Cat or dog person?
A Canadian mining engineer (that's you, Lewis) reckons that cat people make lists mainly for the comfort the list provides, while dog people make lists and then get things done. OK. I classify myself as a cat-dog person. Or should that be dog-cat person? Either way, I get the best of both, hee hee...
Wednesday 15th October
What I am definitely not is a possum person. Two possums woke me in the middle of last night. They were up adjacent trees in the Pond Paddock, making that dreadful zombie-gargling sound to each other. So I shouted at them and banged the broom on their tree trunks. It worked - they went away, and I went back to a peaceful possumless sleep. Oddly, Minimus the cottage cat is not scared, or even nosy about them. Cultural note : in my country possums are conservation pests.
And now on to today, and the 'Grand Fromage' of uber-lists, written in my notebook whilst outside having early breakfast with the dogs. It has sixteen items on it, and I will not bore the pants of anyone by recording them here. It is my most all-encompassing list ever - only when I reach item fourteen do I remember to write 'Weeding'. Earlier items include 'Hanging' (my retro flying ducks need to go on the wall in the cottage) and 'Rejigging'. This might refer to the sun-baked border on the hot side of the house. I'm not really sure now.
Pick Me! Pick Me!
Anyway, being bi-animate, I wander off to do something major which is not even listed - burning the rubbish heap, including all the dry Pittosporum branches piled up underneath the hedge. This deviation can be justified because there is no wind. Then during morning coffee I take a wee glance at the list, choosing to completely ignore item eight, 'Vacuum the lounge'. Honestly, how silly is that? Nobody vacuums the lounge on a beautiful spring gardening day. I giggle at item thirteen - 'Elevate the strawberries'. Rude Tiger the cat likes to 'fertilise' the strawberry pots on the patio, after which Winnie the puppy's keen nose can get her into trouble.
Forget that list for now. I've planted four more Deodars which are to form the lower boundary hedge. I've planted Echiums and Catmint in the Driveway Garden. I've rescued a red Maple from pot-death and planted it in the Jellybean Border. My ducks are on the cottage wall, flying up to a beautiful old-school oil painting of a cottage in the forest with a pond. The hoses have been on all day - the deciduous Azaleas love me, and so do the Pittosporums in the Welcome Garden.
The dogs have had a wonderful day. They play all the time now, and I really must thank Rusty for being so patient. Little Winnie loves him to bits.
Thursday 16th October
This morning I am definitely not a dog-hugging person. Meet Rusty the 'red' Border Collie. He has spent half an hour digging a rabbit burrow in the orchard. He seems to have gone grey all over.
Grubby Rusty Dog
What a Grub!
Time for the old 'tennis ball thrown into the pond' trick. And the two dogs play on, and on. Does Rusty enjoy these wrestling sessions? He tolerates them, and it's good to see his dog-side hasn't been completely submerged by human socialisation.
I have exciting musical news. My friend and I, who play terribly serious Beethoven piano duets, finally have some new 'lighter' pieces, including an arrangement of Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain. The best ever evil-cackling music, this. Hopefully the neighbours won't complain.
Right. Time to put the hoses on (the Dog-Path Garden, today) and release a couple more potted Maples into the garden proper. These can go in front of the Shrubbery.
Much, Much Later...
First, a music report. After forty-two pages of sluggish goblins and half-speed sprites dragging their feet around Bald Mountain we tried a Concerto Grosso by Handel. Surely we could rattle this off at an appropriate tempo. But the blasted thing had a gnarly fugue for the second movement, which rather stretched us (brains as well as fingers). Then we tried that delightful pom-pom-pom pa-pom pa-pom pa-pom piece by Bizet. Hmm... Being able to hum the theme tune didn't quite cut the musical mustard. But my goodness we had fun.
WInnie the Puppy in the Garden
Then I zoomed back home to the garden. I worked so hard. Winnie the puppy is now much easier to garden with. She'd rather 'hang out' with the big dog than try and 'help' me weed. Even the wheel-barrow can trundle off without her yapping around its wheel. So what have I done? Allow me to present a triumphant list.
- Removed forget-me-nots from bay window garden ready for annuals.
- Watered the Camellias in the back of the Dog-path Garden.
- Weeded the edges of a few of the gardens over the water race.
- Shifted the hoses around.
- Planted the red Maples.
I've also planted purple cornflowers by the cottage, watched by young Minimus. And I've done a couple of hours pricking out seedlings in the glass-house - Omphalodes, Nigella, Meadowfoam, more Cornflowers, and some bi-colour cherry tomatoes. I keep running out of containers.
Spring Blue Flowers
Shift the Hoses!
Now it's important that I go outside and shift the hoses a couple more times before it gets dark. Parts of the garden are really dry, and the main season rhododendrons are only really starting to bloom. Such pretty colours, and several down the driveway have never flowered before. Their backside petal colour is a dull red, so I suspect they'll be pinky-creamy white when they open. I don't want these glorious shrubs to struggle.
Oops. Maybe I am a cat person after all. In the last two weeks I've bought two more cat tea-pots for my collection. I am a very hit-and-miss beginner at this. My very first cat teapot is now identified as a 'Cortendorf Erphila' German teapot. I paid very little for it - beginner's luck, I guess. But I had no idea that there are so many different cat teapots around. Oops again. This could get out of hand.