The big clean-up...

I'm starting the big clean-up after spring's fabulous garden party - pulling out forget-me-nots and honesty, and planting summer-flowering annuals in the spaces. Meanwhile the last of the spring blossom is floating down to carpet the lawns.

 Viewed from the other side of the pond.
Pond Paddock Blossom

Tuesday 28th October

Oh boy. Today, no matter what I've been trying to do in the garden, Fluff-Fluff my big fluffy pale ginger cat has decided that he loves me passionately. His love is so huge that he must remind me every minute - by squeaking desperately when I move slightly out of range, by rolling in the dirt exactly where I'm weeding, and by lolling all over the glass-house bench as I try to prick out seedling Lobelias and organise Pelargonium and Penstemon cuttings.+10

Aargh! If my hands are there, then so is his disreputable, scruffy cat-tummy, on display to be patted. He is a large, overweight cat, capable of squashing plants with one paw, let alone with his squirming, bulky body. In these moods his fur ends up splattered with various pieces of wet and dry mud, potting mix, and assorted green debris. But hey! It's nice to be loved, and adored, and followed around, and squeaked at...

 A very beautiful pairing, even if I say so myself...
Rhododendron and Tussock Grasses

In spite of this grand cat-passion I did get some gardening work done. I ripped out the purple Honesty and forget-me-nots from the Glass-House Garden - sure signs that spring is moving to an end. I potted up Lychnis seedlings which were growing in the pathway. I did quite a lot of hands-and-knees weeding. I do have the usual local weed problems - the thistles (Californian?) which appear up from underground runners every year around the Glass-House.

The Oak Tree Seat :
This little seat at the water's edge is surrounded by fragrant rugosa roses - and their thorns. Oops.

Then I had an interesting lunch on the Oak Tree Seat down by the water race with my gardening friends. The race was running high, so the waterside path was underwater. Fluff-Fluff leapt onto my lunch to avoid getting wet, my smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel floated off downstream, Rusty the dog dive-bombed into the water to retrieve it, and Fluff-Fluff and I got drenched. I let Rusty eat it - well, I had to, didn't I!

Wednesday 29th October

Today I plan to clean up the ferns opposite the Oak Tree Seat. This is the only seat in the whole garden where rhododendrons are not visible in spring - something to think about. I have a trailerload of compost in place to spread onto the Hen House Gardens. I am also shifting the older park bench out from the Pond Paddock to Duck Lawn. It's a use-it or lose-it garden rule, and Duck Lawn needs something - anything! to encourage more visiting and lingering. And since it's basically only me (plus cats and the dog) who does the visiting and lingering...

Waterwheel Woes

Then I'll clean out the stream bed around the base of the waterwheel. Unfortunately it should go well, but it isn't going at all, thus causing much design puzzlement to its creator. Perhaps this is the time for a quiet, official RIP. And a memorial sign...

'Is there ever a gardening week when one gardens completely in The Moment?'
-Moosey Question to Ponder.

I've been thinking. I spent yesterday doing things that I should have been doing three weeks ago - like cuttings, and weeding. And three weeks ago I was probably catching up on the previous month's work. I wonder if ever there's a gardening week when one gardens completely in The Moment. Hmm...

Later, Lunchtime...

Unfortnuately it's been raining all morning. So I've been virtual gardening, spring-cleaning the Wattle Woods Garden Tour pages on the Moosey website. And, as one does when web spring-cleaning, one needs up-to-date images which show the real essence of the garden - as well as archive photographs when there was barely nothing to see, and the boring pictures in-between.

 Here the Wattle Woods path gets completely blocked.
Rusty in the Wattle Woods

So three of us went outside with the big black umbrella and the camera - Head Gardener, dog, and Fluff-Fluff the cat. Today in the rain the colour in the garden is amazing. Standing in one random place, and turning this way and that, there are flowering shrubs of every shade - roses scrambling high into trees, rhododendrons visible in distant borders, red maples, dogwoods in flower... So much for my garden being restrained, green, and spiky - I think that's its winter look.

 A little tree in the Glass-House Garden.
Maple in the Rain

Path Problem! Wattle Woods Path desperately Needs Help

The Wattle Woods path is a complete disgrace. Vegetation flops completely over near the top, but the real problems occur 'downpath'. There is absolutely no way to get through between two giant Hebes, and no alternative route possible. Finally I suspect that plants, not path, will have to be shifted out. So much growth!

 This section wasn't so bad...
Going Down the Wattle Woods Path

The dog and the cat posed for my camera in various places of Garden Tour interest, and I've returned to the house to draw a squiggly diagram of the Wattle Wood Path problem. Rusty the dog, still having a few delicate problems after scoffing the hens' wheat a couple of days ago, is squashed into a chair, sighing and 'humphing'. Dear dog!