Hopelessly unadventurous...

How hopelessly unadventurous I've become this year. All I want to do is gardening. I want to finish clearing behind the pond, saw some silly trees down, and beautiful the immediate environs of the new seat, that sort of thing... And yesterday all the house lawns were mowed, so today I need to appreciate how beautiful they look - and trim all the edges. Again! I am an edge-trimmer for life. Well, in summer at least.

Wednesday 20th January

Today I am not hiking up Purple Peak with the walking group. Oops. I've decided to stay home because:

Two - no, three - things need my gushing attention. Three rose archways out of the thirteen haven't had their 'underneaths' weeded. The vegetable garden needs weeding. Update - peas and beans are being harvested daily, potatoes are ready, lettuces are nearly over, and the one superstrong grafted tomato is doing OK. As for the others... I blame the cold summer nights.

 A good size.
My Vegetable Garden

And then, in a big hit, I need to plant out all the cutting-grown plants in my glass-house. Apricot foxglove seedlings, too, need to be planted. Their leafy rosettes (?) stay tidy throughout autumn and winter. I'll just load everything into the wheelbarrow and start walking. Aargh! I've thought of a fourth thing to do. So I should have made a proper list...

So much to do - not a moment to lose. These tasks should keep me happily occupied for hours, while NGP screws an Adirondack chair together and my walking friends swelter in their efforts to climb up and up and up - just for the view from Purple Peak.

Later, at the End of a Great Weeding Day...

I've weeded the vegetable garden, pulled out the old sugar-snap peas, planed a new row, cleared up the Laundry path trimmings, and trimmed the Banksia Lutea (which is yet again threatening to pull down my washing line). I've weeded the perennial garden which adjoins my quasi-potager. I've weeded below the rose arches and in the back of the Glass-House Garden. I am totally weeded out.

Adirondack Style Chairs :
I saw these lovely chairs at Chanticleer, a delightfully quirky garden in Pennysylvania.

Amazingly, the sun has been shining since midday. Wow! Sun in summer - a very novel weather concept. And hot sun - even more exciting. NGP has been busy assembling one Adirondack style chair, the seat part delightfully shaped to fit a person's legs.

We finished the day sitting by the Olearia hedge chatting. Two lovely pets provided company - Minimus my little grey squeaking cat, and Rusty the dog, terribly torn between concentrating on his tennis ball and barking at the bellbird. Four friends (five if you count the bellbird) enjoying the garden together. Nice.

 Looking beautiful in summer!
The Driveway Garden

In conjunction with my 'Shape Up For Life Campaign' I am running a 'Shape Up My Wardrobe' venture. I am pleased to report that many of my gardening jeans are just too loose. I am embarrassed by the number of fat blue gardening shirts I've found - and white cotton apres-gardening shirts. Put it this way - I could go apres-gardening twice a day for a week and a half and not need to wash anything...

Thursday 21st January

Today I am retiring the two pet-beds that dear Mugsy the cat used to sleep in (she alternated between them). One is reinventing itself as a small clothes basket, while the other gets pine cones. Ah me - time flits and dances all over the place, but memories stay strong and solid...

Tiger :
It's a scary thought, but Tiger is now the senior Moosey cat - the top cat, the oldest. Aargh!.

More cat news - if a cat welfare officer was a fly on the wall (odd phrase, but makes sense) they would ban me from all contact with felines. Every morning after breakfast Tiger the tortoiseshell (opportunist, sneaky, bulky, bully) sprints towards Minimus the little grey cat. Tiger's intentions are NOT GOOD.

I grab my special cat-whacking broom, and Kapow! Thwack! Biff! Actually, no cat-contact is made, but the scary broom wins the battle... Minutes later Tiger is back for a pat and a cuddle (bullies need positive reinforcement). But it doesn't look good...

 A pretty clump by the rose pergola.
Lilac Phlox

Anyway, I'm off to the local botanical gardens to meet a friend - she with whom I might be long distance footpath walking in Britain later this year. We are discussing dates and possibilities. I can't go in May because it's such a lovely gardening month. I can't go in September because it's such a lovely gardening month. And so on, and so on...


Ha! I think I'm going to have the day off. I've come home and it's sort of drizzling. I could easily do some web-gardening. On the walk through the gardens I found some variegated Ligularia that I covet (not the spotty Leopard plant - I've got that), some Crinum lily clumps that I'd love to have, and some beautiful pond-side plants - maybe a Lythrum - that I haven't got.

Eryngium yuccifolium :
This delightful spiky plant has its own page in my folage plants section.

I saw a clump of Elegia which was as fat and tall as a garden shed. I haven't planted my three little pots yet, but this is something to definitely look forward to. And I found the name of a spiky plant that I grow - it's Eryngium yuccifolium.

Alas, my zero dollars plant budget for the year is working well - so far so good - and morality forbids me to return with a sharp knife and plastic bags inside my pockets. I do have a weekly garden gnome allowance, though, and I've found some dwarf Canna lilies with soft pink flowers called 'Gnome'. This would not be, technically speaking, a break of my self-imposed rules for 2010...