Delightfully warm days...

We are still getting delightfully warm days. This must be very confusing for the autumn leaves - and the roses, many of which are furiously building new buds for future flowering. Do they think they're winter roses? Hmm...

Saturday 22nd April

My computer has finally moved up into the Moosey office. Now, as I write, I can see green lawns out the (upstairs) window, and my one Liquid Amber tree with a pale green-gold mixture of leaves. It's now supposed to be properly autumn, and more of the tree leaves are reddening (my Dogwoods, and the cherries in the Pond Paddock). This weekend I am going to garden like a woman possessed to make up for the last two lazy days.

 He is growing into a big cat!
Fluff-Fluff in the Garden

Visiting the Moosey Office

First I need to sort out the ground rules for the visiting wildlife. OK, Jerome the Grey, you can sit in the jigsaw box, but no growling when other cats appear. The Moosey office is a friendship room. Beige-Puss, please retract your claws (B-Puss does his goggle-eyed slow-motion roof-slide past the window). Fluff-Fluff - there is no room in the jigsaw box for two cats simultaneously. Nor can you sit on the computer keyboard. Hello Rusty! Jerome, stop growling at the dog! Fluff-Fluff, don't eat the jigsaw pieces! Aargh!


I did a terribly rational thing - it goes like this. If one is lucky enough to have a water feature, then one needs to keep it in good order, and ensure it is always pleasing to the eye - in gardening terms that means weeded, tended, nicely planted, ambient, and so on. So today I've been weeding and clearing the water race bank, and finally it is finished. There's definitely space for tussocks, and maybe a flax, in the freshly weeded gaps. The clover is awfully hard to remove, though.

 This is the only chrysanthemum I grow!
Yellow Flowering Chrysanthemums

And I have fallen out of love with the water race Verbascums - they've produced huge stems with just a few yellow petals on the very top. This is not how large weeds made welcome should show their gratitude! They should follow the superb example set by my self sown Calendulas.

I could become very anti-social now that the Moosey Office is wired (actually wireless) for instant world communication. If I installed a little jug for tea making I might never need to come out! Apart from forays into the garden, that is! Here I am, apres-gardening, relaxing and listening to the complete piano works of Ravel, most of whose compositions sound rather too hard for me to play. Memo to self - try Le Tombeau de Couperin. The Toccata sounds brilliant - cute and thumpy.

Sale Plants :
The Easter nursery sale is always keenly looked forward to - every year I'm expecting to get some good bargains.

I have also been for two big bicycle rides. Hmm... What a lovely day! Three cheers for the New Moosey Bicycle, and the Old Moosey Bicycle Legs, too. Both went really well! Tomorrow I must finish my hosta planting in the pond paddock. And all my sale plants need planting. There should be a time limit on pot-sitting, with the threat of being returned to the nursery. I must also patch up the house lawn by sowing some grass seed - before the rain which is due (overdue!) on Monday.

Sunday 22nd April

Take twice as long to garden half as much? Not today. Head down, spade out, and dig up all the invasive Lamium by the house. I never planted it, and this small garden is having a make-over. It will contain sun-loving foliage plants (hello, canna lilies!) and romantic roses. I have realigned the curve, and will replace the small square paving edge. Ultimately there will be a path (possibly of the stepping-stone style) to connect with the Laundry path. And that is only one of the many varied garden tasks planned for today.

 With a large bronze flax behind it.
Leaning Gum Tree

Gum Trees - Aargh!

A day which has already started strongly - with a pot of real, loose Sri Lankan tea (thanks, Daughter of Moosey), and a peep at a gardening programme on the TV - at Lady Londonderry's lovely red Cordylines, and silver Astelias, and the common-garden green Cordylines which flowered so well last spring. Well, Lady Londonderry, I see you also grow those big Australians (Eucalypt, or Gum trees) in the middle of your flower beds and lawns. Good for you and the - men? - who clean up the leaves daily!

Oops - there's a bit of reverse snobbery from a colonial! Right. I'm off to rake up my gum tree leaves and admire my Cordylines. Unfortunately I don't have a parterre - would I like one? Before I get too cheeky, I remind myself how I'm always trying to grow sweet peas, and how much I would like a moat around the house (definitely evidence of British heritage). Lady Moosey... Hmmm...

Early Afternoon...

I have made serious progress. All the plants I want to keep in the cleared house garden (red dahlias, red crocosmias, and so on) have been lifted. I've pulled out all the Lamium and thrown it on a bare patch by the Pump House. If it takes root and grows, great! My new plants are lined up ready to be planted - the red and pink striped Cannas, the burgundy coloured Verbenas, a rose called Prospero, the Bengal Tiger cannas, and a Cordyline called Red Fountain. This one doesn't bother growing a trunk.

 Tropicanna and Bengal Tiger are the names these cannas are given here.
Striped Canna Leaves

I am also going to split a couple of my existing Astelias - one a silver, one called rather optimistically 'ruby'. These, plus the bargain bin Bergenias (Bressingham ruby) will be planted and watered after lunch.

Aargh! Gardening Gloom...

Sorry to sound gloomy, but I've seen so much that needs doing in the house gardens. These are half full of inherited plants, and half redeveloped over the years, haphazardly, by the semi-stylish hand of Moosey. It all ends up being a bit of a mess! Right. Suitably fortified by a second pot of genuine Sri Lankan tea I will go back outside. I will just keep going and going. I'll try to get all the new plantings done before the rain.

 Such a beautiful autumn tree.
Autumn Dogwood in the Afternoon Sun

Though how a gardener can be gloomy after a late April week where temperatures have been in the mid-twenties, I'll never know. That very same gardener is bemoaning the lack of frosts and crisp mornings, which are apparently needed to get the very best autumn leaf colour! It's the classic the-grass-is-greener syndrome.

Monday 23rd April

OK. It's been raining all day, and perversely I am very cross with 'it'. And I can't play Ravel on the piano (found the music for Le Tombeau de Couperin - wish I hadn't). In fact the piano feels exactly the garden on a short-attention-span day. Bit of Brahms, don't feel like Brahms, bit of Ravel, can't do it, weed this, don't feel like weeding, plant those Cannas, don't feel like planting those Cannas... When feeling artistically grumpy I should confine self to playing elevator music and rehashes of that old standard, Autumn Leaves...

 Hmm... Oak tree leaves in the pond paddock are dropping - like flies?
Autumn Leaves

Hmm... I'm sure there is a gardening parallel to the playing of elevator music...

Tuesday 24th April

Hmm... A rain statistic for the weather-minded. Over the last 24 hours we have had sixty percent of our normal monthly (April) rainfall. It's still raining. The garden needs it, and today I love it - Rusty, damp dog, has turned a proper reddish colour, and his ear fur is crimping into tiny little zigzags. There are actually water puddles lying on the ground. Water, the taker and the giver of life...

Right. There is not much one can say in one's gardening journal during continual rain. And as for doing things - one could be tidying up inside the glass-house - but one is not going to! So there!