No fuss, no tantrums...

I love the springiness of August. The Camellias just get on with flowering, no fuss, no tantrums. As well as the first baby pink, a hot pink is now blooming, as is one of the messy reds. And my new path curves so naturally past them all. So clever - what a great garden designer!

 The second of the Camellias to flower.
Hot Pink Camellia

There are tiny colourful delights underfoot (well, hopefully not directly underfoot) - some stripy blue crocuses here, a patch of early daffodils there, the first pink Bergenia flower by the path in the Wattle Woods. It's too easy to overlook my two patches of Hellebores with their quaint old-fashioned beauty, drooping in the colours of ancient bridesmaids' dresses.

 Little miniature daffodils.
Spring in Miniature!

Friday 21st August

The Viburnum Tinus shrubs are fully flowering, and tree-wise the big Wattles are covered in chrome yellow. The early pale pink Prunus blossom is lasting well - nice that I can now see it and the pink Azalea from the house.

Now remind me again - who was that clever, far-sighted gardener who cleaned out the middle of the Island Bed and organised the removal of a silly old apple tree? Even when Non-Gardening Partner protested and tried to slither out of helping? Meeeeeeeee!

Spring Promises

Everywhere I look I can see lots of spring promises. Even the clumpy green forget-me-nots are bigger. And I've made my own gardener promises, too. I said I'd be a better gardener this month - and I reckon I have been!

Take today, for example. I came home from swimming and immediately felt like doing something flamboyant, flashy, and big - in the gardening sense, that is. But then common sense kicked (horribly) in. The weather has been fine for the last three days - long enough to dry out my burning heap. So I spent three hours collecting and burning rubbish. Piles of old pine tree branches, gum tree leaves, and rose prunings went up in smoke. Exhausting, uninspiring, but necessary. What a gardener!

Spring Garden Bonfire

Now I am inside, about to watch the cricket on TV. I also have a weekend to plan for. Hmm... Wonder if Non-Gardening Partner will escape to go skiing tomorrow? And good news - I have a lovely Non-Gardening Son back in residence - he is brilliant at driving the trailer around for me, fetching loads of compost, helping with the burning rubbish.

Saturday 22nd August

Humph. No comment. I am all excited, with huge clean-up plans, and the trailer is unavailable this morning. This is so unfair. So I'm going to use my wheelbarrow. And push it back and forth, back and forth, from the Hump to the burning heap. I am seriously sulking. In fact, I may not even speak to NGP today. Negotiate? Compromise? Hmm...

 I think this is some type of mint bush - possibly Australian.
Spring Flowering Shrub

Much Later...

I sulked all morning, throughout five wheelbarrow loads and the burning thereof, while NGP cleaned out the garage, he of course using the trailer. Then I made him lunch as a peace offering and got him to take me down to the river for stones. My plan is to replace some wooden railway sleepers on one side of the Welcome Garden with a little stone wall - yet another stone wall.

 Flowering by the house.
Spring Daffodil

A New Garden Area!

This area I'm cleaning out is experiencing my gardening hands for the very first time. There's a lot of ancient wood - bits of broken trees - and a general covering of rough clumps of grass and gum leaves. I'm trying to leave the pine needles and the bark pieces in place as mulch. I've asked for help in shifting the railway sleepers tomorrow morning. They, along with the rejects from Car Bridge, are going around my vegetable garden, which will then be 'raised' in a hurry with loads of horse manure and compost. I'm recycling in my own garden.

Sunday 23rd August - In a Much Better Mood!

So sorry for being Madame Moody yesterday. Interesting - Son-In-Law has sent a link to a cat ranch in the USA where 500 lucky rescued cats live. There's also an article about the feral cat problem, from which I wish to quote*, in outrage. And I said I was in a better mood!

'Any organization that relies on one person is doomed to fail. If the key person or their key funder disappears, it collapses.'

I need to take several deep breaths when I read this. So all those one-man or one-woman crusaders just trying quietly to make some sort of difference are wasting time? One small person can help things change for the better. Good people have good friends who help. That's how non-mediaeval life works - and not just for feral cats.

Three Colony Kittens :
My attempt at being a foster cat-mother didn't work - all three kittens made their permanent home at Mooseys.

The cat colony I've helped with is now under control - no kittens have been born there for three years (my cats Percy, Lilli and Histeria were the last). That's a success, no matter what the future holds. And should my friend Judith (who feeds the cats) 'disappear', then someone else will take over. It's the network of friendship. It might be me.

I'd settle for 'doomed to fail' any day, rather than doing nothing! Blimey - if that quote reaches out any further, then all obsessive solo older-lady gardeners would auction off their heirloom garden tools, curl up on the couch, and live off reality TV. But not this particular solo gardener - I have much more energetic plans! I have a trailer load of stones waiting, and a new little stone wall to build. And simultaneously I can fill the trailer with burning rubbish. Hopefully I will get cat company - Minimus the kitten is the one I'd really like. Percy has become a bit lazy, and Fluff-Fluff quite secretive (there's a new cat living with Son of Moosey in the Sleep-Out, but more of that later). Right. I'm off.

Later, Lunchtime...

One new stone wall completed - it could do with an extra row of stones on top in part, though. What a legend! One day I think of an improvement for the garden, and by lunchtime on THE VERY NEXT DAY it is done... Anyway, while I am busy congratulating myself I can also report I've won an online auction for a wooden garden bench and two seats. This is designed to stimulate NGP (who I am talking to today, by the way) into Adirondack garden chair carpentry. Of course, it is possible that I have purchased a dreadful 'bargain' which will need much repairing and painting. Hmm...

 The railway sleepers will, of course, be shifted!
Driveway Stone Wall

Right. Enough burbling. The trailer needs to be filled with rubbish, which I will then burn. Then I can get seriously clean in a super-long hot shower, put on a flowing white shirt and clean jeans, dry and brush my clean silver-gold hair, and lounge around gracefully. How sweet is she!

Even Later...

Aargh! We are going to pick up my new garden furniture. This is scary stuff. But hey! It might not be politic, however, to get NGP to pay for them. Two of my existing park benches are falling to bits, anyway...

* I'm quoting Ann English, the foster-program director and front office manager for the Tallahassee-Leon County Animal Services Center.