Iconic gardening...

 Hee hee...
Garden Tea-Set

Today's weather icon - a dark grey cloud leaking a trail of minus signs. Ha! I know what that means! Today's gardener icon - an arms-whirling slightly chunky lady in muddy gardening boots. I will NOT be defeated by wet, or grey, or mud. That happened yesterday.

Sunday 13th April

But yesterday was rather social - a long leisurely breakfast with my swimming friends, then a long walk down the drizzly road with my two best friends, Rusty the dog and Non-Gardening Partner. All day I was anticipating winning (or not) an online auction for a Bambi tea set. Yes! I won (I won't disclose how much I was prepared to bid). It's a replacement for my old one, pictured here.

Flushed with success I did a quick overland couch-trek to the North Pole, slurping a wine fortified with peach juice. Small things, etc.

 One of my new dahlias.
Pink Spiky Dahlia

Just the Dahlias...

There's not so much flowering now - just the Calendulas in the vegetable garden, those amazing new spiky pink dahlias by the bridge, and the regulation red ones which pop up here, there, and everywhere. Actually I have a dahlia dilemma - I wish to plant some of my new roses in my 'red dahlia dump' near the pergola. But the dahlias, merrily flowering in the rain, provide some lovely flashes of colour.

Another Dilemma!

And I have a bonfire dilemma. Everything is so wet. Diesel will have to be applied, and I don't really like doing this.

And Another...

I also have a slight digging dilemma. The wet ground and autumn season makes this the perfect time to shift a rhododendron (the late-flowering purple Uncle Bert) and a deciduous Azalea from the start of the Driveway garden, which is now designated as suitable for roses.

But it's hard work digging the wet soil, and last time I did this my shoulders and elbows ached all night. Awww.... That makes three dilemmas in one page! At least they each get their own paragraph...

 Wonderful colours in autumn.
Late Dahlias

Well, it's much later, and I didn't do any digging, or burning, or dahlia shifting. It was just too wet, so instead I did low impact weeding in the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden, and wondered about planting some roses in here. I also trimmed lots of Phormiums, and cut down the huge Nicotiana sylvestris plants.

Gunnera Seed-Head :
The Gunnera leaves are dying off now, exposing the huge orange seed-heads below. No wonder Gunnera self-seeds!

I finished my day by abandoning most of my clothing and leaping (perhaps not quite the word) into the cold water race to chop off a huge piece of Gunnera root.

This giant perennial would completely block and dam up the water if I allowed it to do so. It's so difficult to work with - the stems are really scratchy. Ouch! But the big green leaves are so beautiful.

Monday 14th April

Right. Now that the garden is becoming trickier, weather-wise, it's time to reignite my piano playing programme. The plan is to finish my first, morning practice by 10am, which of course is the perfect time to start the autumn (and, alas, winter) gardening day. Schumann and Albeniz here I come. I'm going to have two proper practices a day.

 Perhaps not the type of butterfly I should be encouraging...
Calendula and White Butterfly


After swimming I called in at the Charity Shop, just in case any gnomes needed to be rehomed (one never knows). The kind ladies had saved me a beautiful home-made patchwork quilt covered in cats. This is spectacularly beautiful, and the colours are just gorgeous. All the cats have button eyes and whiskers.

 So beautiful, and I adore the colours.
Homemade Cat Quilt from the Charity Shop

I think I've been good, garden-wise. For three hours I've been weeding and poking around in the Stumpy Garden, looking for suitable places for the new roses. I have come to a very restrained decision - I'll plant one near the Car Bridge, and that will be that. A little voice inside my head is squeaking about roses being nearer the house (or cottage) so I'll see them more. Fair enough.

 My lovely cat companion.
Silly Lilli-Puss

+5 Lilli-Puss, in a powerfully passionate mood, has been constantly purring, rubbing in my legs, and threatening to climb up whenever I stoop down. Dear cat - what a good girl she is! So I sneaked her some afternoon tea - this mood is to be shamelessly encouraged. She also smooches Rusty the dog, who gets a bit annoyed. She is rather vigorous bunting his nose, and her fur makes him sneeze.

Where are my Spades?

A final thought for the day. If only I had GPS trackers on my two yellow-handled garden spades. Non-Gardening Partner needed one just now, so I wandered around the garden for about fifteen minutes in the gloom of dusk to try and find one. Ha! Three (!) rakes, a pair of edging shears, and a hand digger...