A deeply empathetic gardener...

Spring Flowering Bulbs

Here's what I think. As a deeply empathetic gardener I allow my weather to be as random as I am. But fiercely snowing one day, and a balmy nine degrees (Celcius) at 8:30 the next morning? This is surely a rather extreme variation! Maybe all the snow will melt away madly by lunchtime and I can be a normal winter gardener again.

Wednesday 27th July, Later...

I'm back to normal, and deserve some afternoon tea. I've been pruning roses and trimming a lime green swirly conifer along the side of the house, while logically rationalising this garden area. For my records I've planted the roses Blueberry Hill and Papa Meilland in the sunny-side border, having ripped out part of the Phlomis patch. This can usefully be planted over by the fence, since it's such a tough perennial - a pity to throw it out.

Yippee for Brahms's first piano sonata, by the way, unpretentiously set in C major, subtle and melodic, with just the tiniest bit of man-hands octave thumping. It has always impressed me - Opus 1, too, his best piano sonata by far, rattling away on the gardening Ipod.

Sorry, Snow

I don't want to sound mean-spirited about the snow. Enjoyed but briefly, you're not welcome to settle here, sorry. I'm worried for my northern friends who are enduring a summer heatwave, though.

 I've convered up the rude chap.
More Garden Gnomes

Right. Enough twittering - I'm off to clean up my mess (at least) and maybe do some more planting. And cross fingers I haven't trodden on and squashed any spring bulbs yet. A nice little surprise - my newest snowdrops are finally flowering. They have blue-green foliage.

And sorry about these latest garden gnomes - they're a decidedly scruffy lot, and rather rude. I've never owned a lady gnome before, and am a little surprised at her attitude - she doesn't look shocked at all. Oh well.

 Poor birds!
Cats Waiting

Thursday 28th July

Another balmy day, and I've spent three afternoon hours clearing in the Shrubbery and burning my rubbish. There really wasn't too much to do, and my suspicions that several of the old fashioned roses might have totally died have proved unfounded. I will wait until early summer before I prune out any of their branches. Last summer they were rather underwhelming. I'll be able to see them from Pond Cottage, so I expect better things this year.

I put up my new bird feeder at lunchtime and peeped carefully through the house windows, expecting to see a frenzy of appreciative birds. Hmm... Not one in sight.

Wonder why? Two avian aficionados, cats Fluff-Fluff and Histeria, were sitting on patio front row seats, waiting patiently. Tiger the tortoiseshell, more of a voyeur, was hidden behind a pot plant. Be very cat-careful, little birds!

Friday 29th July

I've had a brilliant day. I've planted my recycled roses - Othello and crimson unknown underneath the bay window, the big unknown cream in the house patio garden. And great news - I am sure I have room for more roses, hee hee.

 With the flowering Wattle trees behind.
Winter Sun on Pond Cottage

I've weeded, raked, pruned, spread home-made compost (please no weed seeds) and talked to Rusty the dog a lot. We are such good friends. I hope I am as good a companion for him as he is for me. I suspect I am a bit boring, dogwise...

The Wisteria is Alive...

The birds have squeaked throughout the day, and have almost finished their new bird feeder. I can sit outside on the patio table now and they'll ignore me. Between mouthfuls they all sit in the bare Wisteria, which then looks as if it's covered in fat, fluffy olive-green leaves. The Wisteria is alive! I'm having such a lot of fun, bird-watching in my own garden.

Sunday 31st July

Yesterday got lost somehow, as did the first part of today. But this afternoon I've definitely been back! Yes! Me! I've done three hours gardening work, but it's not immediately obvious what I've been doing, or if I've accomplished anything. It's all to do with the scale of detail adopted when looking at (and thinking about) the garden.

Wearing my Spectacles of Great Detail (could be a horticultural Harry Potter accessory) I can see that the Shrubbery is tidier, there's less wood mess in the ram paddock, the last of the rose clippings from the orchard roses have been collected and burnt, and several more old grasses have been removed from the Wattle Woods and burnt.

Paddy Stephens Rose :
Paddy Stephens doesn't have his own rose page yet. Hmm... I must do something about that!

Also Paddy Stephens (I love this rose) is pruned, and overhanging leaves from his silver Astelia neighbour have been cut off. There will be no more tripping down the path behind the glass-house!

Weeds have been scraped up deftly, and a new penstemon (which didn't flower last summer, so I don't know what colour it is) has been neatly trimmed. And the Glass-House Garden is almost cleared. I also helped Non-Gardening Partner tail the early lamb, who is a strong little fellow. The other ewe looks so pregnant she must be expecting twins.

 In the sheep yards. Fred isn
Merino Sheep And Fat Fred, Breed Unknown

Holding onto boy-lamb (feeling and smelling the lanolin on his wool) brought happy-sad memories of my 2010 pet-lambs. Dear Milly and Stu - I tried my hardest, I did my very best, I had so much fun...