Birthday Digging!

 Not really yellow!
Jurys Yellow Camellia

It's so nice being home after my short holiday, garden-doing rather than just garden-thinking. And I've had the most brilliant idea for my fifteen new rescued roses. So easy - dig a new garden for them! Quickly, before sanity strikes or moderation muddles the thinking...

Friday 6th September

Actually, I've been a bit naughty. Last night (on the way to choir) I stuffed all the roses into Non Gardening Partner's work car, dripping from their pots - thorny stems, prunings, soil, and all. Some were so big they only just fitted, and had to go on the passenger seats. I didn't ask him first, as one doesn't. Oops. But I did take some towels...

Late Lunchtime...

I've been digging madly - actually I've been half-sensible, enlarging an existing border, the Birthday Rose Garden, an appropriate touch. And now there's a nicely welcoming curved garden each side of Willow Bridge, which channels and focusses. 'Over here! Go on, walk over me' it whispers, 'I'm a bridge to somewhere.'

No-Name Roses...

I've had another look at the roses - they're all labelled as to colour, no names. I've put some topsoil over the new garden, and tomorrow I'll plant.

 See the Gunnera in the water just starting to build new leaves.
New Garden Digging

Right. I'm off to a chamber music rehearsal. Then home to cook an apologetic meal for NGP, who has gone ski-ing. And I've got to prick out some seedlings (my spring glasshouse rule says at least one per day). Then some wine, I think, followed by much hazy happiness. And bed. I love my bed in the cottage with the spangly lights flashing and Minimus the cat purring and the rugby on the radio. Silly.

 No real snow, please!
Snowflake Flowers

Saturday 7th September

It's the eve of my birthday. Ha! Birthday supermarket shopping - yippee! Birthday cards and dahlias from my swimming friends, and Birthday digging - the new garden has got the tiniest big bigger. Non-Gardening Partner has printed out the plans for the Birthday obelisk, and given me a promissory note:

'I hereby promise that I will build you one of these when the evenings get warmer.'

When I'm Sixty-Four...

At morning tea my friends were making jokes about that Beatles song, 'When I'm Sixty Four', which is highly appropriate for tomorrow.

When I first heard it I thought 64 was an unbelievably decrepit old-age, when people sat on seats on the verandah and sort of dribbled. What little I knew then, even if I know less now... I'll be old when I lose got the energy or inclination to rescue another garden gnome or an unwanted rose, I reckon.

 Some of the prettiest I grow.
Two Stripey Daffodils

I'd like to thank all the daffodils for looking so pretty and the Gunnera for starting to grow fresh green leaves. Camellias - you've been brilliant in my real-world garden. Those of you who are late flowering are not to worry. I promise not to miss you. OK, you Rhododendrons , it's nearly your time to take over and show-off. All the best, don't be shy, don't hold back - just bloom!

Sunday 8th September

Happy Birthday to meeeeeeee! It's the most beautiful spring morning, my cats are being super-friendly, and NGP is peering at the Birthday obelisk plans, looking rather sheepish.

 So beautiful, and I love those purple seats!
Birthday Cherry Blossom!

It's been a real country morning. A boy pheasant, iridescent copper brown sparkling in the early sun, wandered nonchalantly past the cottage first thing. Just now a drab brown girl is moving slowly up the house lawn, watched by Tiger the cat. In your dreams, Tiger - that bird is even fatter and heavier than you!

Ewes and Lambs :
All our sheep are merinos, grown for their fine wool, not for their ability to flavour a casserole!

I've already been to the hay barn to feed Lilli-Puss. Paddocks all around are filled with sheep and lambs, happily (hopefully) baa-ing and bleating, while our own small flock silently snooze in the sun in the orchard. Some of our lambs are huge. I hope they're not eating too many of the new rose shoots (the climbing roses on the orchard archways should be mainly out of sheep-reach).

Some seed pricking-out, I think, to start the Birthday Day's garden action. Then who knows?

Much, Much, Much Later...

Aargh! My hands are soooooooo sore. For over six hours I've been weeding and digging along the water race border, making it slightly wider. It has been a long, long haul, and I've only reached Middle Bridge, but it's late enough now to stop working. I haven't planted anything yet, but now I have more sunny spaces for the new roses. I've also got three trays of Verbascums (pretty pinks and whites) which have over-wintered in the glass-house. It's time they went into the real earth, and the plan is to feature them, too, in the enlarged water race border.

+5 +10All day young Minimus has been cautiously keeping me company, while big Fluff-Fluff has swished past every hour or so, checking out my progress and pausing to pee flamboyantly on a plant whenever he thinks I'm watching him. Rude cat!

 Sparkling in the spring sunshine.
President Roosevelt Rhododendron

And now we are going out for a Birthday meal. Yippee! I've had a wonderful day. But you always do, says NGP, pretending to study the plans for the Birthday obelisk. He says I might get it by Christmas.

Sing-along With Me...

Happy Birthday to meeeeeeeeee
Happy Birthday to meeeeeeeeee
Happy Birthday dear Moosey
Happy Birthday to meeeeeeeeee