No more Hercule Poirot!

Right. Winter gardening discipline is needed. Writing well-meaning gardening lists and then sitting on the couch watching daytime TV, even if it's Hercule Poirot - this will simply not do.

 Squashed into a new pot on the patio table.
Sunny Winter Succulent

Thursday 25th June

Hopeless. All I did outside yesterday was to go orchard-walking with my dog and four of my cats. The two ginger gentlemen (Percy and Fluff-Fluff) charged around sideways while Histeria the tabby sprinted up ahead. Minimus the kitten was our small grey follower.

Listen To The Dog!

'A couched gardener is a boring gardener.'
-Wisdom from the Moosey Dog.

Meanwhile Rusty the dog criss-crossed the Hazelnut rows - plover birds shrieked and flew for their lives, cats ducked for cover. A couched gardener is a boring gardener, in Rusty's dog-mind. And he is absolutely right. I should listen to him much more.

Sometimes I don't understand myself. I love being outdoors! I'm really happy working in the winter garden. I go hiking in winter. I'm not a couch-dreamer. But yesterday I even managed five minutes of The Young and the Restless... Aargh! How long would it have taken me to sweep the pebble path around the house? Five minutes...

Cold Water Race

Today I'm going swimming. Then I'll plant all my new Phormiums (and two new red Cordylines, to complete a spiky trio by Middle Path). My TV couch is out of bounds.

Much, Much Later...

I have redeemed myself. Good work, Moosey the Magnificent. Swimming, cycling with the dog, plus four hours of serious gardening. The Septic Tank Garden has been rejuvenated (without spending any money), and I look forward to all its new colours and textures.

 She has a sprinkling of flowers.
Sunny Rose - Phyllis Bide

As for the details, I've shifted ailing roses (names unknown) and replanted them in the front of the Septic Tank Garden, where they'll enjoy fresh air and sunshine. I've planted a wine-red Pittosporum and a dark red Phormium in the rose gaps at the back of the border. I've mulched and dug out old Fountain grasses which were taking up far too much room. More Stachys plants are now planted along the stone edge, and I've further divided the raspberry daylily.

Sizzling Logs, Snoozing Cats...

And now it's dark, I'm almost as clean as the kitty-litter tray, and I'm going to read more of my Gardens of Ireland book. The last of the old Shrubbery path edges (logs) are sizzling merrily in the log-burner. Minimus the hot kitten is half-sitting on the hearth, fascinated by the flames. I am surrounded by contented, snoozing cats. I am extremely proud of today's achievements. Today I bounced back!

 Sorry about the flash in her eyes!
Minimus by the Log-Burner

Saturday 27th June

All hail my happily aching joints! I've just spent ages (nearly five hours) working in the vegetable garden. That seems an awfully long time for the results, but never mind. Let me now list the improvements.

1. The edges are straight, ready for path construction.
Dig, dig...
2. The soil is a cubic meter of compost richer.
Shovel, shovel...
3. The little brick paths have been totally moved.
Bend, carry and place, bend, carry and place...
4. The whole of the garden is weeded and mulched.
Rake, rake...

Phew! There's a second trailer-load of compost waiting to be carted around and spread all over the house gardens. However I've run out of oomph - and daylight. And I've almost run out of June. This mid-winter month has galloped by at a cracking rate. Home from my USA holiday for nearly a whole month - goodness me! I must check my 'good-to-be-back-home' resolutions and see how many of them I've kept.