Waiting for inspiration...

 Growing in the Frisbee Border.
Royal Blue Iris

For the last few days I've been writing in my old-school journal. Early each morning I sit on the patio with the dogs and wait for energy and inspiration to flow onto the paper via my scribbly old fingers. Quickly, before the wind starts booming and blustering, or the sun gets too hot...

Wednesday 26th November

It's summer. I'm certain of this, not because of the day-time temperatures, but because I've swung even more than usual into a cruisy, semi-lazy holiday-mode. My garden day might involve shifting a hose or too, or taking photographs of the orchard roses. But definitely no digging, hardly any planting, and even less weeding is being done.

I am managing to dead-head the roses, and I'm keeping an eagle eye on the peonies. Just the hint of a flop and they're scooped up and plonked into a house vase. Very nice, never-the-less! But I'm not a huge arranger of flowers in vases. I do rather like them in their natural place.

It's amazing how quickly some flowers finish their showing-off season. The irises have just about had it, and some haven't produced many blooms at all. It seems just yesterday I was oohing and aahing about their wonderful flowers, and trying to take photographs. What is the best angle for a picture a big bearded iris? They are very interesting design-wise.

The dogs Rusty and Winnie are such fun to spend time with, and they are always accompanied by Fluff-Fluff the cat. We go to the dog-park nearly every day - Fluff-Fluff watches us sadly as we pile into the car. Dear cat! He hates being left behind.

 Best friends.
Fluff-Fluff, Winnie, and Rusty

Dog-parks are wonderful places. I walk around and around thinking about everything and nothing, the dogs run, Rusty pinches tennis balls, Winnie puppy-squeaks with a mixture of delight and trepidation. The big dogs are quite straightforward for her. Submit! Submit! Some of the little yappy dogs are nuisances when they decide to chase her. Oops.

Rose ID

Now I am aware this is a gardening journal which prides itself on the honesty and accuracy of its content - as well as trying not to be too boring. So it is with the greatest pleasure that I can report a breakthrough rose ID. The rose on Orchard Rose Archway No. 6 is Alchymist, its identity established beyond all shadow of a doubt.

 Some of the flowers are a lemony yellow.
Alchymist Roses

In the process I have 'unidentified' the buff yellow rose on Orchard No. 8. This has been re-designated as the 'unknown yellow' that a friend gave me back in 2010. Phew. I'm glad I sorted that out.

 Such a pretty purple.
William Lobb Moss Rose

Now we're off again to the dog-park. It's ten minutes away on the cross-country roads. When I get back - well, I could shift a hose, or take a photograph of dear William Lobb. He's a once-flowering moss rose who lives near the water race, and I love him.

Welcome, Henri Martin!

 The first flower bloom.
Henri Martin Rose

Twin Henri Martins by the pond are also just about to break out of their buds. They, too, are moss roses, and I've been bucketing water on them each morning for weeks now. OK, you two new roses. Get flowering! It's pay-back time!


I'm back, with two exhausted dogs and three Charity Shop gardening shirts to replace my last favourites, which became totally covered in biddi-bids from the old forget-me-nots and sadly had to be thrown out. But now the middle of the Island Bed is partially cleared, and guess what? There's definitely room in there for more roses! Hee hee...

I had chosen the Island Bed as a place where I could plant Lilacs, but those I've purchased haven't really grown very well. The most showy of them, Sensational, was most unsensational and died. Then a white one hasn't flowered at all this spring. Funny how some ideas in a garden just don't work. I didn't think Lilacs were all that fussy.

 So pretty.
My Summery Garden

Tomorrow I've promised my garden that I will work hard in it all day. I will be industrious. I'll even wear my new pink gardening shirt, just to be daring and different. I will, I will, I will be good...

Thursday 27th November

I did a bit of weeding in the back of the Shrubbery, and then we went to the dog park again. But the hot winds were gusty and horrible in the afternoon, so I ended up producing lots of music charts for my Retro Blues Band (rehearsal this Sunday). This is a new exciting venture, the band created for of my friends who sings R'n'B.

 Fluff-Fluff the cat.
Wait for Me!

Friday 28th November

I was woken up really early by agitated duck noises. Two mothers with five ducklings were in the middle of the pond, with big Fluff-Fluff, ginger Percy and my cottage cat Minimus all sitting right on the water's edge, their jaws shaking. Not a good place to be, you daft ducks.

Such a Good Start

Eek! I made such a good start in the garden, but then I was rudely hailed upon from above. The pheasant in the orchard started honking loudly, the puppy tried to catch the funny white stuff, but big Fluff-Fluff (alas) got scared by the noise and ran off the wrong way. Now it's raining and the sky is glowering grey.

OK, I might have 'lost' fluff-Fluff the cat, but at least I remembered my camera (hanging in a tree). Such a pity, for I was going so well. My November weeks have been a bit dreamy, but this morning I was on task. Could be the pink gardening shirt - a new colour for me, breathing new life into my old gardening bones? This morning I wandered into the bathroom to put on sunscreen, and a strange fluffy old lady in pink with beady blue eyes was in my mirror staring at me. Aargh! An alarming sight for an instant, then (of course) I realised it was me. You see, I always wear blue.