He will not drop it.
Rusty with his Tennis Ball

To dig or not to dig. That is the question - I'm talking about garden border enlargement here. When in doubt, dig? Or when in doubt, don't dig? Maybe quasi-dig? A quasi-dig takes a modest piece of lawn and slices off the turf horizontally, rather than thrusting the spade vertically downwards with force (ouch). The perfect compromise, hee hee. If it really looks too silly one can just replace all the turves and walk away.

Wednesday 20th May

Yesterday I 'quasi-dug', around the top edge of the Island Bed, to make it a better shape and the garden border a bit bigger. Unfortunately 'a bit bigger' isn't big enough for mass planting of new exciting shrubs. But it looks great!

Now my quasi-digging turns rather neatly into no-digging. I just add compost and leaf-mould and whatever else organic I can find. Then I shift a couple of roses lost in the depths of the interior. Nobody (for example Non-Gardening Partner, who now has less lawn to mow) will notice. It's a small improvement, and no sore shoulders. But first - the dog park!


I ran out of time. First I had to burn the trailer-load of rubbish (I needed the trailer empty). Then I collected dried Gunnera leaves for the fire, added gum leaves raked from around the Hen House Garden, and lots of dead leaves trimmed off the Phormium tenaxes growing along the water race. The bonfire gurgled smoke and flames. I know that Buster my black spy cat was watching from the rose vegetation on the top of the pergola. But whenever I looked for her to say hello she wasn't visible. Hmm...

 Can you spot Buster the black cat?
Winnie in the Driveway

Blast. I simply ran out of daylight. Have just soaked my slightly puffy knees (they do this when I've walked around a lot) in a bubbly bath, with Tiddles (my young tabby cat) watching in amazement. Shocked by flashes of a naked pink gardener, perhaps? Enough said. She kept on dipping her paw into the bubbles. Mother, are you under there somewhere?

Magenta rhododendron :
This was one of my beautiful rhododendrons in Middle Garden. Was.

These nearly-winter days are so short - it's already dark, so I must have worked for nearly six hours. Wow. I am good. I'll shift those roses another day. And an update on shifting that magenta rhododendron - I've cut off all the dying (and dead) branches. I suspect some dreadful fungal demise. What's left of it (which looks healthy, cross fingers) can stay where it is for now.

Thursday 21st May

Right. The dogs and I are off for a morning forest walk around nearby McHugh's Bush. Dogs are so lucky. They are always ready. Dogs never have to worry about clean knickers, brushing their teeth, or 'where are my shoes'. And as for wallets (coffee), car keys, and phones...

 So colourful.

Much Later...

My day has been in ternary form. That's ABA, where A = activity (for dogs) and B = bashing out Brahms. Later this afternoon we went to the dog-park, which was overflowing with people carrying scoopy tennis-ball throwers. So it wasn't long before the inevitable happened. Winnie became fixated on one owner's tennis-ball thrower and absolutely refused to come back to me and Rusty. So out came the lead and home we went. Grr...

Friday 22nd May

Good morning to two slurping, gurgling, snorting dogs. They are wrestling in the kitchen.

I've loved this week. It's been a great week, full of self-affirmation. And dogs. This morning, another almost-frost. I got the dogs up early and sent them around and around the Island Bed. An Island Bed is so useful for exercising dogs. I do a curvy pointy signal, bellow 'go round', and off they zoom. It's magic - they both end up where they started. Wow. This 'going round' is fun, fun, fun! Then we do it all again. My goodness, dogs are easily pleased. Meanwhile I admired the freshly dug border edge, and reminded myself to add leaf-mould etc. and reposition the roses.

 Note the gloomy colours of nearly-winter.
New Top Edge of Island Bed

I've got another Brahms rehearsal this lunchtime. I honestly thought I was getting better at sight-reading. Well, I'm not. Sad, really. Put me in five flats, throw in some naturals and sharps in the middle of a bar and I panic. For heaven's sake! They are just notes. Two choices, really. Black or white. Up or down. Sharp or flat. Think before you thump!

Think before you thump! -Advice for sight-readers of Brahms.

OK. It's mid-day. Brahms here I come. I've been doing general tidying, the bonfire has self-ignited, and I've found a Viburnum tinus whose leaves have gone horrible. What do I mean? Sort of an ugly silver with little dull black specks. Another fungus? Hmm... I've already started chopping the whole thing down to its ankles. But am not sure about burning the branches. I reckon someone (me) trimmed it back at the wrong time and let the nasties in. Oops, and apologies to shrub-lovers everywhere.