The first day of winter?

 By the pond!
Pond Cottage in Winter

June 1st is the first day of winter, according to the mature blonde weather-woman on the TV. She is a trained meteorologist as well as a woman. Two good reasons to believe her? Yes, and yes!

Except today it doesn't feel like winter. It's far too warm. Oops - mustn't grumble!

Noisy Bellbirds

All afternoon I've been burning my winter bonfire - three hours which have seemed more like three days. The rubbish has included Phormium (flax) leaves which snap, crackle and pop loudly. My resident bellbirds have flown into the nearby trees, to whistle and snap-crackle-pop back.

Silly birds! Earlier they were singing away with my Bartok string quartets. It's funny which sounds inspire their noisy responses. Bach's tootling Brandenburg Concerti, which I would have picked as perfect bird music, are totally ignored. Too tonal? But Bartok always brings them out of the woodwork, so to speak. We must breed an intellectual bellbird here at Mooseys...

Iris foetida :
Bright orange berries, but the flowers of this self-seeding iris are really insignificant.

I've also trimmed nearby perennials, and dug out the largest clump of Iris foetida underneath the pergola. I'm taking charge of this nuisance foliage plant. I've already spied another clump to come out from underneath the Apple tree...

Now this would be a lovely spot for my remaining cutting-grown Hydrangeas. I can't understand why I've accepted Iris foetida for years - and years - and years - without some form of mild control.

 So pretty, but only these two left now.
Nancy Steen Roses Still Blooming

OK. Before I settle down to watch the rugby I have three questions for tomorrow:

  1. Where shall I plant the latest clumps of Agapanthus?
  2. What garden area shall I clean-up next?
  3. Which colour roses shall I plant in the extension to the patio garden?

See - I am thinking ahead. This is a good gardener's skill, one which I should practise much more.

Sunday 2nd June

+5Aha! Today has been a fully focused day. I can answer the first two questions above. All the Agapanthus is already planted in the 'wilderness' garden back behind the pond, with the help of my grey cat Minimus.

 The wilderness garden - not so muvh of a wilderness now!
More Agapanthus Planted

Sooooo Sensible...

And naturally it seemed sooooo sensible to choose this garden to clean up. An hour of raking and weeding and trimming flaxes and hey presto! Now it looks well cared for, photographable, even! Hee hee.

I've removed some pink dahlias (they deserve a sunnier garden spot), shifted some barrowfuls of firewood logs, and moved in my latest silly cane chair (I found it abandoned on the side of the road). I like the green feeling in the so-called wilderness garden.

Then Non-Gardening Partner and I shovel-filled the trailer with horse manure and took it over to the guerrilla garden. It was just getting almost dark when we got home, and NGP kindly helped me burn the day's dry rubbish. I trundled the barrow loads over while he stood in the firelight, a handsome sentinel with the rake, fiery sparks lifting lazily into the night sky.

Cat Amongst the Gnomes

I can answer the roses question, too. I will plant all the roses that I think are pink! But first I have to remove the sand and get in some top-soil and compost. This wee garden area is triangular, and used to be a sand-pit.

Tuesday 4th June

We've had two drizzly days in a row, so I've been sewing double-door sausages (door draught-stoppers) for the Red Cross - as one does. I have my sewing confidence back, thanks to Non-Gardening Partner, who showed me a) how to thread the machine and b) how to fill the bobbin. For a man, this is the stuff that legends are made of!

I've also been mending his weekend shorts, two of my woolly gardening over-shirts (called Swanndris), and general rips and tears in my hiking clothes. Very domestic, hee hee. My dog and I wander down the back in the rain to visit Lilli-Puss's Cat Lounge when we get too bored. Rusty and I are not by nature in-house people. And, anyway, Rusty is a dog!

+10On cold rainy days like today all the house cats drape and stretch themselves in front of the log-burner and hardly twitch a whisker (unless they hear the fridge door open). I'm off to the vet now to buy another bag of super-special prescription-diet extremely-expensive cat food that all my cats eat, thanks to big Fluff-Fluff's issues with bladder stones. The vet must see me coming and grin with delight.

 Easy to get cuttings from.
Purple Salvia leucantha

Oh, sorry about the lack of gardening news. But isn't this shrubby salvia gorgeous? It's flowering now, three weeks before the mid-winter solstice. Pretty purple!