Up the colour...

First of all today I am taking my overweight dog for a frosty country walk. It's not quite as cold this morning - a mere zero degrees Celsius. But I've given up trying to present real-time winter photographs of the Moosey garden. I'm going to colour up these pages with pictures taken on my oh so recent visit to Sissinghurst.

Tuesday 13th July

I mean - how exciting are images of frost? OK, the geometry of evergreen shrub leaves can look prettier edged in white, and crisp upright white grass blades can look - well, quite interesting. I'm clutching at photographic straws, methinks.

 Warm and bright.
Sissinghurst Poppies in the Herb Garden

Right. Today I have monster plans. I've just found two huge feed-bags full of old newspaper in the garage. This is terribly exciting news, and allows my plans for the fence-line garden behind the pond to proceed. I can mulch over the newspapers (I won't have to spend ages weeding). I can lay paths down, plant the new roses along the fence, shift in Hebes, and the like. This area is visible in the distance from the house. And my latest ten dollar garden bench can go in the middle, underneath the Chestnut tree. I can barrow out excess dry rubbish (hello, gum leaves). All this activity starts up about 11:30am, though - the winter gardening day is just too chilly before then.

Four Busy Hours Later...

Rusty the dog has been roaring around chasing planes and barking. I've started laying those new path edges, and raked up much rubbish, which I've burnt. My new pink roses aren't yet planted, though. Oops - I was cleaning grass from the roots at the side of the water race when one slipped out of my hand and bobbed off downstream. Goodbye, pink rose. Then I got annoyed with the second - can I be bothered cleaning out all these chunks of grass? Hmm...

 I like these red and yellow flowers planted en masse...
Sissinghurst Aquilegias

Forgive me for not showing winter photographs, too. Realism is all very well, but I need a colour lift!

Wednesday 14th July

I'm currently TV-couch-cycling from Chamais to Reims, still way behind the Tour de France peloton, but enjoying the countryside, villages, and the chateaux. My family thinks I'm totally batty - have I always done this in July? Before getting my super-duper little TV recording box I had to watch the Tour highlights - only the mountain stages were played in full to be videotaped. Hee hee - watching wonderful scenery, touring the summery roads of France for a couple of hours before zooming out into the garden - it's the perfect start to a winter's day.

 Dear Smoocher!
Smoocher and Rusty

Congratulations to Smoocher, dearly departed cat, photographed above rubbing noses with Rusty the slightly younger dog. This picture will be featured in a vet's brochure for the Door County (WI) Humane Society. Yippee! Smoocher lives on. Dear Smoocher - if only he'd lived to be an adult cat. Sometimes I look at ginger Percy and wonder how similar they would have been - and who would have been the smoochiest!

 Supposed to be Princess Diana.
Rescued Rose

The Big Big Clean-Up Continues...

Today I'm continuing my clean-up near the Chestnut tree. I'm going to pile some rubbish in heaps by the fence, and do some serious sawing down of tree branches etc. But - I also need to dig out the Hebes from the Glass-House garden for relocation. Princess Diana (a rose) is moving out, too - I rescued her in good faith, but she looks awfully like a white Iceberg to me. She's going to be severely trimmed and thrown into the new garden to recover.

And yippee! It's not frosty this morning, so I can go outside much earlier. Firstly, as per my new holiday resolutions, I'll take my dog for a short walk. I aim to be out in the garden with my shovel by 10am. Maybe I can take some proper winter photographs, too. My pictures are usually so accurate and up-to-date, time-wise...


All done. And I planted what I thought was the last big bag of Agapanthus around the curve by the Stables. Then I found two more bags - this is brilliant, because these plants can go in the new garden area. Princess Diana, if it is she, is severely pruned and replanted behind the pond, and I've also pruned roses and shrubs in the Birthday Rose Garden. As usual I end the day with my rubbish fire gurgling, my hands somewhat achy from using the secateurs. Unlike my dog (who has been shamelessly raiding the kitchen compost) I am extremely clean. Hint to self - a cup of coffee would be nice...

 You can see it needs fixing.
Ten Dollar Garden Bench

Thursday 15th July

I've done a little amount of garden work and large amount of garden gazing. I've been planting Agapanthus over in the new garden (up the fence behind the pond) and thinking important things - like where the path (it's very, very successful) should go next, and how much of this huge triangle of land I should clear (probably all of it as far as the fences allow). And what types of plants should I plant in here (tough ones - hmm).

I'm going to lay the path before I do much else. Rubbish is piling up nicely by the property's fence line, and today I collected a barrowful of firewood which I found buried in the grass - an old pine tree, neatly cut up into the right size pieces, with dry pine cones still attached.

The original plantings in here include an Oak tree, a Chestnut tree, several Viburnums and Olearias, and green leafy Pittosporums. I'm allowed to fell all the thin (self-sown) gum trees. It's certainly a leafy and peaceful area - I can see the pond and the new garden shed beyond. The old-fashioned roses are just across the ram paddock, and they should look wonderful in bloom next summer. That is if they are still alive. Hint!