At peace again...

Sorry for any gloomy threads which might have trickled into the journal of late. Some silly old gardeners just don't know how lucky they are! I am at peace again in my sparkling summer garden - a little dead-heading goes a long way.

 Face down, blown over by the wind and rain.
Poor Pink Peony

Tuesday 5th December - Looking Back

Yesterday afternoon I even had fun weeding! I was in the shade, near the gurgling water race, no rain dripping down the back of my neck, no wet mud on my gardening jeans... Lovely Beige-Puss provided excellent cat-company.+5

That's the proper name for B-Puss, where the B definitely stands for 'Brave' - not 'Bonkers', as suggested rudely by the Moosey House Guest (who might find all his possessions stacked in the hay barn).

 Growing in the Stables Garden with a bright yellow-flowering Euphorbia.
Bright Pink Peony

I went to feed the chooks and found Tiger the cat in the chook run, mingling with the hens and the rooster, who were all totally ignoring her. I threw their food down, and Tiger joined them. And rooster DID NOTHING! This bird takes running leaps (attacking with spurs first) at me, the provider of his comfort and his gourmet chook food - and then rubs 'shoulders' with a tabby tortoiseshell cat.

But Should I Be Worried?

I have to assume that Tiger is staked out there, ready to hunt and catch the lower (and smaller) bird life. But shouldn't rooster chase her off? Shouldn't one of the big grey stripy hens (Harriet or Hilda) at least peck her? Aargh! Being a responsible poultry owner is far more complicated than I thought. Should I be worried?

Old Fashioned Disgraces

Concerning my old fashioned roses in the Hazelnut Orchard - I have grave doubts about Lady Hillingdon, and Gloire de Dijon is a disgrace. But I'll leave them for now with an official rose-warning - only the tough will survive. All wayward canes are now tied in, and I've weeded (aargh!) underneath. A few had been rocking in the wind, and I've stomped more dirt down around their bases.

 Hmm... She had better improve her general demeanour...
Lady Hillingdon Rose

Looking Forward

Today will be even better than yesterday (if I behave). After my morning gardening session I am going to do some piano practice. Then I'll take my hopefully sweet-smelling dog for a bike ride, and go for a swim. There is cricket to listen to later. My garden is sunny and warm, and there's no wind! Nice!

Thursday 7th December

Eek! The first week of December is over - whoosh! Where has the time gone? And why is my garden still so weedy? There will be no more days off for this Head Gardener, unless she promises some energetic twilight weeding sessions. Weeds seem to be the theme of my month. Really, there is no excuse - I have piles of (as yet unused) newspaper to lay, there's a trailer half full of (as yet unused) rotting hay mulch. When these two items are spread over the dirt the weeds will have no chance!

 My lovely big-leafed waterside plant.

There are even two rhododendrons still in their planter bags, waiting permanent homes. But gradually, oh so slowly, I am getting around all the gardens. December is a good month to screw up the eyes and squint whenever moving around the garden - otherwise, on even the slightest journey, one sees things on route which desperately need doing.

Journey to Narnia

And speaking of journeys, yesterday on my day off I went walking in the mountains, through the land (called Narnia) where the film 'The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe' was filmed. There was, of course, no snow! But the rocks were amazing - the place seems to be full of secrets. And I didn't think about my need to weed, even once!

 What a beauty!
Purple Iris by the Water

Right. Do I need a list? No. Why don't I just make my way steadily down the water race, starting at Car Bridge, weeding and trimming? I can sit elegantly and listen to the soothing sounds of the water. I'm bound to get the two young gardening cats for company, and Rusty can do his ridiculous Keep-Our-Waterways-Clear guard dog duty. Hmm...


No twilight weeding is needed tonight - I've had a very productive day. Mind you, it has been superb weeding weather (overcast, windless and warm).

Dog in the Water :
Silly, silly Rusty! he will spend hours standing in the water race, staring at the ripples and little gurgling waves.

I've had great cat company, dog-in-the-water, and cricket commentary on my radio. The down side is that I've managed to lose my favourite hand digger AND my equally favourite hand fork. Eek! Hope they turn up in the compost rather than underneath the lawnmower's blades.

My two Sally Holmes roses are finally filling the Island Bed with beautiful peachy-white flowers. A cherry red penstemon is beautifully flowering in the Stables garden. There are still irises in flower. And the pink peonies just keep on blooming. How many weeks is it now since I started noticing them? I am most impressed. Lovely, lovely December - it's so nice experiencing you without having to rush in and out of work.