I love, love, love being home...

What was I doing this time last year? Eek! Exactly this time last year there was snow. I was extremely cheerful, though - as I am now! I love, love, love being home.

Monday 8th June

Winter gardening is all about conquering that winter state of mind, dressing warm and rough, gathering up some cats (for company) and simply going outside. Today I'm going to start a long weeding and mulching sweep of the gardens over the water race. If it's too cold I'll clear some burnable rubbish from the fence-line and dance around the bonfire.

 Fluff-Fluff helping in the Willow Tree Garden.
Winter Gardening for Cats

I've noticed some late roses still flowering - dear John Clare (a translucent pink David Austin) always delights in June, and deep pink Saint Exupery (that oddly unknown rose I bought from the supermarket) is blooming brilliantly. The hybrid flaxes are glowing with colour - subtle, but charming in the winter gloom. And hurray for (a few of) the conifers which do look wonderfully warm and golden.

'Don't just write about good ideas - do them!'
-Moosey Advice to Garden Bloggers.

Amidst the semi-drab, my rough tough yellow Paris daisies (sheltered underneath the Frisbee archway's conifer) are flowering. Knowing this, I should propagate some of these plants so I can have more bright yellows in winter. Good idea, so don't just write about it - do it!


I am back from swimming, almost ready to tackle a couple of hours of mid-day winter gardening. It's strange without any hens to look after. I miss those silly chook birds - I'm feeding their grain to the local sparrows, starlings and blackbirds. Memo to gardening self - take OFF the beige trousers. Take them OFF at once. Serious gardeners do not wear beige.

 That's The Plank in the foreground.
Water Race and Winter Phormiums

Tuesday 9th June

Ha! Oh yes they do, according to my new magazine Fine Gardening, if they are a north-eastern USA gardener - then the deer ticks which cause Lyme disease can be spotted and brushed from the clothing. Fine Gardening arrived shortly after I came home from holiday, my head crammed full of new gardening resolutions. Prophetically, on the magazine's cover is the main article title: '100 skills to make you a better gardener'. Aargh! It's written for meeeeeeee! How spooky... The editor must read the Moosey blog. Yeah, right...

Room For Garden Rooms...

So far I've peeped at the first twenty five. Oh my - I am seriously low class, in the garden improvement business. Room for improvement? Make that thousands of rooms. Garden rooms? Aargh! But first I am cycling around to visit my friend for early morning coffee. Then with grit and determination I might do some sensible, serious mulching (that's number twenty-five on the list).

Yesterday I tidied up the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden. Many areas are covered with little forget-me-not seedlings and other ground covers, so I cannot mulch these. However I must prune and move some misplaced roses (like Othello, still blooming) across the small lawn to its sunnier side. Space is thus created for a new flax (in the middle, under the Oak tree) and some little shrubs - much easier to take care of.

Blue Seats in a Winter Garden

That means (sorry for excess detail) that a gardener resting on the blue garden seats will have blooming roses immediately at her back, as well as in front, through which she can dreamily gaze, while listening to the quiet babbling of the water. Well - in spring and summer, anyway.

After Lunch...

Aargh! I can think of at least six nice housebound things I could do this cold gloomy afternoon. Like play a Beethoven sonata I've only just 'discovered' (I've honestly never ever heard it before - amazing). Or I could do some more of my 2000 piece jigsaw... But I am a four seasons gardener, with a bored dog and roses to shift. Back soon.

Wednesday 10th June

Ha! Today I'm going walking on the peninsula, then Minimus the kitten goes to the vet (something wrong with her eyes) and I go to choir practice. So it's a completely busy non-gardening day for me and a completely boring non-gardening day for my dog.

Rusty the Dog :
Of course gardening isn't boring for dogs!

Rusty the gardening dog has lots to keep him occupied - he is my airspace vigilante, chasing off all pigeons, planes and bumble bees. And he faithfully accompanies the plodding wheelbarrow (that's me) far and wide (well, over about ten acres, when one counts in the walk down the back to check the sheep).

Thursday 11th June

Minimus the kitten has a virus which causes her inner eyelids to do strange things. Apparently this is a cat thing, and it is no bother. Phew! And here was me thinking she was either going blind, or had some nasty allergy to barley straw (Minimus has been 'helping' me mulch the vegetable garden).

 As seen through a berberis shrub.
The Frisbee Lawn

This morning it's quite warm for winter. I'm going to ignore my creaking knees and continue in the water race gardens. I wish I had some daffodil bulbs to plant - along the stone wall at the water's edge are many places where pockets of spring colour would look so appealing... Blast! Is it too late?


The filler shrubs (Pittosporums and Viburnums) in the Dog-Path Garden have been expertly trimmed, in eager anticipation of trusses of brilliant rhododendron blooms. But I am rather getting ahead of myself...