Normal transmission...

 Eight months old now.
Buster the Black Cat

Right. After a short rain delay, normal gardening transmission is about to resume. My Great Autumn Project (a long dog-path through the Hump) beckons! I have a list, the items of which will be found lurking, camouflaged, in the undergrowth below. A guerilla list!

Wednesday 29th April

It's been very wet these last few days. My gardening boots, Goretex rain-jacket, and umbrella have all out and about, but only dog-walking. Of course my dogs don't care about the rain. They still love to go for their walks. And the two youngest cats Buster and Tiddles always come too. But as for gardening? Nope. Just too wet and drippy. And the dog-park? No-one goes there when it's raining, and Winnie gets really disappointed when it's dogless.

Today, the continuation of the GAP project. It's like tunnelling through a mountain. Two teams, each starting at opposing sides, finally meet in the middle. I'm the only team here, but today I'm starting in the Shrubbery, where I'll create the 'other end' of Winnie's dog-path. I'll need to trim the Pseudopanax and saw down a little Pittosporum. Easy come, easy go. Then rake like the billy-o (such a silly phrase when written down). I'll move the trailer this weekend and fill it with the masses of rubbish. One big thing at a time.


Great progress - the 'other end' of the path looks completely natural (like it's always been there), and the through-path is raked and edged. My dog-owner-friend has had an extremely good idea - put some agility obstacles in the new path for Winnie to practice on. I could get Non-Gardening Partner to make an A-frame and some hurdles, and he will know how to source some sort of dog-tunnel. Groovy!

Thursday 30th April

Some of my roses are flowering again - their 'second' season arrives late in autumn. Today all I did was to barrow the wet ash from the bonfire and dump it on the boundary. Every trip (and there were many) involved rose appreciation. A collection of late bloomers grows close to the bonfire, as does the apricot climbing Crepuscule. Beautiful things!

We've just been to the dog park, where young Winnie behaved like a canine angel. Today 'Gizmo' the Maltese cross absolutely refused to leave, evading his owner for at least fifteen minutes. I would have been soooooo furious! And Ruby the American bulldog is on the long lead with a soft muzzle. She has become aggressive, so difficult for her well-intentioned, softly-spoken, friendly dog-owner. Winnie, I forgive you your obsession with scoopy tennis-ball throwers!

Beautiful Buster...

Buster my sleek black cat agrees. '333334\433333333333336-/' is her contribution to this rather low-key gardening day. And, speaking of 'keys', I have spent two frenzied hours playing Brahms piano duets. 'What are we in?' is the anguished cry heard above the rabble of notes and phrases, as Brahms lurches between four sharps and four flats. Hee hee. B for Buster, B for Brahms, B for Beautiful.

Friday 1st May

 I love this tough shrub.
Viburnum Tinus

So do you think I should buy some tough shrubs to plant near the edge of my new path? To grow underneath pines, with very limited sunlight, no irrigation, and in non-nutritious soil? It's a big ask, a dreadful fate for a shrub, and I can only think of Viburnum tinus. Definitely not Hebes. I'm off for a morning swim, and guess what? I drive right past two plant nurseries on my way home. Hmm...


I resisted the nursery, because I first need to plan where the dog-agility equipment will go. Since I've been home I've been barrowing yet more firewood logs over to the house. I have so many small outdoor piles of wood, all needing either to be burnt in the log-burner or used as path edging. Nothing should be wasted. I've also done some cosmetic gardening behind the Stables, trimming the lawn edges and weeding the narrowest strip alongside the stones. Fluff-Fluff kept getting in the way - dear cat. The Scrophularia has stopped flowering and has been down now. I've also make a start on the dahlias. The first frost is imminent.

 So loyal.
Fluff-Fluff the Gardening Cat

This was all really subtle gardening work, alas too subtle for garden photographs. Except for Fluff-Fluff, who kept getting in the way, lolling on the soil just where I was weeding. He takes a beautiful garden photograph, though. Oh dear. Now I want to go to bed, but it's only 7:30 and I am looking after the dogs. Will they notice that their 'bedtime' is a bit early?