The scruffiest ever!

 A lovely, if scruffy, annual

Yeay! Temperatures are finally a little cooler. Autumn is coming. The sun's angles are lower in the sky. The lawns are greener. And the garden? Even scruffier than last month. The scruffiest! Scruffier than my garden has ever been before.

My garden is fuller...

But I've decided that this is a good thing. Because I've been busy tghis last year,my garden is fuller than ever before - of dahlias flowering, of green shrubs shrubbing, of grasses grassing, and trees growing even taller. It's really lovely, the plants all nudging each other, arguing their hierarchy : Move over! My light! My space! No, my light! My space!

Disheartening dog issues...

It always helps me if I write down stuff that's puzzling, worrying, or disheartening. OK, so here goes. Limpy Winnie (my older Border Collie) has been to the vet for X-rays. She has a partial tear of a cruciate ligament. Stern instructions from the vet - complete rest for one month. Short walks outside, on lead only. Absolutely no jumping or running. I came home armed with a huge red Kong (a food toy for her dog-brain), full of determination and confidence. I could do this!

Oh yes? Welcome to the real 'country dog' world. And the realisation that I have two completely untrained, badly behaved dogs. Put Winnie on lead - the younger dog, Pebbles, sensing a moment of weakness, barked and jumped all over her, nasty stuff. Put both dogs on leads. Nope. Came close to me falling over. Tried again. Took dogs out one at a time. Sounds really easy, right? No way! We do things together. Neither of us will be left behind. Wait at the door? No way. Both dogs barking and jumping madly, both wanting to be first. Then Pebbles scratched my arm - old skin, much blood. Roared at them both, then cried. As one does. Then took myself out to lunch by myself, to sort out my strategy.

Next day...

Deep breath. A new day. No more tears. Lower expectations, heightened dog control. Ditch the dog leads (sorry, vet). Gently teach these rude country dogs some manners. Practice, patience. So far, so good. Now I am going out to my Silver Swans ballet class (tinkling piano music, soft arm movements, serenity). After we've practiced going out the door in an orderly fashion. Yeah right?

 Pebbles and WInnie
Country Dogs


No gardening. Felt so sorry for Winnie that I stayed inside with her. Practiced singing the St. John's Passion. One of my choirs is performing it at Easter. Eek! Could this actually be too difficult for me? Have taken Pebbles for lots of walks on her own - Winnie much calmer about being left inside today. No mad runny-jumping - phew!

 With Winnie the dog.
New Garden in Pond Paddock

Meanwhile, outside in the depths of my garden - more scruff, bigger weeds, greater messes. But some lovely views, inspired new garden border shapes, and some great ideas for shifting of plants when autumn really arrives. I plan to do some weeding when Non-Gardening Partner (AKA my dog-sitter) gets home from work.