Suddenly, stinking hot weather. Did I mention the word stinking? I have just shampooed two naughty dogs after their illicit visit (yet again) to next-door's rubbish pit. And I have rung the pollution hotline and made a statement (that sounds nicer than the word 'complaint'). They agree with me - this open pit (complete with rotting fish and dead sheep) is not within the safe environment rules. Let's hope there is some action ASAP.
Escher the Dog
Wednesday 25th November
There I was, having a wonderfully slow and dreamy summer gardening day. I was working in the Allotment Gardens, watering the new roses, weeding, and trimming the irises. I was thinking about the dog park - what a nice group of dog-owners I've got to know, and what a nice way it is to start the day. How lucky we all are, safe in our dog-park bubble, that sort of thing. Then I looked up, and Winnie and Escher were missing.
And so the mood was spoilt, as I charged across the orchard, steam coming out ears, bellowing my dogs' names. There, just over the fence, was the brown dog munching something (aargh!), and the black and white dog rolling in something else (aargh!). I was FURIOUS!
But I couldn't just bundle them into their kennels. They were just too stinky. And so we all went to the pond, and they had so much fun leaping in and out of the pond catching tennis balls, while I applied the shampoo and checked their fur for smells. This was such a good game. Grr...
By the way, I am still FURIOUS! And they just don't get it. They think they've had a wonderful afternoon. We've come inside, I've changed my clothes, and sprayed Yardley's Lily of the Valley rather liberally around my neck. This is mingling nicely with the smells of hot dog and cleansing salts of coconut oil (I read that on the dog-shampoo bottle).
Thursday 26th November
I haven't done much gardening since the Dog Park Ladies visit earlier this week. I did enjoy that morning - modestly showing off (if that makes any sense) all the beautiful views, the big roses, the paths, the water features. All the dogs enjoyed themselves, and nobody behaved disgracefully - I mean the dogs!
The roses still dominate the garden borders. Yes, it seems to be a great year for them, and yet (oddly) I've been extremely minimal in my spraying. The canna lilies seem to like being in pots by the pond, always warm, always wet. This is my newest idea, and I only wish I had a toy crane to lower them in and out of the water.
Time passes, delightfully but inevitably, and I'm now trimming the Aquilegias and Calendulas. But I love them very much, so I chop up the seedy stalks for mulch and future seedlings, hee hee. Right. Time to shift the hoses. I'm taking no dog chances - Escher will be on his lead.
Friday 27th November
Today had better be a Good Dogs Day. And a Good Gardeners Day, too. Three days of high dry hot winds, and parts of the garden are gasping. I feel dreadfully sorry for the late rhododendrons - they are always rudely cut short like this. Two unknown bargain bin rhododendrons in the shade of the Pond Paddock have just started blooming, and it's their first season. They are a delicate apricot, and look wonderful with the Japanese Maples and the green ferns. A photograph for the records :
New Pond Paddock Rhododendron
I need to put the hoses on before we go to the dog park. When the wind is strong I leave some dripping into the ground, while others are angled low into a border. I hate wasting water, it's such a precious thing, and the dogs and I are so lucky to have water features. Imagine their hot summer's day without at least ten swims in the pond!
Memo to self. Later this morning I need to shampoo Rusty. Winnie and Escher are sweetly fragrant (long may that last), but Rusty smells of 'old dog'.
New pictures, taken under cloud cover. Three good dogs, all shampooed, lots of roses, beautifully photographed. It's a good dogs day - finally!