A recently humbled gardener...

 In a thoughtful mood.
Fluff-Fluff the Cat

Hello, October. Being a recently humbled gardener I'm not sure I'm in a position to demand anything of you. But do you take bribes? You see, I'd love to have a better month...

Friday 1st October

I know it's all ultimately up to me and absolutely nothing to do with you, but really - last month was a bit too shaky. The personal confidence took a bit of a hit, too. September popped up with several things that I'm not good at - odd viruses, earthquakes and aftershocks, problems with livestock, Albeniz piano pieces that were just too hard for me to ever play. Gosh I hate that!

This month I have to be better. That may mean to expect less (aargh!), think and analyse less (aargh!), weed more (aargh!), and escape into books more (hmmm)... My new attitude starts - NOW! I will try and be more measured and consistent, practice every day, and finish things off properly. This applies to absolutely everything - particularly my piano playing and my gardening.

Where is Lilli-Puss?

My second task today (after half an hour's piano practice) is to make a real effort to find my grey cat Lilli-Puss. I haven't sighted her for five days, and have been rather caught up in the over-emotional nurturing of ailing pet lambs. Cats look after themselves, and so I've rolled along, ignoring her absence. This will not do.

 This is the Glass-House Garden.
Weeding the Garden

Then I am going to do two hours general weeding, with my dog and my wheelbarrow. Enough said. I will then leap inside to vacuum and tidy the downstairs of my house, before eating a healthy lunch and finishing my book. Ha! Well, at least the morning of the first day of October will be measured...


So far I've done weeding, playing, and reading. The water race intake has been off, so I've seized the moment and been weeding and gathering stones for the waterside banks. Now I'm off to the garden nursery to spend a gift voucher. Back soon. Can't believe it's October. Time is definitely doing a better 'accelerando poco a poco' that I can when I try and play the piano.

 Shining in the sun.
Exochorda - A Patio Bride


I had to seize more of the moment, working my way down that empty water race weeding, scooping and placing stones. Then I noticed that my gumboots were getting noisy. Oops - the water was running again. I'll have heaps of time, I thought, and then a couple of my hand tools and a bucket floated ominously towards me. I grabbed them and clambered up the bank - within two minutes the flow was back up to normal.

I've bought myself a big glazed pea-green pot for the little garden where Milly the pet lamb is buried. And I've vacuumed the house, and am about to do another half hour of piano practice. Brahms's Piano Sonata in F minor will suit my mature, romantic side, while a Prokovief Sonata and the Bartok Dances in Bulgarian Rhythm can satisfy the quirky wee rebel lurking within. I have also unearthed some Scarlatti for the neat and tidy, well-organised me.

Then I'll be returning to the garden to burn my rubbish and water my pots. The Brides are flowering on the patio (they have unbelievably pretty flowers) and the Wisteria buds are bursting out on the pergola. Hmm... Soon there'll be that wonderful Wisteria fragrance...

Saturday 2nd October

Hmm... How's this for activity? I've been swimming, I've weeded for a couple of hours, and I've done my first lot of piano practice. Aargh! I'm not completely happy with Albeniz though - maybe he should have 'quit while he was ahead'. He's produced an extraordinary amount of piano music which says the same things, over and over again.

 Actually two of him...
President Roosevelt Rhododendron

Garden Cliches

Oh well - I guess there are many well worn cliches in my garden, too, like those little rows of Hebes (my mini-hedges) and the blobs of Bergenia, Stachys and Scabious on border edges. I'm back now to do some more weeding and to bug Non-Gardening Partner to turn my little pump on. I need to water some of the newly planted roses.


I've burnt the rubbish (mainly dried out Phormium fans) and weeded the small border by the pond. I would like to say how delightful my President Roosevelts (rhododendrons) are - I have three of these colourful gentlemen, and each is flowering madly. They do this every year - they never put on a half-hearted show. And I never dead-head them or feed them either. Oops.

Another compliment is definitely required for the self-sown Honesty. The edges of the Hump are a cloud of purple, and in the Wattle Woods I've found quite a few plants with speckled purple and white flowers.

Watering the New Roses

The hoses are on, and I've given the new roses in the Glass-House Garden some special treatment (they're Glamis Castle, Ivey Hall, and Ingrid Bergman). I'm really looking forward to seeing them flower!

Now if I could find my missing (again!) grey cat Lilli-Puss and regularise my attitude to the piano music of Albeniz (in other words - I either want to play him properly or I don't) I think I'd be pretty pleased with the start of October.

Pretty Dandelion Flower!

Sunday 3rd October

I'm imagining a parallel garden universe where dandelions are prized plants and their pretty bright yellow daisy flowers are praised and nurtured. Ha! Temperate spring gardeners go all gooey over bright yellow trumpet daffodils, after all...

Weed out the Dandelions

My first job this morning is to weed out the dandelions from the Agapanthus opposite the Stables, while I contemplate the oddness of garden fashion, and try and remember all those weed cliches. I know lots of weeds with lovely green leaves and pretty flowers...

And, as regards Albeniz, I have a plan. I've picked two pieces (just two) and I'm going to play them, whether I dance trippingly or plod heavily through the measures. No-one is paying me, and there's nothing personal going on - Albeniz didn't write these pieces for Moosey, full-time gardener and part-time lapsed musician. So there.

 Yet another distant view!
Pond Cottage and Rosemary


I spent a lot of time weeding in the Stables Garden. Then a friend came for afternoon tea and we walked around. Naturally when the garden is 'on show' I immediately see huge areas which need weeding urgently. So I've come inside in a bit of a gardening sulk. This just isn't fair! I thought I was doing quite well on the weeding front.

Beautiful Pond Cottage

However Pond Cottage is closer to having its interior walls finished. It's a beautiful little place - and I am very happy with Non-Gardening Partner for being so industrious.

OK. My hoses have been on and I'm off outside again to shift them. I am quite keen to start planting my vegetable garden, which is brilliantly weed-free at the moment (my friend didn't look at it). You see, nobody notices a vegetable garden which has nothing growing in it except little purple violas. Wonder if the soil is warm enough? Maybe I'll wait a couple more weeks.