Plenty of things to think about...

 Another shed view - from the side showing the loooovely blue wall...
Garden Shed and Phormium

Good day to the third week of wintry July, where, after a flurry of jolly good garden business, the weather has packed in somewhat. Oh well - there are still plenty of things to think about, like new roses, and more Agapanthus. And of course the glass-house could be cleaned out, even if it is raining...

Thursday 22nd July

Today, a gloomy, cold, wet day, I've spent being really naughty. I've bought three more garden gnomes, and some super new trekking poles with shock absorbers, to help those aging knees - and hopefully allow the aging body to stay off the Voltaren! I've also arranged to see a garden whose bits and pieces the owner wants to sell off. If I see anything I want I'll make an offer and dig. Naturally I'm thinking about stuffing my little car full of roses...

Happy Birthday NGP...

There's nothing else to report, except that it's Non-Gardening Partner's birthday. He's mighty suspicious that I've bought 'him' something for the garden, and therefore something for 'me". Ha! He's wrong, for once, though I do have a rather appealing garden shed by the pond that he might like shares in, providing that he helps me to lay the floor, insulate the inside and line the walls, hee hee...

Friday 24th July - World triumph for!

Great news - well, quirky news, but I find it quite exciting. The intrepid Daughter of Moosey is working in Myanmar (Burma) at the moment, and tells me the following:

'A triumph for the little gardening people in the great global gardening machine.'
-Moosey Words of Wisdom.

Although Myanmar has lots of internet restrictions, the earthy little website of CAN be accessed. Yippee! This is a triumph for the little gardening people (like me) in the great global gardening machine.

 Smooching the end of my latest garden bench.
Silly Smoochy Lilli-Puss

Some Days in Winter...

Some days in winter a gardener just needs to breathe patiently. It may still be cold and raining outside, but her garden is quietly available. It is not fussing in a weather 'bomb', or off-limits covered in fat drifts of snow, like some of her friends' gardens can be.

Thermal clothing and gloves will keep the Head Gardening body well-organised - for at least an hour - and mud is easily rinsed off. The house, obviously, can be pre-warmed, there is usually good cat company (even Lilli-Puss the grey likes to follow the gardening action), and the mind can be entertained with the gardening iPod.

My gardening iPod is brilliant - except that I haven't quite got the hang of making tune selections. Consequently the first 'songs' on my list are the only ones I get to listen to - the Goldberg Variations (gourmet piano omelette with subtle herbs and spices) and Rachmaninov piano concertos (sticky puddings, dripping syrup) provide the same musical breakfast every morning. It's because my gardening hands are always grubby and the little iPod is in a protective plastic sleeve, strapped underneath my gardening shirt...

 We are off for a damp morning walk.
My Dog is Waiting

I'm Thinking Pink...

Right. My dog needs a wet walk down the road, while I need some fresh air to think about today's plans. I feel like buying roses. I'm thinking pink, pink, and more pink - pretty pink.

Pink Camellia :
Ah! Already I'm thinking far ahead - to spring. My first pink Camellia does bloom soon, though.

I miss pink in the middle of winter. Wonder how long it is until the first baby pink camellia starts flowering? I spied a tiny blue spring crocus in the patio garden yesterday - the first! Probably too shy for a photograph, but I'll try.

It's much, much later and I'm back from a spot of garden digging. I have heaps more Agapanthus plants, a delightfully well-formed rhododendron, a variegated Hebe, and two generous bagfuls of pink dahlia tubers. I got extremely muddy and wet, and have abandoned all plants to an 'overnighter' in the boot of my car (with the back door open so the greenery can breathe).

 Pretty subtle.
Winter Pink - Phormium Leaf

Now I'm clean and I'm off to watch some more of the Tour de France, my ultimate scenery programme. TV couch-cycling is a slow process - I am still stuck in the Alps, absolutely loving the forests and mountains, snugly wrapped in a blanket with a glass of wine. Vive le Tour - and cheers!

Saturday 24th July

Eek - a wet winter's weekend, a carful of wet muddy plants - heaven! And a Non-Gardening Partner with a head cold - blast! Desperately important question - where shall I plant all my pink dahlias? An immediate answer (My goodness I am on fire this morning) - Why not along the fence-line in that new garden? That way they'll get sun, and I'll be able to see them from the house, so I'll remember to look for them. Good thought, makes sense. I'm off swimming, back soon.

 And soon - the spring blossom!
The Last Winter Crab-Apples


Right. Mud-gardening is fun, as long as it's not too cold. Writing about it afterwards may be a little boring, though. And what is today's chic country mud-gardener wearing? Black pants, I think, and a rugged blue and black checked wool Swandri over a merino black top. Off out there I go. And good news for my rather unvaried iPod listening menu - I have finally discovered the 'shuffle' instruction. This older lady-gardener may be slow to embrace leisure-technology, but at least she is forever learning.

Three Hours Later...

Ha! The legend of mud-gardening returns for a hot cup of tea. What can I say? Need I say more? I probably will, but I don't need to. EVERYTHING IS PLANTED! Ha! The new rhododendron is called Ross Maud, just for my records, and is early flowering, good for the 'general garden'. Is my garden a general garden? Well, the Generals in Myanmar obviously like it...

And, by the way, my iPod on 'shuffle' is rather disturbing. Lush piano cadenzas from e.g. Greig get tacked onto challenging pieces of Schoenberg, and when I'm planting the Agapanthus, being lulled to sleep by the guitar-tinkling of Julian Bream, we suddenly leap off into some rowdy clanging Shostakovitch with pianos and trumpets. Hmm... 'Shuffle' may just be a little random to accompany repetitive gardening...

Sunday 25th July

I've been busy looking through old photographs, and as usual the colours in the summer folders are just so amazing. I see images of dearly departed cats (B-Puss is the cat who I miss the most) and get into that happy-sad memory phase.

Penstemons :
Penstemons are really easy perennials to grow - but they're short-lived.

The visual reality of winter should make me fully appreciate the vibrancy of summer. Well, that's the theory, anyway. Now here's a pledge - since I've just divided and repotted them, this next summer I am going to be much more observant of my penstemons.

Blast. It's wet, and NGP's head-cold is stopping him from working outside in the rain on the garden shed. Probably no outdoor work will get done today by me, either.

Later... Garden Shed Update

Earlier this afternoon NGP poured concrete and put the big metal feet on the verandah posts. Next week he will saw up the decking and I might get to do some hammering...