happy to crawl all over me when I sit down. I love hearing that purr...

This morning NGP and I took the dogs to a suburban dog-park. The canine clientele here is somewhat different to that of our local country-casual dog-park, where we rub noses with Labradoodles, Leonbergers, and Briards. At this morning's park two burly pig-dogs with funny-scary faces were the stars. Hmm...

Back home I started happily mooching around the garden, then eek! I remembered a friend was arriving for afternoon tea. Quick! Cosmetic action! So NGP had to drop the newspaper and leap onto his ride-on mower, while I clattered around after him doing edges. Only then did I notice the extreme over-growth of my garden. I must have been wandering around in a dog-walking daze these last weeks. And my friend didn't actually look at the garden at all.

 An absolutely gorgeous colour.
Magenta Lychnis

Monday 8th December

This morning I've set myself two hours to finish the edges and the speed dead-heading. Then and only then can I relax and play with the kittens. Patience and optimism are needed. And not just for kittens, but for LIFE itself, I reckon...


Right. I've done some seriously good work in the garden. I've weeded in the middle of the Stables Garden, pulled out some ailing irises and Alstroemeria, and replanted them immediately. No mucking around!

I've also finished the edges around the back lawn and picked some floppy David Austin roses for the house. One is the Wedgwood Rose, the other is the Lady of Megginch. When I say floppy I mean floppy. The lady's flower-head is far too fat and heavy for her stalk.

Kitten Report :

A small success - a tiny bit of purring from both little kittens on my second visit this afternoon. They were snoozing on the rocking chair. Now I've left them scampering around their room chasing a lone fly. Hope they catch it!


Meanwhile my garden has now gone completely 'bouff', if that makes any sense. There are roses, roses, roses everywhere. The white and magenta Lychnis is now flowering. The foxgloves are half finished. The Pak Choi in my patio pots has gone to seed - pretty yellow flowers! New Dawn on the pergola is beautiful. So is big Compassion further along.

 The pink rose is Bantry Bay
Roses in the Stables Garden

Everything is so colourful. I continue to trim and weed and marvel at it all. There's almost too much to see.