What more could there be?

It's my two week winter gardening holiday, where I garden all day and contemplate retirement (complete with personal vineyard) all evening. Crisp morning walks with the dog, midday reads on a sunny seat, afternoon burn-ups... What more could there be?

Saturday 5th July

Well, my holiday started last night (Friday), just as the threatened snow started falling. It's now 4.30pm and the snow has started up again. I've been around the garden three or four times today, clearing snow off flaxes and evergreen trees, taking photos, trudging around just looking at the shapeless blue-whiteness. Actually snow is much bluer than I'd ever realised.

 This is a frustrating way to start my gardening holiday.

Today is the first official day of my holiday. The last weeks at work have been a bit of a struggle, but hey! All that's over now, and I have TWO WEEKS for ME. Also I am starting to feel much better health-wise. The sore arm has decreased in impact. I am ready to be a crazy gardener. The snow is just a slight hiccup!

I bought four more bare-root roses today (oops!) - I am getting in new stock for the walkway through the Hazelnut trees. I have been allowed to have an avenue which will have archways (metal or wooden) for roses to climb up and enjoy the fresh air. So far I have six would-be resident roses for this new planting area. The trees are planted, and in my imagination are fully mature, with a rose covered walkway leading to a seat in the middle of the orchard. I am so happy that I am on holiday. Tomorrow I am going to work in the glass-house, to prove that even snow doesn't stop me from being a gardener.

 Lots and lots of snow.
Snowy Back Lawn

Monday 7th July

Yesterday I ended up going to work. Which was OK, considering that the snow didn't melt. Now today it's mid Monday morning, and still the snow is covering everything. Please melt! My plans for digging and repositioning plants and generally simplifying my garden design are on hold. Already today I have gone for a walk with the dog (who loves rolling in the snow) and the intrepid cat-adventurer Jerome (who tries to walk on the snow surface, and keeps falling through). My garden is so shapeless when everything is covered up.

Now I am having my morning coffee, and the plan is to watch one of the Harry Potter movies, then go out to the glass-house and spend a couple of hours potting and clearing in there. What has happened to my big-headed plans to dig and clear the dirt? Snow, please melt today! Your novelty value has really worn off, you look really beautiful, but you are now spoiling my holiday plans! I have more than a hundred photos of you, I really don't need any more!


It's not really melting at all, so I am going to be proactive and take myself off to the glass-house. I will sort out the pots in there and see how inspired I can get.

Snowy Water Race

Much later... It still hasn't melted! There's been sun, and the air temperature seemed to be quite warm. I've put the new bare-root roses into pots and I've repotted some pineapple lilies. I'll probably have to spend tomorrow in the glass-house too. And I've got a cold. Humph to the start of my gardening holiday!

Tuesday 8th July

Snow - snow - melt! I am soon off to the glass-house to be productive, and I expect to see some melting action while I'm there! I'm sick of snow still lying about being a nuisance.

  Lucky sheep!
feeding out

Later... Humph! I worked hard in the glass-house potting the last of the daffodils and repotting sad pelargoniums and more pineapple lilies. I've carted the fresh new pots back to suitable sunny spots. As yet I haven't sown any seeds - I suspect it might be a little cold, but I might try starting some off in the laundry or on assorted windowsills. The snow continues to defy me, though there's little I can do (short of hiring in a hovering helicopter). I now intend to sulk by the fire (though it is quite dark outside) and read some of my new gardening books purchased in a sale. I am reminded by one of the covers how much I like lupins, and I must make more of an effort to grow some mass plantings.

 Love that hay!
Sheep Feeding

Wednesday 9th July

I have just been reading over my last year's winter holiday diary. In 2002 I was unbelievably full of energy and enthusiasm - I also seemed to drink a lot of wine in the evenings - and it didn't seem that winter stopped me from doing anything. Humph to this year's winter holiday! The snow has half melted, I've been clearing the messy garden near the road, and now I am off back outside to deal to more potting. I am not feeling particularly enthusiastic or energetic though. Guess that I just need to learn patience. Or maybe I've changed (I mean, getting cancer is bound to change one's attitude a little). Don't know. I will return, hopefully feeling super positive and proud. One thing is certain - I am much happier pottering outside than sitting inside staring at the snow!

I'm back after two hours of glass-house potting. I've created several more pots of daffodils, and divided up several large clumps of asters - the late summer/autumn ones. I'm quite dirty, but feeling rather better. This winter holiday I've been a little too house-bound - I'm much happier being outside - as long as outside isn't too frigid or wet or frosty. The snow still lounges about, but there are now large expanses of grass appearing. I am going to have a big day out tomorrow, and once more become Moosey the Gardening Legend. I might even write up a list.

Thursday 10th July

Finally! A day which looks like a good gardening day - it rained gently last night and most of the garden beds are now free of snow. I have just had breakfast and am about to make a large list. Strictly positive!

Large List :

Hmm... Actually this list isn't all that large. No point trying to fill it up with artificial activities, though. Time for a hot cup of coffee and a quiet wander outside to check snow-melt, temperature, etc. Back soon.

Success! I have done some weeding (the Stables Border), some planting (daffodils), some perennial dividing (again the Stables Border, mainly penstemons and heuchera), and some potting (excess daffodils). I've spread mulch and ash around. I've sat on the bench near the Stables with my latest book and enjoyed the early afternoon sun. The undone list items will keep for tomorrow. Today for the first time since my holiday started I've felt as if I've made choices.