Winnie by the Water
I should keep a puppy-booklet with all the 'firsts' that Winnie the new puppy experiences. The most exciting event so far - she's fallen into the water race for the first time, and scrambled back out, drenched, looking like a large wet black rat. I laughed quite a lot.
Wednesday 8th October
Less sensationally, today was Winnie's first trip in the car to the local vet. I put her in a cat cage, and she squeaked, but everything was OK. I can't remember how I used to transport Rusty when he was a puppy. Folk weren't so road-safety conscious back then, and I suspect he just pottered around climbing all over the car seats. Oops.
In the garden I've had the hoses on to water the rhododendrons languishing in full sun in the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden. The dogs and I have planted four Phormiums and a Choisya in the Welcome Garden, where Winnie had a spectacular fight with the dribbling hose. I've done quite a bit of speed-weeding around the Shrubbery and the big gum tree. Thought - the Omar Khayyam rose has never been happy in here. It's never grown, it's never flowered. Shift it? Why not?
The Pond Paddock
Another first - Rusty, the mature ten-year old dog who tolerates Winnie, actually played a sort of dog-teasing game with her on the back lawn. Such fun! I wish he would do this more often.
Thursday 9th October
Right. What am I going to do today? Apart from play with the puppy, hee hee. I think my focus should be planting.
So the rose climbers Sir Edmund Hillary and Birthday Present are in by the pergola, joined by some pink sweet peas and the pink summer phlox. Pond Cottage's front facing garden has been planted with lupins and perennial salvia. I watered its roses - the soil is very dry - while the puppy charged round the lawn doing battle with plastic plant pots. She has now put herself into her indoors crate for a sleep, which warms my heart.
Several 'commands' are almost learnt, though I couldn't guarantee them working if, for example, a distraction like ginger Percy wandered by. They are 'sit', 'inside', 'outside', 'walk', and 'bedtime'. I can also point the way I want us to walk and call 'this way! this way!' and she seems to understand. As long as her nose hasn't sniffed out any fresh sheep manure closely located 'that way', hee hee.
Friday 10th October
The dogs and I have just been for two early morning walks around the garden, accompanied as usual by Fluff-Fluff the cat. I love these daily wanderings.
Off for a Walk
I see the loveliest things both big and small - the big pink rhododendron in full blooming glory, the Australian shrub covered in tiny white flower stars. The borders are seas of blue forget-me-nots, which I wouldn't be without, ever. Then I see some weeds, pull them out, and Winnie the puppy grabs one to drag off and fight. She is a strong-willed little puppy.
SUCH Good Dogs!
'My goodness, we have all been SUCH good dogs', I say. 'Except one of us is a person, and one of us is a cat', I add belatedly, just in case there is any confusion...
Big Pink Rhododendron
I have decided on the following flowering annual locations : cornflowers in the Cottage Garden, foxgloves in the garden behind the pond, Meadowfoam in the side house garden, Cerinthe underneath the big red rhododendron. I wish I had more Cerinthe. The seeds I saved didn't germinate, and the packet I bought in wasn't all that well-endowed.
WInnie is Asleep
Winnie is curled up asleep in a heap of her precious things - toys, pieces of vegetation, and two old gardening shoes, whose laces get a really torrid time. Couldn't resist a photograph!
This morning I need to start my outdoor tidy-up work. For example, I have piles of weeds to pick up, and a small bonfire to light. I'll leave the door open so Winnie can come and find me.
I did some one-off maintenance jobs - like sawing down the dead rhododendron in the drive, digging up a clump of daylilies out of the shade and replanting them in the sun, and so on. The Omar Khayyam rose is in a pot (it looks fairly rootless, sad wee thing). I've weeded and trimmed the Driveway Garden. Winnie the puppy has come and gone a bit, and I've been trusting that she won't get into too much trouble. I popped both the dogs in their dog motels for a snooze while I dug the garden on the boundary. It's a bit too near the road for exploring puppies. The clean-up is almost finished, ready to replant the Deodar hedge.
Now - let me see - which seat will I sit on with my cup of tea and book? I deserve a short rest after all my energetic digging.
OK. The four of us (Fluff-Fluff the cat, Winnie the puppy, Rusty the dog, and me the Head Gardener) all lay down on the grass and one of us (the hard working one) fell asleep. Then another of us (the cat) decided to get really, really close and the heaviest one (Rusty) sat on my legs. The littlest one (Winnie) snuggled in by my hair, so sweet, but then started to bite my plait, ouch. So that was that.
- Echinacea :
- The bees love the summer flowering Echinacea.
Anyway, I've dug up the old perennial Echinacea clumps, broken them into pieces, and put them in pots. I've been meaning to do this for ages. I pricked out more Calendulas and watered the other seeds. Then I lost the puppy, but not for long - she'd gone into the bathroom and was curled up asleep on my apres-gardening jeans. Dear little dog!
+5+5+5+5And finally, another 'first'. Ginger Percy, who has been cat-sulking for the last two weeks, has finally decided that Winnie is a nuisance rather than a scary threat. He is kindly letting me pat him again when the puppy is nearby. Hmm... I guess that all the house cats deserve some bonus MVP points for being - adaptable? Histeria! Stop growling. Tiger! Stop thumping the puppy on the top of her head with your heavy paw!