Raking and mulching...

The wind's been blowing heaps more autumn leaves off the trees. I have two major gardening tasks before I leave for my tiny holiday tomorrow - raking and mulching. Aargh!

Confession time - I feel a bit lazy, and mulching and raking do not instantly appeal. And I am usually such a responsible late-autumn gardener! More confessions - yesterday afternoon (shock, horror) I sat down for a couple of sunny hours and - aargh! I can hardly bring myself to write this - I watched afternoon TV. Ouch! At least it was a British programme (Midsomer Murders) with lovely thatched cottages, manor houses, and pretty perennial summer gardens.

 Rusty dog - I will miss you, too.
Going to the Kennels

Holiday Cat Preparations

Jerome the old grey cat and Minimus the kitten are already safe and sound in their cattery. And, with the ridiculousness of kitten-love, I cried a bit on the drive home! Oh dear. Save me from becoming a sentimental old woman... Last night the house was noticeably emptier. And Rusty goes to his country dog kennels tomorrow.

Catmint Toys for Tiger

Anyway, I bought back a couple of catmint mouse toys for Tiger the cat, thinking that she might enjoy some kittenish playing - to fill the gap vacated by Minimus. Not a chance - a languid paw swipe, a few lame back-leg kicks, then Tiger wobbled back into the kitchen to try and pull the pantry door open.

The girl who is feeding my hens is arriving soon for her instructions. Do I tell her about my rooster who hides in the hen house all day? And the thinnest of my black hens who squashes through the fence into my gardens, and then being a bird-brain is unable to get back to the flock? I will issue a general warning - odd bird behaviour can be expected at all times.

Later, Mid-Afternoon...

I've been working sooooo hard, tipping more stones into the water race and building up yet more of its edges. I've now reached the Gunnera just downstream of Middle Bridge, where I've found my dozy garden gnome, still lurking by the Gunnera flower-heads.

 You'll see the stones underwater...
Stone Edge

Earlier I raked up the prunus leaves and put them straight onto the new Driveway Garden. This I like. This makes sense. And it works because the garden in question is shrubby, and the planting scale is large and non-fussy. No little self-sown pansy seedlings are nurtured in here!

 Bantry Bay flopping over a pot of Bergenias.
Late Rose and Bergenias

Now I'm tingling and toasty warm (that water was pretty chilly), apres gardening in a new rugged forest green tartan shirt and hiking pants. I've written a minimal packing list (camera, battery charger, notebook, pen, books, glasses), found two white floaty shirts to start the clothes-packing pile, found my passport (handy), and printed out my gardens-to-visit research.

Random Research

This is rather random, and relies on some geographical luck - that Chanticleer isn't too far away from Rockville, Maryland, for example. There's a spring blossom day late in May in Washington DC - this seems really, really late, blossom-wise, and I realise that our two climates are not exactly six-months symmetric.

Am I allowed to mention that I miss Minimus the gardening kitten? She always comes to watch when I'm laying stones in the water.

Sunday 17th May

It's a balmy nineteen degrees outside, with a blustery norwest wind. Raking up leaves will be - interesting. I've written another small packing list - this one has more sensible things on it like 'hairbrush and flight stockings'. The trouble with flying out at the end of the day - it's hard to do normal things earlier on, like getting wet and grubby in the garden. But I am determined! Ha!

 One of my red flaxes on the edge of the water race.
Phormium by the Water

This morning I've watched Tiger spend a quarter of an hour trying to open the pantry door. That cat has no life!


Right. Time to say goodbyeeeee to the Moosey Garden, and the cats, and Rusty the dog. I will miss you all! Be good, have fun, don't get too frosty, don't eat too much, and I'll see you all in two weeks time!