Think like a dog...

 Rusty is first this time.
In we go - four dogs

I have a new attitude (not that there was so much wrong with the old one). It's a dog attitude - immediate, uncomplicated, outdoorsy. Think like a dog. Get up, wolf down breakfast. OK. Let's dooooooooooo something! No fiddling around loading the dishwasher, sweeping the floor, having a shower...

Friday 11th September

Tumble out the door without even a whiff of a gardening list. The first two hours are easy. Trot over to the mobile dog kennel, pile in, and drive to the dog park, doing noisy-barking, which keeps the driver awake and alert. Charge through the park gate (try and be first), then relax. Lift your leg and drop your bottom, while the dog-mother runs back and forth with silly little plastic bags. wander and/or run around, socialising with your friends. OK. I can definitely learn from my daft barking-mad dogs. Life is good, when you're 'doooooing' something. So that's what you do!

Later, Lunchtime...

My morning was great - I gardened in the moment, not even stopping to think or analyse anything. I weeded around the house gardens, and planted my birthday pansies. Inside for a quick lunch and a coffee, with my dog friends all curled up on their couches.

 I love blue.
Birthday Pansies

Then, alas, the person in me took over. I went over to the spiral brick courtyard. Oh dear. What to do with the iris confusa, straggling everywhere looking messy? And the invasive Euphorbia, already sprouting up between the bricks? And the sorrel, happily blanketing the ground around the pretty red Takanini Camellias? Dogs aren't bothered with such silly details.

You did say to sit...

Mellow and Reflective

So I stopped poking at things and just carted off as much dry rubbish as I could. I tied Escher to the wheelbarrow because the ewes (one lamb born so far) were next-door in the orchard. Both of us were in a mellow, reflective mood. I burnt the bonfire. When he squeaked too much I'd rub his doggy chest - as one does.

Saturday 12th September

Deep in the night, happily snug, I worked out what to do with the garden around the spiral brick courtyard. The iris confusa is coming out. Alas, the Euphorbia (spread from one tiny sprig given to me by a 'friend', humph) can stay and run around, as it will.

I become a Sorrel Vigilante with a puffy bottle of weed killer (sorry about this, but sorrel is a menace). I do my best to clean the bricks. I plant little shrubs (what, exactly?) to encircle the courtyard. I barrow in top-soil and compost. Maybe I release Roger Hall from his pot (he's another red Camellia) and plant him in there.

 In a pot on the patio.
Roger Hall Red Camellia

Ha! Done! It's a garden makeover in disguise. Imagine if I could start and finish it this weekend, before the daffodils are properly blooming and the deciduous Azaleas think about joining in...

 Dog play.
Winnie and Escher at the Dog Park

Much Later...

Blast! BLAST! After morning swimming and enjoying a late Birthday Breakfast I redirected myself to emptying a trailer-load full of rotting bark chips on the Welcome Garden. Non-Gardening Partner filled the barrow, I trundled, tipped, and raked. Then I zoomed inside, thinking to have afternoon tea before relaunching. Oops - miscalculated. Five o'clock. Dinner time for dogs. Soak-in-a-bath time for me.

When manly help suddenly becomes freely available one just has to rejig one's gardening plans. Platitude de jour - there's always tomorrow.

Monday 14th September

And now it is the tomorrow of tomorrow, but I'm feeling much better because I've dug out all the iris confusa and spread a whole trailerful of top-soil/compost. It took me all day, but the gardens around the courtyard look better loved and more sensibly planted. I reckon the shrubs will be happier without iris roots creeping everywhere and iris leaves blocking out the moisture. Well, that's my theory. I'm not a huge fan of 'ground covers' for these reasons.

Right, dogs. We are off to the dog park early today because I have lots of person-socialising to do. And again I'll try and take some photographs. I love my three piece dog pack, but they are incredibly difficult to get good pictures of. One is always wandering off (Winnie), or facing the wrong way (Rusty), or pee-ing (Escher)...