Lavender time

I've just remembered. Some months ago, I promised myself I could buy lots of new Lavenders this spring. And there they are, lining up in the nurseries, rows of healthy youngsters shouting 'Take me! Take me!' That's my first mission for today. Where to plant them? Don't know. That's not the point, you see...

Tuesday 23rd September

Last night, just before sundown, I did a quick spot of weeding in the rustic courtyard. I'm afraid I might have pruned the trailing Rosemaries to an early death. Oops. I've always regarded them as old toughies. Maybe I could rescue some young Rosemaries while I'm about it.

Lavenders in the Car Boot

Gardenwise I must get back to the basic stuff - spread more mulch, shovel more topsoil and compost onto the garden, trim more edges, and pull out more of those pretty little white flowering shot-weeds. Oh, and sow more seeds to produce the masses and masses of summer-flowering annuals I want for the garden gaps. Memo to self. I do not need masses and masses of lettuces. I don't quite have that many friends to gift them to.

 Six weeks old.
Winnie the New Puppy

Much Later...

First of all I bought twelve Lavenders : four dwarf Munsteads, four normal Stoechas ones, and four cerise coloured ones called Princess Lavender. I've lined them up by Winnie's kennel.

The New Puppy!

Winnie is our new puppy, and she is arriving on a plane this Friday (soooooooo exciting). I've also bought puppy-toys and an indoors dog-bed for her, and I have a dog-crate to pick up tomorrow. This will be her secure and safe place inside the house. At the moment Tiger the cat is sprawled on the dog-bed - just testing it out for warmth, etc. Dear Rusty - I hope he doesn't feel too put out.

In my garden I did some good work. I weeded by the huge conifer, and spread topsoil, and mulched the little path into the Frisbee Lawn. I planted more potatoes (Purple Passions) in the Allotment Garden. I did an hour in the glasshouse, sowing new seeds and watering the seedlings. It's almost time to move the early seedlings outside to harden them off. And where would I like to plant the sweet peas? I've also been thinking about the roses I have in pots (about six of them, and some are climbers). And where to plant them?

 All grown from cuttings.
Perennials in the Glass-House

I made two very exciting clothing purchases from the Charity shop - one was a beautiful gardening shirt, a swirly liberty print of flowers and leaves in soft blues and greens, which I have been proudly wearing. And now I am snug in my new apres-gardening woolly, a mohair hand-knit with a loose roly-poly collar, colour a soft teal. Both these items together cost less than Winnie the puppy's 'soft rubber teether chewtoy', hee hee. There's no sense of scale some days with the wallet.

+10Poor Fluff-Fluff. Because he has such huge paws, and treads on the seed trays leaving huge crater-like depressions, he is banned from the glasshouse. Today as I worked he was circling around, miaowing sadly, trying to find a way in. Then he sat outside the closed door watching me, and cried. Oh dear me.

 All gooey.
Minimus the Cat

So Unfair...

And to make matters worse young Minimus, who has much more delicate footwork, was allowed inside. So unfair, but thankfully cats don't bear grudges. Just maybe, one day, I'll find big Fluff-Fluff lying fully stretched out on the cornflower seedlings with a rather satisfied smirk on his cat-face...

Wednesday 24th September

Aha! I have an undergardener arriving in half an hour (a friend, with dog) to help fill in a huge hole (result of tree-stump ripper-outer machine's good work) on the boundary. I have been saving the biggest - the best? specifically for her enjoyment. She will also give me confidence, which I easily lose when the scale of the gardening task is large. So silly, that...

Anyway, the ladies' spades are twitching in excited anticipation and the two wheelbarrows are ready, revving at the starting line. Now that's an idea - motorised wheelbarrows! So the semi-elderly don't waste their already limited arm-strength...

The Big Pink Rhododendron

And it's a beautiful spring day. There is so much to be thankful for. And it's pension-in-the-bank payday! So theoretically I could zoom off after lunch and buy more Lavenders. Hee hee!

Thursday 25th September

My gardening friend and I did so well. The hugest of holes was easily filled in in a couple of hours, ready for the top layer of mulch, and potentially - PLANTS! Ooh goodie. Plants, plants, plants...

So we have smoothed the top third of the sloping bank in the Welcome Garden. This morning, flush with pride and excitement, I asked Non-Gardening Partner if he would like to look at our achievement. Alas, a filled-in hole does not rate. OK, so strictly speaking there's nothing to see. Before and after photographs of holes in the ground lack the visual depth to be at all impressive.

So today, after some morning Schubert with my nice violinist friend, I'm going to continue filling in the slope, and think deeply about what I will plant in here. Roses? Oh boy, trust them to pop up at the top of the mental list. I need to be thinking shrubs, shrubs, and then more shrubs.


Molto musical morning treats - the delicate sing-song themes of Schubert, followed by blustering Beethoven - a piano duet, in which I am the thumping, boisterous 'secondo'. Then I went off into the garden, as planned. It's been hot in the sun shovelling dirt into holes, and I'm not so good working solo. I've done my best, though, and now just the bottom third of the slope remains to be levelled.

 Memorial tree for Smoocher the cat.
Mount Fuji Cherry Blossom


I am determined to drag NGP down to the boundary when he gets home from work. Not only do I require positive feedback (some gushing would be nice), but I need to know where his Deodar hedge plants are going. And I need his advice. Should I get some more Pittosporums, and maybe some larger trees? Should I continue my informal Viburnum tinus shelter hedge? Can he possibly visualise any roses in here?

And is he prepared to erect a temporary fence with windbreak to give the young plants protection from the hot summer norwest winds? So many questions - I will not let him weasel out of this!

My Lavender planting plan is as follows. I can picture them in several garden places, flowering beautifully. But Winnie the new puppy arrives tomorrow. In her honour I will plant a Lavender garden around her outdoor dog-motel, which sits overlooking the Frisbee Lawn next to Rusty's. Perfect!