Never, ever assume anything concerning a random gardener. These last days have super hot. So I've been weeding, all day. No sore hands, and I haven't become bored or grumpy. And no sneaky tricks (like the reward of the pensioner's pub roast) needed. Summer weeding. Just like that!
Red Hot Pokers and Phormiums
But I have had a slightly secret weapon. Whenever I sensed a sniff of over-heating (or the mildest twinge of discontent) I'd just move myself to the water race, and stand therein, weeding the sloping banks.
The cool, refreshing water flows up to my knees. And I love the water race. After my winter trimming of excess ferns and flaxes, there's more room for the waterside roses, and the remaining Phormiums are the choicest varieties - clean greens, deep brooding wine reds. Euphorbias and Oenothera have produced neat little colonies of their offspring, and are looking rather lovely. The swashbuckling (?) Shasta daisy clumps are just about to flower. The Gunnera, a gorgeous summer perennial is bigger and greener than ever.
Tuesday 17th January
Yesterday I spent a lot of time wandering around picking up gum tree bark. Oh yes. It's the month of the gusty nor-west winds, and down come strips of bark litter with the slightest puff. Not that the nor-west wind ever puffs - it roars and blusters, rumbling its bellyful like the stormy winds in King Lear.
Summer Shasta Daisies
Today I cleaned out the little pond and stream behind the cottage, supervised by Minimus. The high Eucalpytus trees swayed and groaned above me as the wind raged. I used more stones to disguise the edges of the black plastic pond liner, and now everything is again running and filling with water. The water is pumped from the water race by a bright orange river pump, my wonderfully 'low tech' pride and joy.
Wednesday 18th January
Today is a bit weather scary - the forecasters have been warning of a 'weather bomb' (for my garden, gale force winds). I've just spent ages raking up yet more gum tree bark, thinking that later tonight there'll be a complete carpet of replacements. But there's no wind as yet, and so I've cleared three barrowfuls of mess (mainly that purple flowering weedy 'Astilbe') and trimmed the shrubs and Phormiums around Middle Bridge.
I shouldn't be voting in my own Most Valuable Pet competition. But I am, sentimentally, for young Minimus, even though she is an unworthy recipient. Young fat Minimus, my cottage cat, is lately being very annoying - arriving on my bed with her mouth full of wriggling rodent in the middle of a summer night, then squeaking in outrage after I've shut her and her mouse outside.
And I have to be on high alert. My young dog Winnie keeps wandering off to eat/roll in something unpleasant, which I can't find, and Rusty the old dog has just recovered from a bad week with a very upset dog-tummy (after eating a dead rabbit). So neither dog can be trusted free-range, which is a pity. I weed for a few minutes, then have to check where they both are. Dogs are so basic. The higher it smells, the tastier it is? I don't think so!
Stop Press! Aargh! Eek!
I found 'it'. 'It' looks like an opossum's bottom. Sorry about this.