Days of dogs and roses...
Graham Thomas Rose
Hee hee. We (the dogs and I) have settled into our gardener home-alone routine. In the morning we go to the dog-park. Then we drive home via the rose nursery, which is having a sale. So the car ends up full of dogs and roses...
Wednesday 25th March
Yesterday I drove home with Rusty surrounded by five Roseraie de l'Hays (for a hedge), two Graham Thomases (because my original shrub has died) and a Crepuscule (for the boundary rope swag). He was rather squashed, but remarkably relaxed about the thorns etc.
Then I listened nervously to the cricket commentary while digging up the last potatoes and preparing the ground for the roses. They took me two hours to plant, which seemed excessive. Maybe I was just being excessively careful, which is not a bad thing for future growth. I had two of my little hoses on watering the rather dry and dusty soil.
Today has been the same. First the dog park - Winnie has a dog-friend called Ruby, a bustling bossy b**** American bulldog pup, and they wore each other out playing and racing around. Then the rose sale - this time I bought another Roseraie de l'Hay, another Crepuscule, two Cornelias, and a Buff Beauty (I love this rose).
Archduke Joseph Rose
I also found a rather nice looking 'olde worlde' rose called Archduke Joseph. He promises me big things - namely, to repeat flower and to grow into a sturdy two metre shrub. His rose blooms are that wonderfully muddy old-rose pink colour. All are now planted in the old potato patch on the boundary, with the Crepuscules and Buff Beauty lolling against the rope swag.
Thursday 26th March
Finally, a rose-less day. Tiddles the convalescing kitten had a good vet visit, and her drain has been removed. She has seven more days confined to her bedroom with the bucket on her head, so she can just sleep, and eat, and get better with no distractions. Dear kitten, lolling on the examination table purring and smooching the vet. I love the vet. What would I do without a good, caring vet?
Friday 27th March
Another early rise - first feeding Tiddles the tabby, then getting the dogs up in the dark. We went for our first morning walk in gloomy fog, accompanied by Fluff-Fluff the cat and Buster the black kitten. There may be a reason for this. 'Pup-pup-pup' is my call for Winnie - to the black cat this might sound rather like 'Buster', and most definitely it would sound like 'Fluff-Fluff', who is my most faithful follower. 'Pup-pup-pup? Here I am, great cat-mother!'
Mrs Oakley Fisher Rose
Today the plan is as before : to visit the dog-park, followed by the rose sale. For light relief I'm TV-couch cycling from Paris to Nice. So far the landscape has been dead-flat and rural, a lot like my own Canterbury Plains, with huge irrigators stretching across the fields.
So how many new roses will I buy today? And where will they be going? Probably in the Allotment Garden down the boundary. This was loosely designated as my vegetable patch, and did see some beans and peas this year (as well as potatoes). But it is fast being over-run by my favourite shrubs.
A clump of perennial Salvia uligosa in there is still flowering, so huge and so beautiful. And beloved of the bees, who need food at this time of the year. I tend to the ornamental rather than the productive, hee hee...
Sensible reminder to self. After stomping around six newly purchased, freshly planted roses, best to take off the gardening shoes before walking on the carpet. Oops. Just in time.
New Roses in The Allotment Garden
My new roses are as follows : two Mrs Oakley Fishers - I met this rose on my very first country garden visit, and she made a lasting impression. Then two Penelopes (what a pretty rose this is), and yet another Roseraie de l'Hay to complete my rugosa hedge. Madame Hardy is yet to be planted - she's going in a slightly rougher place with a couple of other once-flowerers.
Winnie the puppy-dog was so annoying when I was working. The watering hose was exciting. Fight the hose! The planting holes full of water were enticing. Dig! It was such fun jumping all over the new garden and breaking things. But we managed. I bellowed at her a bit. Then I threw her tennis ball into the pond, over and over again, to clean the mud off her fur.
Muddy Winnie Dog
Well, I've bought a bottle of wine to 'celebrate' getting through my slightly cat-worrying week, and it's time to pour a glass (watered down with ice). Tiddles the tabby seems to be recovering well. Time since her 'accident' has gone so slowly, though. I'm impatient for everything to heal properly so she can come out of seclusion. I love little Tiddles, and I am so sorry she was hurt.
Buster the Black Cat
Meanwhile Buster (her slinky black sister-cat) is becoming a bit of a joker. She pops inside the grand piano when I play and dampens the strings. When I shoo her away and lower the lid she leaps onto the nearby table to 'eat' some jig-saw pieces. Buster! My goodness, my life would be dull without the dogs and the cats. What on earth would I write about? Oh yes - the garden!