Starting to finish?

 Rarely photographed.
White Penstemon

I'm always running this question past my critical self. Isn't it better to start things and then not finish them, rather than not to start at all? Isn't it? I hope so. Because I am always finding the second half of things I've started. It's not that I lose interest and wander off, honestly. It's just that the variety of gardening tasks I have to do is huge. And time waits for no gardener. Meanwhile, weeds turn into seed disposal factories, shrubs transform into shade monsters, and roses succumb to rust and black-spot and lose all their leaves...

The Fire Ban is Lifted

A few days ago, in the middle of some very specific garden weeding momentum, the council fire ban was lifted. And so I had to drop everything and start barrowing all the dry mess to the bonfire. That's what today's been all about. The Hen-House Gardens are littered with large strips of gum tree bark, and I've carted most of the mess over to the bonfire. It self-ignited rather scarily when I wasn't looking. But I haven't finished! Aargh! Big brown Escher was tied up nearby, and he was getting a bit squeaky and sad - that's my excuse.

The Wattle trees are also dropping their dry seed pods all over the paths and the gardens beneath. More of the Phormiums need trimming, splitting apart because of the huge flower stalks (that I love so much) which droop down blocking paths and squashing shrubs. And whenever it blows, even just the tiniest of puffs, a host of Cabbage tree leaves float down onto the lawns. The mower cannot deal with these - they have to picked up - and burnt!

 But not very many flowers...
Stella DOro Daylily

Sneaky Weeds...

So the weeding in the Allotment Gardens that I rather desperately need to do has to be postponed for yet another day. There's something very secret and sneaky about weeds in summer heat. They flower unobtrusively and then go to seed when nobody (that is, the gardener) is looking. I always pull twenty or thirty out when I take the dogs for their early morning walk. I should pull two or three thousand.

Weeds aside, the flowers in the Allotment Garden, crammed in so haphazardly, are still very pretty. The red Orach has flowered, and (oddly) I hope it will seed itself for me. It is allowed to grow here. The lemon Eschscholzias are a real hit - such a pretty colour. All the daylilies have done well, and the blue perennial Salvia uligosa is now flowering. Masses of Calendula seedlings are forming a ground cover, and will flower this autumn. The bees love these.

Thursday 11th February

Today I will have to weed the Allotment Garden. On my morning walk with the dogs I pulled out more weeds. There has been mass production overnight. And some are moving onto the flowering stage. Oh well. At least I won't get stinky smoky hair - no burning today.

OK, but first we are going to the dog park to see our friends and chase balls. In the interests of fairness, brown Escher now has his own ball (a miniature soccer-football). He proudly catches and even retrieves it, then poses for the camera. Hmm... 'Pose' is the word.

 Be good, Escher!
Escher the Dog

Brown About the Town

I've written a song for Escher, which I tried out a couple of days ago while rocking the new grand-baby. It requires a deep, bouncy voice. Here's the chorus :

He's brown, brown,
Brown about the town.
See him around,
He's the dog park clown.
He's brown, brown,
Brown about the town.
Brown, brown about the town.

For a verse one just chooses pairs of the following lines :

Walk dog, run dog,
Brown's number one dog.
East dog, west dog,
Brown is the best dog.
Purse dog, hood dog,
Brown is a good dog.
Sleek dog, scruff dog,
Brown is a tough dog.
Old dog, new dog,
Brown as a poo dog.
Stripe dog, spot dog,
Brown is the top dog.

Oops. Small minds, but Escher loves it, and howls at me when I sing it to him. On a continuous loop it put the grand-baby to sleep for over half an hour while daughter was busy.


Excuses first. I was weeding madly, doing quite well. Then the sun sneaked around and up (as suns do) and it got really hot. My cut little finger, a wound from mulching pansies with the kitchen scissors, started hurting. I was also wearing my good jeans, bending over like a crane, and this is not sensible.

So here's the deal. I'm inside, but I am not allowed to watch my TV Soap Obsession (The Bill, which is getting gloomier and gloomier - obviously there's no scenery). I am allowed to download my latest garden photographs (I am organising some pages of rose images, see the red line-up below) and have a cup of coffee. And that's it.

Right. Discipline, fortitude, a sun-hat, and a water bottle are needed. I must finish the Allotment Garden clean-up, sun or no sun. And I take Escher's lead, so I can tie him to the old gate and therefore not worry about him misbehaving. And I need to put the hoses on. See - I'm organised!

Much Later...

I want it on record that I've spent two very productive (if hot) weeding sessions in the Allotment Garden. I've delivered. I've kept my word, and it's finished - for now. The hoses are on. Now it's cider time, dinner for dogs time, and put your feet up, puff out your chest, and crow like a rooster time.