How lucky am I? I share my life with two lovely dogs (except they've just had a scary dog-fight, spilling over onto my chair). And five lovely cats (except mean Minimus the cottage cat chases the Freds up trees, and Tiger has been pee-ing behind the TV). And I have groovy hobbies! Like my Youtube train travel - at the moment I am zooming around Austria. Beautiful scenery.
And music - I have choirs to boss around, personal musical challenges (singing alto in Poulenc's double sharp-ridden Exultate Deo), and musical nostalgia (singing Peter, Paul, and Mary songs at a folk club concert). And of course there's 'Barking Friday', when my flute friend and I play Bach sonatas (me on piano). I love Barking Friday. Sometimes we even play Rutter. But calling it 'Ruttering Friday' doesn't sound quite right.
And I have my lovely garden. My best friend, who gratefully accepts what I can give, and then waits patiently for me to repeat it all the following day. 'Why hello, Mary Moosey - how nice to see you again. You're looking good - and what a pretty tune you're humming! Is that Poulenc? So what's today's plan - bonfiring? Ooooh goodie.'
Red Fred the Cat
For the last three days I've been bonfiring. I've nearly burnt all my dry fence-line rubbish heaps now, and I've started seriously trimming all the dahlias to add to the mix. There have been a couple of near-frosts, so it's all over for their cheerful colours. Nice to be bonfiring in the colder late afternoons. It is almost winter, of course.
The time of the Phormiums...
Some of my garden border photographs look formless as well as colourless, with so few leaves left on the trees. But in others the high-impact Phormiums have taken over. I wonder if I have too many? No way. I love them. This is their time to be seen.
Here's tomorrow's plan. I have fifteen more bags of rotted horse manure to build up my new Pond Paddock garden (created in a shady place where the lawn won't grow). Spreading it around is my first task, then I'll cover it with fallen leaves and mulch. Easy, gentle, modular... I have two more Pittosporums to plant, and more stones to find for the new garden's edges. Then it will be done!
When I think about it, snug inside with the light fading and the log-burner going, pre-winter gardening is quite relaxing. It's a thoughtful and measured time, with few floral distractions. The flow of tasks is very obvious - as soon as all the leaves are raked, burnt, or bagged up, then the rose pruning will start. And thus fueled, the bonfire will crackle, pop, and smoke its way slowly into June. See - my next few weeks are already nicely organised!
Tuesday 21st May
Yeay! I don't have to go out tonight. So I am going out, but to the pub, for a pensioner's roast meal with non-Gardening Partner and some friends, and I am already giggly with anticipation (i.e. I have started on the House Merlot). Hee hee.
Pebbles and Winnie
Today I worked hard for five hours in the Pond Paddock. I tipped out manure, I fetched stones, I shoveled mulch, I planted Pittosporums and a Hebe, I raked and bagged up leaves, I collected rubbish for the bonfire, I trimmed the Aconites and the big sprawling rose Fruhlingsgold (which has been sulking). It's been the loveliest of pre-winter days.
I have a new version of my 'How Lucky am I?' paragraph. It goes like this : How lucky am I? I have two lovely dogs. Except one of them thinks I am a dog too, and barks rudely in my face. I have five lovely cats. Except one of them (Red Fred) thinks I am a tree and tries to climb up my leg, especially when I have emerged, naked and pink, from the shower. Ouch! Obviously there will be no photographs. I'll leave it to Tiger to display her beautiful body instead.
Tiger the Cat