The merry month of May? Hmm...

 Growing well, and absolutely beautiful in the late autumn sun.
The Scarlet Oak Tree

Aargh! May has sneaked up on me. The sun is now so much lower in the sky. The first big frosts are due. The merry month of May? Hmm... Maybe if I stashed some brandy in the glass-house...

Monday 2nd May

I've spent part of the morning in the glass-house being sensible. In other words, I have scooped up out of the ground all the daisies I like, and found all remaining half-hardy plants in pots (like the peppermint pelargonium) - everything is now cosy and ready for winter. I have 'built' lots of new Stachys Limelight plants for planting out next spring. I have collected lots of Nasturtium and Blue Salvia seeds. My glass-house is now looking ridiculously full.

I bet I've left it far too late for sowing sweet peas. Every year I do this. And what's worse, every year I realise, and make sweeping statements about how better organised I'm going to be next year. Sometimes I suspect a slight self-cultivation of the dizzy blonde gardener - oops, silly me, that sort of thing. I could write a parallel journal called 'Things I Haven't Done'. It would be pretty dour reading!

But showing a few forward planning skills (needing some hardy natives to line the new Hump path) I have potted up about ten assorted Pittosporum seedlings. These can have an autumn pot-start, and I'll plant them in position later. Only ten, but at least I'm trying to think ahead! Now I'm off to work for a couple of hours. Humph!

 Lots of seeds have been left behind in the soil for next spring.
Annual Nasturtium

Wednesday 4th May

Humph. I have nothing much to say! Smoocher the kitten is off to the vet (he is a little sick), Rusty the puppy has been doing some secret digging (he has dirt on chest, paws and nose), and I have had extra work for the last two days. Humph. My garden needs me. What is this extra money for? Hmm... Perhaps it could pay for heavy machinery (excavating my planned second pond) or for splendid new autumn trees for my planned Arboretum...

Friday 6th May

Oops. My work commitments this week have been a distraction. But Work = Time = Money, and Money = New Plants. Like the boot-load of hebes which I bought from the roadside trailer yesterday. My new Hump path can now (in theory) push its way through a forest of Wiri Charms (that's the hebe variety).

It's now early afternoon and I am finally home. Time to get my fingernails dirty! And if I sit in the sun and read my book instead, who cares? All that matters is that I am back!

 The leaves are turning a deeper and deeper red.
Red Maple Tree

Saturday 7th May

What shall I do first? Take Rusty the puppy for his dog-walk or write a list of lovely autumn things that I've seen happening in the garden? Pursue the dream journey of Arboretums and second ponds? Or perhaps get some mulch from the sheep paddock and 'finish' the expanded garden areas by the Willow Tree Garden? Ha! I could buy more hebes! They are flowering right now - the little-leafed ones are deep pink, the bigger-leafed ones have drooping panicles (impressive!) with cool lilac blue.

Smoocher as a Kitten :
Please get better, ginger Smoocher.

I will drink my tea, talk to Stumpy the lap-cat, check on Smoocher the kitten (who is on antibiotics, and still not recovered), listen to some Vivaldi, and wait for the sun to rose a little - thinking about planting places for ten - twenty? - new hebes.

Then I will pick some roses for the house - Uetersen is blooming madly (this is the strange Moosey non-climbing version), Graham Thomas is trying hard, and The Fairy Rose is doing its usual fluffy-slipper pink autumn thing.


I've collected one trailer-load of mulch and started spreading it. I've weeded in the Willow Tree garden. The red rose Robusta needs moving - it's stuck between an ever expanding Miscanthus grass and a stout bronze flax - almost like being stuck between a rock and a hard place? The Prunus blossom trees are starting to turn fiery red - a great autumn leaf display. I am resisting the close-up camera button, but some of the colour combinations are inspired!

 Still flowering - though the first frosts have already arrived!
Brave Dahlia

My late lunchtime coffee is fresh and hot. The only blot on the gardening horizon - the hebes weren't there! I am returning outside as soon as I've rested.

Animal Report

I watched a duck with eight tiny ducklings bobbing down the water race - hatched in the false warmth of autumn, they'll struggle to survive our winter. I thought ducks knew better - internal duck clocks, and all that...
Cats and Kittens
Smoocher the ginger kitten is still not well - though he purrs a lot, he has zero energy and is very listless. Go you cat antibiotics, go! Make Smoocher better. And Jerome, who the whole household wrongly declares is 'useless', has provided constant cat company over the water all morning. Go Jerome!
Puppy did some 'puppy-school' activities on our early morning walk (we are learning to heel). He was very focused.
They're still behaving really randomly. Rooster still hates me.
I spotted what must have been the boy-pheasant (a flash of iridescent emerald green with the shiny velvet brown feathers) on the Car Bridge, scuttling down into the Hazelnut Orchard. Hmm...