Aha! The first frost!
Aha! The first frost (but only minus two degrees Celsius). Only! Hopefully all my daisies and pelargoniums scattered around the garden will survive this little scare. But guess what I have to do as soon as possible? Get some potting mix, dig up all the half-hardies, and put them in the glass-house.
Gunnera Leaves Frosted
Aargh! That means I'll need to tidy the glass-house. Funny how one gardening job always leads to another. It also means that the huge spread of self-sown Nasturtiums in the Allotment Garden can come out. They don't last even one hour at one minus degree. I will use them somewhere else as Nasturtium mulch, hee hee.
Saturday 23rd May
The remaining Gunnera leaves won't 'survive' much longer, either. The chopping down of the Gunnera is a clear garden sign that winter is approaching. Almost-frosts have already turned many of their leaves brown. I include a photograph for seasonal credibility. So drab and ominous. Aargh! Where have all the colours gone? I must give thanks to the Strawflowers (annual Helichrysum) and to the rose Nancy Steen. Without them my late May garden (and photographs thereof) would be sooooooo gloomy.
But it's time to get to work. I have mentally organised my afternoon : a couple of hours helping with the chain-sawing, then a trailer-load of top-soil and compost to spread. Please let this load not be weedy! Then I have a madrigals rehearsal. Have already spent the morning swimming and socialising. So busy!
Sunday 24th May
Eek! Bed-gardening is such a cosy way to use up valuable morning time. I have already visualised the completion of several daunting gardening tasks. Lots of nice visitors are arriving soon and I am now visualising myself vacuuming the house (as one does). I may also cook for them. Eek! Should I clean the bathroom before or after I change into my gardening clothes? I am, after all, firstly a gardener, secondly a hostess...
It's been such a groovy day. My house looks tidy and clean, my first visitors (who were getting a load of firewood) had a great picnic lunch, and then I spent three hours trudging around with the wheelbarrow. A load of topsoil and compost dumped here, replaced with a load of rubbish to take to the bonfire, and so on and so on. And all the while I managed to keep Winnie (the doglet) amused by throwing her tennis ball.
Meanwhile Non-Gardening Partner made a start on clearing out the gutters. Does everyone in the world call them 'gutters'? I mean the edges of the roof...
My Best Ever Penstemon
At the back of the Island Bed I shifted and replanted one rose, but dug out and burnt the other. There is no place in my garden for a straggly, struggling rose. I've also divided up the red Penstemon and planted the new pieces in potting mix. It's my best ever Penstemon. I love this flower.
Now the southerly front has arrived - cold wind, maybe some rain, and warnings of snow to 400 metres. So the log burner is going, and all the house cats except Buster the black are curled up by the fire. My second visitors are on their way. The third lot (Daughter and the Grand-Toddler) have changed their plans. The Pond Paddock's fallen autumn leaves are still lying around, unraked, because the GT loves to run and roll and tumble around in them. Well, that's my excuse...
Monday 25th May
OK. Today is chilly-winded. I supposed I should start raking up the autumn leaves and bagging them. That would be heart-and-body warming. As to the bags full of last autumn's leaf-mould - what leaf-mould? Even leaf-sludge would be preferable. My leaves haven't been damp enough, I reckon.
OK. Just as soon as my bread is made. And my hands have warmed up and I've made a pot of tea.
Oops. Dear Garden, sorry about today. I played a little bit of Brahms (for my soul), watched one and a half episodes of DI Frost, and took the dogs to the dog-park. Beautiful blue skies and a biting cold wind turned it (almost) into a dog-less park. But we were there!