This is serious...

This is serious. August is here - a new month, another winter month for me, though the days are getting longer. I MUST behave and be a good gardener. I have so much to do.

Saturday 1st August

I'm now letting the five-year-old inside speak. I promise to be really, really good - all the time, every day - I promise, cross my gardening heart...

 Rusty the dog shows his patient side.
Why Am I Waiting?

Some decent goals are needed for this weekend, the first in August. I need to get my gardening clothes on and make a cup of coffee. Here's my first August list...

  1. Replant the Gunnera by the new Car Bridge, finish cleaning up.
  2. Plant seven of the new roses behind the pond.
  3. Finish spreading compost.
  4. Plant Stumpy the cat's memorial Cornus alba.

I can do all these things. Then I have a choice - a quick trip to the river to get stones, or another load of compost. Or both? Or organise Non-Gardening Partner to chain-saw down some overhanging tree branches...

Jerome :
Jerome the grey tabby is now the oldest Moosey cat - I think she's eighteen!

Some feedback on the acquisition of the heated pet-bed for Jerome my old arthritic cat. She now snoozes in her pet-bed by the window all day and all night, turning herself over occasionally, and coming down for food and the kitty-litter tray. She purrs, and watches the comings and goings in the room, cosy and comfortable. It's brilliant.

Right. Action is required. I'll just check with Non-Gardening Partner about replanting the giant reed near Car Bridge.

Much, Much Later...

That's seven hours later - with half an hour for lunch (taken outside on the rustic bench in the sun). What a brilliant start to the month! Having mild temperatures and sunshine has helped. I decided to finish the Car Bridge clean-up, and that took ages. But I've trimmed Pittosporums, planted everything, and found stones for the edges. I spent more than two hours burning the raked-up rubbish.

 Near the artistic mural.
Cordyline By Car Bridge

Then I went off to my rose planting - all have been dispatched into the soil with much foot-stomping, and tomorrow I'll spread on their compost. I've kept Nancy Steen, yellow Charles Austin and Michelangelo for the Glass-house Garden - tomorrow they'll go in the space vacated by a large Carex trifida. And it will go over behind the pond with three of its friends. This grass is roughly ornamental, and has frightening seed-heads (I'm seeing hundreds of mini-monster grass seedlings).

 In the winter sunshine.
Variegated Cordyline

Lord and Lady Gardeners?

I read my Gardens of Wales library book at lunchtime and found it annoying. Every garden owner (except one) had a title - Lord Someone, Earl Someone-Else, and so on - and this lack of owner-variety was very off-putting. There were some groovy grottoes, though, and of course some lovely ponds, lakes, canals, and rills.

I'm OK - I've got the water race, and a pond, and at least my water features look great in winter. I got the feeling that all the Wales gardens had real (i.e. career) Head Gardeners, too.

Lady Moosey?

But here there's only me, the self-styled, legendary Lady Moosey, too old for a career in anything, too broke to employ a proper Head Gardener, and I absolutely love being the boss in my garden. Yippee. I've had a great day, ending with a cold beer and fish'n'chips, and now I'm almost asleep. Nice.

Sunday 2nd August

Brilliant! Day Two of August has been just as productive as day one. I've planted all my new roses - that means, by the rules of Moosey, that I can now zoom back to the nursery and buy some more. Hee hee. All the compost is spread, plus two trailer-loads of rotted horse manure that my friend swaps me for firewood. Honestly - swapping what you've got too much of is a brilliant concept. Hey, world - how about it? I'm now giggling, imagining a convoy of horse manure trucks driving in and their burly drivers asking 'OK lady - now where's all the firewood?'

The Glass-House Garden is much improved. I dug out the Carex trifida, about which I have grave doubts. I usually love variegated grasses, but this specimen looks really ugly in a mixed border. I may pull it apart and pot the pieces up - they can always be planted behind the pond in the semi-wilderness area (where the Rhus went today).

 You can see Histeria the tabby in the garden.
The Glass-House Garden in Winter

I also dug out several old clumps of Fountain grass (which I also call Mountain grass, and which I've also seen described as Wind Grass and Gossamer Grass) - Anemanthele is its correct name. There's now room in the middle of the garden for a tree? Something tall, maybe, with red leaves? Or a cornus that will flower in spring and colour in autumn? Ha - when in doubt, try a large red flax, to continue the garden's overwhelmingly spiky (in winter) theme...

Monday 3rd August

I'm off for a long cycle ride around the country block with my dog, who is groaning in anticipation. A popular cartoon would have my dog hearing the words 'blah blah blah Rusty - blah blah' - but I think there's much more to our communications. Rusty knows the word 'lunch' and the phrase 'breakfast for dogs'. Now if only dogs could talk back... Second thoughts - I'll settle for the groaning. I'm off.

Later, Mid-Day...

Am I going to do any gardening, after the weekend's marathon and my long, long cycle ride? How grubby do I feel like getting?

And Reporting Back, Semi-Triumphant...

Only two moochy hours later, and I haven't been feeling creative, so I've just raked up gum tree leaves from behind the pond and burnt them, along with (yet) more rose prunings. Minimus the kitten has followed me the whole time - her little legs have covered quite a distance.

 Quite colourful for mid-winter...
The Garden Is Looking Nice...

I had fun (oops - burnt a pair of secateurs). See - one doesn't have to be an amazing gardener doing amazing things all the time! My winter garden is actually looking nice. Nice? What a pale word that is - I'll try again. My winter garden is looking really, really groovy and nice!

Cat Accessories

Small pet question - would my downstairs cats like a spotty black and white leopard-skin scratching post with three peek-a-boo mouse heads? As a first-time purchaser of a heated pet-bed I have discovered the amazing world of cat-accessories - for example I didn't know one could purchase cat-tunnels. Hmm...