Lost and found...

It's been a bit of a lost and found day in the garden. My old spade has turned up - after lying in the mulch for months. To balance this I've totally forgotten where I planted a large tray of super special cyclamen - they should soon be flowering...

 A very relaxed cat-pose.
Histeria Cat in the Gum Tree

Sunday 26th July

Blast - NGP has escaped to rural fire practice. Phew - apres-skiing yesterday his snack of choice was yet another piece of his birthday chocolate mud cake. Yesterday I almost threw it zealously into the rubbish. So this morning - what should I do first, as a solo weekend gardener? The compost is frozen in the trailer, the sun is pale and pathetic, and the dog is lying on the kitchen floor groaning. Don't worry - he just wants to clean up cat food bowls.

 Slightly colourful...
Winter Bergenia Leaves

Colourless Garden

Perhaps a brisk walk around the colourless garden... There's little but green, really - just a few splashes of other colours. My little blue crocuses in the patio garden are flowering - 'little' is the word, as I've smothered them in compost. Bravely they struggle through, like the little lemon primrose patch.

Some of my gardening friends have snowdrops flowering already. I don't. Many of my spring bulbs are still at that scary easily-stepped-on stage. I didn't plant any fresh ones for this coming season. Oh well...

Five Gardening Hours Later...

Ha! Well done, Moosey the Magnificent! Excellent work doing lots of little things - like weeding in the Shrubbery and replanting clumps of Fountain grass, planting a Rosa pimpinellifolia, spreading compost down the driveway, and trimming and clearing along the Wattle Woods path.

Great news of a personal nature - I found my favourite old spade lurking underneath one of the gum trees in a pile of mulch. Bad news for a white ground cover rose - too spindly, 95% dead wood - gone.

'Good gardeners should write small gardening details down.'
-Moosey Words of Wisdom.

I finally found the cyclamen - quite by accident. Again, some vigorous compost throwing had partially obscured them. Such beautiful leaves - they were underneath the weeping Silver Birch. I am reminded that good gardeners should write small gardening details down - somewhere, anywhere.

 Tiger showing her shapely body.
This Cat is Too Fat

Brilliant Cat Company

The cats have provided brilliant company all day - even fat Tiger the tortoiseshell has been out and about. Histeria the tabby has been showing off her acrobatic climbing style in the gum tree by the Shrubbery. I had to get my camera - but trying to capture her clinging and swinging is another matter!

Lucky Kitten - Lucky Me!

Then I had the longest apres-gardening shower ever, with Minimus the kitten curled up on the bathmat keeping me company. I'm so enjoying having a kitten to look after, even if I thought I'd put the 'full cat-house' sign up.

I'm very lucky to have found (with the help of my dog's superb nose) Minimus the kitten. And she is very lucky to have found me. We are agreed, and we smooch noses, Maori style.

Monday 27th July

I'm back from swimming and the library with heaps of new books. I've been sitting with my coffee on one of the rustic benches in the Shrubbery, reading. But it's hardly sunny, and it's too cold. So I have given up thoughts of gardening, even before I've started! I suspect that this morning's frost was one of July's heaviest. But guess what? I've just realised that July is almost over. Soon, soon - spring will start. Yippee!

Tuesday 28th July

+10Tiger the fat cat is banished outside for unsociable behaviour - she's sitting outside the glass door staring in and squeaking at me. Tiger spends all her indoor time eating, sleeping, or hiding underneath tables and chairs waiting for Minimus the kitten to saunter innocently by. What makes a well-fed (well, overweight, actually) and much-loved cat behave like a sneaky bully? Tiger - your place in the Moosey heart and house is not threatened. There is still as much room for you as ever.

Winter Colour Report

A colour report - the small pale blue periwinkle by the Shrubbery path is flowering. Wow! Pale blue! Small! Flowering!

 Hmm... not sure...
Should This Be Flowering in Winter?

Sorry about the tone of that paragraph. It's just that these winter weeks seem to be never-ending, and I'm not allowed to grump and complain directly, so I have to be sneaky. Anyway, today I have some possible garden tasks - a tree (a rhus, which I know will sucker but will provide me with splendid autumn colour) to plant in the back of the Shrubbery, plus new rugosas to purchase. I also want to buy old Jerome the Grey a cat electric blanket. Then I have more roses to prune. And the patch of Heuchera in the small Sleepout garden need pulling up, dividing, and replanting.

Off Garden Visiting in Wales...

Then if I'm even half-good (?) I'm allowed to read my new library book on Gardens of Wales. The internet allows us such fabulous off-season garden visiting, but there's still magic in opening up a book.


Jerome has been happily snoozing in her heated pet bed all afternoon - I've put it on the wide window ledge where she can see any other cat-comings and goings. Dear old limpy, arthritic Jerome - this will make her winter days much more comfortable.

Ten New Roses Purchased Today

The observant reader will at once realise that only 40% of my purchases are rugosas. The colour conscious will spot the trend immediately - red, golden yellow, and creamy white. I'm going to follow all the label instructions - for example, Nevada is said to be OK in 'poorer soils', so that's what it's going to get!

Rose Thorn :
Aargh! For some nice pictures of roses, have a peep at my proper rose pages.

As for real gardening - I've been rose pruning for a couple of hours in the gardens over the water race. My hands are dreadfully scratched (lightweight gloves). It's actually been not too cold today, but alas - no sun!

Now it's time to take my dog for his walk. We have to sneak out down the drive, otherwise three cats and a kitten decide they're coming too - not a good idea!

Friday 31st (The Very Last Day Of) July

I've made it through another winter month! Not too much grumping, not too much sulking inside on the TV couch... There have been lots of gardening days. Hmm... I haven't spent too much money either. I've been remembering to take lots of photographs. And my old cat Jerome loves her heated pet bed.

 A view from the track.
Gorse and Mountains

I've spent the last two days hiking. Naturally I'm incredibly proud of my feet, boots, new socks, knees and legs... Yippee. Life is pretty amazing with such grand scenery so close.