Easter arrives with Autumn, and the garden starts to slow down. The Head Gardener also starts to slow down and gets gloomy. The vegetable garden - potager plans revive her, as the gardening days get shorter.

 Something always goes wrong with my outdoor tomatoes. They never work.
Tomatoes that don't work

Monday 24th April - Easter Monday

I'm feeling a little gloomy about things today. Parts of the garden are just shapeless and I am hopeless with trees. The vege garden, like the cricket, sucks. Why can't I sort it out - have a potager with little brick paths, and actually grow tomatoes that WORK???

Later that Day...

In desperation I have applied advanced plant psychology to the little JAM Path, clearing all the foxglove and forget-me-not seedlings from its middle and replanting them by its edges. I have pruned the cotinus and organised strong sturdy stakes for the miscanthus that flops over. I have reclaimed the path and am in control again...

 A beautiful tableaux of foliage.
Autumn Cotinus and Miscanthus

Tuesday 25th April

I have continued clearing the vege garden, pre-potager. My holiday is finished.

Saturday 29th April

I am still a bit despondent. I started the morning in disastrous fashion, reading a glossy garden magazine on the patio. The plan was to rediscover inspiration and gain new confidence (it usually works). Not this time!! All the photos were of early summer blooming, and everything was perfectly and artistically proportioned (the laws of visual composition, the fibonacci series in the garden... you know what I mean). Then there were the minimalist designer courtyards (which would never have seen an old coffee cup or a dead rodent), bright blue painted stones and pots...

 Sifter the cat is a meowing stomach on legs.
Sifter the Cat

Cat and Mouse

So I took Sifter the cat with me to catch the glass-house mouse. That was a disaster too, as there was a bird trapped inside the glass-house. Of course, Sifter obliged by racing towards the bird corner as the mouse, clearly visible on the work bench, made a blurry scuttle for the other corner. I rescued the bird (it wasn't eaten), threw Sifter out, and spent the next 10 minutes encouraging birdie to fly out the door. The mouse lives to scuttle another day.

Sunday 30th April

I will not be gloomed by the glossies! I have been digging and clearing the vege garden. I have ideas for 're-alignment' of its edges (in other words, it's getting bigger!). I will shift the dog kennel, and Stephen will be encouraged to construct a PERGOLA. I have assembled old bricks for paths through the vege garden-potager. Maybe they'll be axial... maybe they'll wiggle...

 Digging to make the potager bigger.
Pre-Southerly Potager Digging

My garden is full of big mistakes and little stupidities - things that don't balance, and things that are too big, too small, too silly, too common, too boring, and I LOVE IT!!! I also love my cats.

Saturday 7th May

Still the gardening weather is mild and balmy. This cannot last. The vege garden-potager is a better shape now, and I'm much happier about things. The autumn season has its own special beauty - I don't give a toss about the glossy magazines, and I will even defend my marigold patch's right to live.

Sunday 8th May

The southerly struck just as I started digging the other edge of the vege garden-potager. So I am inside for the rest of the day.