Wet winter weather...

Wet winter weather - you can go away now. I'm getting sick of being rained on in the garden, though I'm sure my roses appreciate having some damp time-off. Where would I rather be? Possibly nowhere else, but I'd like to be drier...

 I'm planting more Phormiums along the grass edge.
The Mural in Winter

Sunday 12th July

This morning after some leisurely couch-cycling through the Pyrenees (that is, watching le Tour de France on TV) I gardened resolutely for two hours, surviving several cold rain showers. But the weather kept on huffing and puffing - too much discomfort, so I've retired inside to the log-burner and dry clothes. Brr...

 In a sea of green violets...
Red Phormium

I've been spreading compost in the Island Bed and shifting plants around. I've planted the two new flowering Gooseberries, and moved a pretty Gruss und Aachen rose around to the sunny side of the border. I've trimmed the flaxes and pulled out lots of wet weeds.

So Sorry, Queen Elizabeth...

But I have sad news regarding my two Queen Elizabeth roses. They have both abdicated, and were last seen being wheeled away towards the burning heap. I suspect they were cutting grown, and their own root systems were just not robust enough.

Sorry about that, girls. Maybe Non-Gardening Partner would like a wee drive to the rose nursery to look for some regal replacements...

Aargh! More Rain!

I've just tried to take advantage of a splash of sunshine to take some winter photographs. It's important not to 'cheat' too much in a four-seasons journal. Shining summer colours all the year round? I don't think so. Histeria the tabby cat came with me, and her tail features in a lot of my arty close-ups. But again the rain came down. Today's garden work is therefore finished.

 Hmm... Reality photography...
Winter Gunnera Leaf

Monday 13th July

Non-Gardening Partner is away for a couple of days, so I am in charge. Eek! An extremely stuttering start to the week - zoomed off early in car to go for a swim, but there was too much ice on the roads for my peace of mind. Came back immediately to find the largest orange bulldozer-digger sitting on the road-side. Seriously doubt if it will fit through my front gates - and it needs to, since it comes with the men that are rebuilding Car Bridge. As a non-Amazonian lady-gardener I do not take gates off hinges.

 Fluff-Fluff and Rusty going for a walk.
Cat and Dog Friends

Decided to make the most of my early start (and get warm) by shovelling compost. Hmm... Compost was frozen solid. Then Rusty the dog disappeared suspiciously on me. He is now a dog in total disgrace, having found (ahem) the poultry burial place - gross dog! So I banished him to his kennel, humphed back inside, and cleaned the green grime (eek!) off the upstairs windows - as one does, when totally thwarted. Right. I will play some Albeniz on the piano until the 'men' arrive.

Much Later...

Hee hee. It's been much too cold to garden. But I've been off to the rose nursery and have returned with the following:

My New Roses

Two Baroness Rothschilds.
There were no Queen Elizabeths, and the Baroness sounded sort of regal.
One Walter Raleigh.
He can provide the Baroness with amusing company.
One Pink Peace.
I have no idea why. I just thought I'd like it.
One Blackberry Nip.
I've got a standard of this rose and I do like it very much.

And I have a standard called Valentine Heart which promises me sweet pink flowers and dark foliage. So all my roses are pretty and pink - and they are all going into the Island Bed.

 Only just fitting up the driveway.
Big Orange Bulldozer

Meanwhile, over by Car Bridge, the large orange dozer-digger puttered carefully back and forth carrying huge concrete culverts. Snap, crackle, and pop went a few overhanging tree branches, but nothing in the garden was destroyed at all. The old railway sleepers are in a pile beside the driveway, and I'm thinking of using them as a retaining wall in the Welcome Garden.

Sock Buying Expedition

Hee hee. Tomorrow my Scotland Long Distance walking friend and I are meeting in town to pour over maps and buy some top quality hiking socks. Preparing for the West Highland Way is a serious business. Today I bought the sweetest little travel pack of hair shampoo and conditioner. Essentials, essentials...

Tuesday 14th July

Lady gardeners are allowed to change their minds. My hiking friend and I are now thinking - just thinking - that St Cuthbert's Way (through the Scottish-English border country) might suit our sprightly (if ancient) legs and knees. It would only be 5 or 6 days.

My Old Boots :
Here the Moosey legs are pictured in the current pair of hiking boots. I tell my friends these boots are 'self-cleaning', hee hee...

Anyway, I bought two pairs of amazingly specific socks, a down vest, and two merino top layers, in a prestissimo shopping session (everything is the colour blue). Then I walked through the Botanic Gardens, thinking about the possibility of new boots.

I'm still trying to work out maximum comfortable walking day distances. New Zealand hikers are so egotistical, thinking that their terrain is super-challenging and uber-rugged. I think that 20 kilometers for me is a 'big-but-OK' sensible day.

No Gardening...

But absolutely no gardening has been done. I did watch the Botanic Gardens workers raking up leaves (mainly oak) and shovelling the piles into the backs of trucks. Nothing much else to do, I figure. And now I'm home and it's getting dark. This morning's three degree frost is still hanging around on the back lawn. Brr - it's cold outside.