The life of a compulsive recorder...

The life of a compulsive recorder of gardening trivia needs to be varied from time to time. Some gardening days (like today, for example) I will go outdoors early, without pre-writing (or pre-thinking) anything. A radical departure for an obsessive chronicler...

Tuesday 4th August

And so I've spent four brilliant hours of aimless but deeply satisfying pottering-gardening. The area behind the Glass-House is now cleared, I've planted some reject clumps of daylilies and dahlias, and divided up Heuchera. And as for weeding - well, what haven't I weeded! I've been kneeling and scraping away offending greenery - heaps of annoying tiny weeds are now compost-history. My cats have rather enjoyed themselves.

 The grey woodshed kitten.
Minimus is Growing Up!

Being a thoughtful gardener, one who plans for the future, I've trimmed and potted up the pieces of the Carex trifida I dug out. We'll see if my butchering has worked. This is one weird grass - I don't totally trust it, but I can use it. Hmm...

Hurray for My Hellebores!

Hurray for my Hellebores! Just along from the Glass-house is my main patch, and pinks and whites are now flowering. They are a beautiful sight - even if one has to lunge down low to fully appreciate them.

 Very subtle shades of pinky-red.
Hellebores Flowering

And now my reward for exceptionally good behaviour is to write about my gardening day... Perhaps I'm becoming addicted to garden-blogging. Well, I've been doing 'it' since 1999, and (confessions) I do re-read my journal entries from previous years. I'm often embarrassed - sometimes I sound so gloomy, or dizzy, or simply silly. And sometimes boring, I can hear you whisper... Ouch!

 Smoocher sadly died of a cat-cancer when only eight months old.
Smoocher the Kitten

But then a gardening friend will get in touch and agree with some profound nonsense I've written - or merely remark on how beautiful my white cat B-Puss (dearly departed, super-special) is. Or they'll just be checking up to see if I'm OK - often after a grumping session - taking time to care and get in touch. I love these folk!

Web-Site Image News

My ginger cat Smoocher (who lived a short, shining life) is having his kitten image used on a clock-face! Wow - that's really unusual. And the Moosey merino ewes have their picture on a felting web-site. Merino wool is such super wool - thanks, girls.

Wednesday 5th August

I am not going hiking today. I have stayed home deliberately to spend quality time with my dog in the garden. The weather is balmy and beautiful. My house lawns look very green (handy, if you're a lawn). I'm not going to make a list - I don't need lists.

But... maybe just a quick mental zoom around, thinking about where I want to be. Yes - I'm going to weed and clear in the Wattle Woods, where I just might find room for some new rugosa roses. Hee hee - I think I see where this is heading... There's always room for more. Aargh!

 Pretty pink!
First Camellia

Late Lunchtime...

Oh boy! Sorry! I have far too much to write down. Prepare to be riveted (?)... What have I done this morning? Ha! I've sawn down an apple tree. Honestly - well, down to mid-calf height. It was a Granny Smith, one of the original tree plantings, now completely shaded out by the big overhead Wattles. Hence not much blossom, not much apple...

Camellia in Flower

But there's more. I then shifted the wiggling glass-house path up a bit, towards the arc of Camellias, underneath which it now makes a perfect parallel curve (if there is such a thing). Then - joy! Rapture! And assorted exclamations of tremendous excitement, with a row of annoying exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!!!

For one of the Camellias, a palish pink shrub, is flowering. Of course it is now clearly visible, thanks to the demise of Granny Smith.

Saw Test

Non-Gardening Partner gets twitchy about me sawing down trees, so I used a simple test. I'd lost my bow saw a few days ago. The idea was that Rusty the dog and I would wander around the garden a bit, and I'd casually look for my saw. If I found it, then the fate of the apple tree was decided. And I did - in the grass by the new car bridge. Phew!

I had lunch on the Wattle Woods bench while my cats scampered and chirped around me and my dog waited for crusts. I am a super-productive gardener, proud and busy, and I think that my newly organised garden behind the glass-house looks amazingly beautiful.

 Spot the path in the greenery!
Glass-House Path

New Improved Path

The new path route looks much better - what an improvement. Semi-precious plants (a dahlia, a French Lace rose) have just been replanted close by, and the clump of black Mondo grass has just stayed. I've dug out some of its new plantlings and popped them in to follow the new stone edge curve.

I've also spread a barrowful of rotted horse manure around to give two cutting grown Dublin Bays a pre-spring treat. Alas, an old white Iceberg wasn't so lucky... Goodbye, thanks for everything...

On the walk back to the house I found another Camellia, baby pink, in flower too. Goodness - gardeners need to stay alert at all times. Little surprises can have huge impacts on a gardener's general happiness. Yes.

Thursday 6th August

I've had a small day doing small unmentionable things (like going swimming and vacuuming the house). Garden-wise I've pruned the hydrangeas, burnt my rubbish heap, and finished edging the new path behind the glass-house with stones. There are yet more flowers on two of my pink Camellias. Variety unknown for both, but they are really beautiful. Who's lucky? I'm lucky.

Fluff-Fluff, gardening cat of the day, agrees. All my cats have re-mustered in the kitchen now that the scary, noisy vacuum monster has gone, and Percy has gone all floppy and gooey - you're a furry big girl's blouse, Percy! Now Rusty the dog is groaning at me (he can smell the roast lamb cooking). Dog-manners - groan when empty, burp when full. Hmm...

 Surrounded by greenery.
Rusty the Dog Relaxing

I have a new gardening book from the library called Gardens of Scandinavia. It must be so difficult - maybe impossible - to present a well-rounded, derivative selection of gardens in one book. I have no experience of Scandinavia's weather and no idea what to expect.

Friday 7th August

Oops. I stayed in bed asleep until the morning sun hit my nose, so to speak. Nine o'clock! I'm off swimming. My favourite sleeping position is a frozen freestyle, so I hope I don't get confused in the water.

A Groovy Gnome? :
I don't mean anything quite as down-to-earth as the Moosey garden gnome...

And a quick report on the Scandinavian Gardens - they look amazing! From the photographs, every garden chosen would provide a lovely outdoors home for a group of groovy gnomes, or even a benign troll or two.

There are photographs of winter snow and moss, too - and beautiful deckings, summer-houses and sheds in the forest. If this is the real Scandinavia, garden-wise, then I'd love to visit...

Much Later, Dusk...

I stayed outside until the sun went down, pottering in the gardens over the water race - pruning, raking, and generally poking around. There's not been a great deal of substance to my gardening, but not to worry. Rusty the dog has been doing his usual. He sees and hears an aeroplane way up high - a jet on its way to Australia perhaps - barks like the billyo and chases it off to the neighbour's. Success! At ground level gardening cat Fluff-Fluff and Minimus the kitten have been 'helping' with the weeding, hiding and pouncing on my hands.

Cats are playing a great part in the Moosey nights, too. Jerome the senior grey cat wakes up about 3am. 'Ha! There's my mother - I'm going to purr in her face.' This wakes Lilli-Puss, the junior grey. 'Ha! I'm going to purr louder and closer.' Mother Moosey wakes up with whiskers tickling her nose, a stubbly old chin (Jerome's) pressing down on her ear, and the loud, stereo rumble of cat-purring. Aargh! Grey cats! Go away!