Last Autumn Leaves
More questions. How can I con myself into gardening for ages on a cool winter's day, and achieve meaningful, noticeable results? To list or not to list? Coffee first, or later? Decisions. Coffee first. And then a skeleton list, or better still - a set of instructions, plain and easily followed.
Monday 22nd May
A real frost this morning - brrr! Here are my instructions to myself. I will start cleaning up my water race clean-up. Beginning at the far fence by the Hen House, I will sweep along the waterside border, keeping within two metres of the water. I will trim, dump, rake, weed, and cart appropriate things to the bonfire. Oh, I don't mean 'sweep' as in 'sweep'. That would be silly!
After four hours have slipped pleasantly by I will ditch my gardening boots, grab my things, and go for a therapeutic swim. How simple the retired lady-gardener's day can be.
Tiger the Cat
Cats. Hmm. Tiger, senior cat, has just pee-ed all over my large coloured pencils case, narrowly missing my phone, and also drenching a crocheted owl tea cosy. These items are not on the kitchen bench (counter) to provide her with toilet comfort. She is rude and lazy.
So how cold is it outside? Only minus two degrees (Celsius). Crikey, even old people can safely potter outside and pee in the garden in minus two degrees Celsius. Oops. Shouldn't have said that?
A great day! I got the bonfire roaring merrily, so I dragged all the willow trimmings over and burnt them as well. I reckon I did about five kilometres of plodding. I am pleased with my results. I will try the same approach tomorrow.
Tuesday 23rd May
Minimus, cottage cat, brought a wriggling mouse into the cottage last night, woke me up to say 'Aren't I clever' and promptly dropped it. The mouse ran underneath my bed. Am semi-squeamish regarding mice running around bedrooms in the middle of the night. Decided to stay put and brave it out, Minimus on guard.
+10Almost back to sleep, then a kerfuffle and a muffled miaow from Minimus. Quickly! Light on, leap up, and politely escort her (with mouse firmly in mouth) out the door. Then she howled, miaowed, squeaked, and mewed by the (shut) window for what seemed like an age. Can't remember going back to sleep, but I must have. Am so tired!
Today the weather is odd. Something is brewing, the lull before the storm? It's scary mild, with glowering cloud cover and a nor-west arch. The wind blusters around for a bit, then everything is deadly calm. Can't decide whether I am waiting for blue skies and sunshine, or a howling, cold rainstorm. Not the time to crank up the bonfire. I'm going to do some web-gardening first.
Buster the Cat
Buster the black cat is keeping me company, squashed into a cat basket on the table. Every now and then a languid black paw reaches over the keyboard to snag my fingers...
Wednesday 24th May
Bonfiring again, and still cleaning up the Hen House Gardens by the water race. Again it's a question of striking while the bonfire is hot. So as well as dragging out gum tree rubbish etc. I've been trimming dahlias, catmint, and assorted other perennials by the Pergola, and adding them to the fire.
As far as the Hen House Gardens go, I am pulling out an alarming number of baby Oak trees. Yet I'm sure that the parent trees have been dropping acorns for years. Another puzzle for the maturing gardener in her maturing garden, hee hee. Right. I've had a wee break, so it's time for the final big push of the day. Can I keep going until dusk? I haven't cleaned up this area properly for years. I would be soooooooo proud of myself...
Much, Much Later...
I did it! I kept on raking up rubbish and carting it over to the bonfire until the light started to fade. And then, as if on cue, big brown Escher (the dog) plus his human parent turned up to visit, late in the day. Perfect! Dog company! My dog Winnie is still (possibly) scared of my wheelbarrow and/or me in my wading suit, and won't come outside gardening at all.
The Last Autumn Trees
And now I'm going to watch the final (recorded) episide of The Bachelor. I already know who he chooses, and I approve! And honestly, what a daft, dreadful programme, and how can an intelligent, mature gardener possibly admit to watching (even with the fast forward button) such rubbish? The same gardener who cried in the car This morning on the way to the dog park listening to Ravel's Bolero, hee hee.
Thursday 25th May
So little to say, really. I decided not to do any bonfiring. The reason? I'd washed my hair. Pathetic. But I spent a profitable (nonsense - there's absolutely no money involved) couple of hours day-dreaming and raking the leaves off Duck Lawn. Last year's bags have still not decomposed into leaf mould, so I made even bigger knife slashes in all the bags.
Rake those Leaves!
I tried to lure Winnie outside with a tennis ball, but she ran back inside after five minutes. I don't know why I have suddenly become so scary. I am fated to garden alone.
Friday 26th May
The week finished in fine cat form - a headless mouse on the cottage verandah, which I trod on barefooted. Even less gardening than yesterday, inversely proportional to the weight of gardening plans that are swirling around in my head (born of guilt, pure and simple). I'm going to weed the Herb Spiral. I'm going to finish mulching the Welcome Garden. I'm going to trim more ferns in the water race. Oh, and did you know I'm going to finish raking the leaves up off the Pond Paddock? And trim the dead branches off the Oak trees. And... I'm going to... I'm going to...