A serious frost...

 Just starting to flower.
Colour! Yellow Primroses

It's 9:30am, a serious frost outside, temperature still sitting at a shivery -1 (degrees Celsius), and summer holiday nostalgia has set in. I even find myself flicking to the Golf Channel on TV just to peep at the leafy green deciduous summer forests of USA. That's soooooooo sad!

Sunday 28th June

Do you know - I'm really cross with myself for spending my second holiday week in a semi-homesick mini-sulk. I need more practice at zooming off around the world - visiting the Gardens of Ireland, walking the West Highland Way... And opening my mind to the chaos of Bangkok where lovely Daughter of Moosey works, and taking an air-conditioned sleeper train ride up to somewhere amazing. So I sit in my warmish house waiting for my second compost load to unfreeze...

Today I want to finish the winter trim-and-weed of the house gardens, and then shovel compost on everywhere. I'm also going to sort out my river stones and lay out the foundation for my stone wall.

 Rusty the dog, and his kennel plants.
Winter House - Back View

I've found a curved wall to 'visit', where I will take stone measurements and look at how much mortar has been used. Non-Gardening Partner is desperately keeping an unnaturally low profile, for an engineer with a constructor's mind. 'Is it easy to use mortar? I ask. 'Look up Google' he answers minimally.

Incorporating Dimension and Architecture into Landscaping...

Well, I jolly well have! Ha! Building a stone wall in my garden is 'an easy way to incorporate dimension and architecture into the landscaping'. Groovy! That sounds like something I should do more often. And how interesting are the descriptions of the consistency of mortar. I can choose between oatmeal, brownie mix, cake mix, and a 'mortar ball' (like a snowball) which retains its shape. Though I do wonder how many of the writers (who are male) actually bake cakes or batches of brownies...

 As classy as the winter gardener...
Rose Class Act

A Class Act in the Winter Garden

It's absolutely ages later, darkness has descended, and I've just come inside from the garden. I am so proud of myself - today I am a class act! I have been so busy all day - my work started in just three degrees Celsius, trimming and clearing in the house gardens and raking up all the driveway leaves.

Details - I've found some small lemony Knifophias and a rose to shift (called, oddly, 'Lifestyle'). They need a more nurturing spot. I've trimmed the Salvia uliginosa, the Teucrium, the Asters and the Japanese Anemones. All the mess went on the bonfire.

I spent the final hour in gathering gloom trimming dead Phormium and Gunnera leaves to add to the burn-up. Middle Garden's waterside path is clear once again, and my garden gnome is still happily lurking by a giant Gunnera crown - scruffy but stable. And still he has that inane, vacant grin on his dopy face. Hmm...

I finished the day bucketing loads of compost onto the patio gardens. Yippee - one of my gardening books said I should be feeding my Rhododendrons and Azaleas every two weeks. Compost is food? Every two weeks?

Plans for Adirondack Garden Seats...

And one small piece of progress regarding NGP - not on the stone wall build, but the Adirondack chairs he's going to build for me. He's got some woodworking plans. A small step towards building these beautiful seats, but a necessary one.

 Chanticleer has many seats for visitors.
Adirondack Garden Seats

Monday 29th June

Blast this dreary weather - five degrees is too cold to get excited about gardening. And no sun! I'm going to do a half an hour of compost bucketing and see if I get warm.

 Grown from seed in my very own glass-house.
Dark Blue Petunias


After a pretty half-hearted spreading session I've retired inside. Two nice things (no - I'm sure there are at least two hundred and two)... The Omphalodes which I grew as an annual last summer has produced a mass clump of healthy seedlings growing in situ, as it were. And I've collected petunia seeds from my rich, deep velvet blue flowers. Confessions of a winter gardener - I've just watched another Hercule Poirot drama on afternoon TV. Parfait! Hee hee...

Tuesday 30th June

Yippee, for the purely artificial reason that it's the last day of June and the days are getting longer by the minute - or micro-minute? This morning I've been sorting out my piano music (gluing loose pages into scrapbooks, getting all the Bach into one folder, and so on). How will I ever play all the piano music Albeniz ever wrote? I will need fifty ink cartridges just to print it out. And why did he need to write so much, just for ten pianist's fingers? He had all that to say? He was paid by the bar?

Stop - this is supposed to be a gardening (and pets) journal. Good news - the kitchen bench is strewn with Adirondack chair plans.

Percy :
Percy has his own page in the cats and dogs section.

Percy the ginger cat is smooching on my lap, purring his quiet purr. I'm already dressed in winter gardening chic (tartan shirt) - first I'm off to the local library. Then some compost spreading - as long as the temperature can be bothered to rise above five degrees.


I planted a dark flax (called Dark Delight - cute) underneath the weeping birch by the Driveway. And I spread lots more compost. But honestly - it was too cold to be enjoyable. And my new library books and magazines (a rosy edition of The English Garden) were rather inviting... Thus the gardening month of June has ground to a limping halt. Oops.