More on Mozart...

There is a definite correlation between my miniscule hot-weather gardening efforts and my discovery of Mozart's tiddly, cute symphonies and concerti. Hmm. I need the somewhat raunchier musical gestures of Rachmaninoff to get me garden-going again. Even some basic Beethoven would be better...

Monday 4th February

Right! The summer heat has gone (temporarily) and my gardening alter-ego has returned. Today there will be no sitting inside sighing, listening to Mozart's dinky little tunes and reading old Agatha Christie detective novels. I am going outdoors, for as long as I can - or until the forecast rain arrives.

 Playing through the rain?
Back Yard Cricketers

To show I mean business, here's an energy-laden list of things I have already done before the breakfast cup of coffee. Already done, I repeat!

Before Breakfast I Have...

Taken photographs.
Nice light.
Planted new pink pelargoniums.
By the house, in a wooden trough.
Watered the herb spiral.
And all the patio pots.
Collected Salvia seeds.
Shook them out all over the kitchen table, hee hee.
Swept house decking.
Covered in gum bark and gum leaves...
Stacked another load of firewood.
Forward thinking in the extreme.

And now, slurping the first cup of coffee, I am contemplating a clean-up the following garden areas:

And that list should do me rather nicely until the rain gets too heavy. The garden desperately needs blobby, fat Beethovian rain. None of that dribbly, tiddy Mozart mizzle.

 I think this is the correct name.
Seed Raised Dianthus

Late Morning Tea Time...

How good have I been? Good enough to take a short break. Beethoven's Eroica, perhaps? Dynamic coffee-slurping music, and it should help me retain my momentum. I've only done the first item on my list, but in the process I've harvested potatoes (waxy whites, purples, and large reds), planted new coloured chards and lettuces, pulled out lots of weeds, and watered. I've also dealt to the next-door garden, pulling white Lychnis and weeds.

 A rugosa, I believe.
Sarah Van Fleet Rose

Rose News

Finally my second Crepuscule rose is growing, after sulking its way through two seasons. It is supposed to partner the one already on the other side of the pergola.

And remember that rusty rose Sarah Van Fleet which I dug out of the Shrubbery, pruned mercilessly, and squashed into a plastic pot? She now has lots of fresh, totally rust-free green growth and is flowering madly and beautifully. Hmm... So a pot is preferable to the soil in the Shrubbery? I must do something about this...

How Good?

How good have I really been? Good enough to be allowed a piece of ciabatta, toasted and spread with oozy peanut butter? Not really. Another list item needs to be ticked off first. Off I go.

 Wandering past the Shasta daisies...
Fluff-Fluff the Cat

Lunchtime, Raining Heavily...

Yippee! Noisy rain, but no wind, so hopefully the Shasta daisies won't flop too much. I've raked all the mess off the Lavender Garden (the lavender itself could do with a bit of topping up).

How Gross?

How gross is my dog? I shouldn't really give details, but this morning there was some regurgitated dog roll and chips in his kennel run. Chips! Where did he get them from? I went back an hour later to clean it up. And - can you guess? It wasn't there... So why should he get the crusts of my bread? He's drooling. Gross! A cat would never, ever, ever behave like this.

Now I'm listening to Beethoven's big orchestra sounds, with background pattering of rain, and I'm going to get my journal up-to-date. There will be no more gardening today, but I've been good, and that's all that matters.

Tuesday 4th February

I'm very happy for my garden today - so many of the borders were thirsty, and nature's irrigation seems so much more sensible than my own. Thirty millimetres of brilliant, beautiful rain fell in the last 24 hours.

+10It was super-cosy in the cottage last night listening to the raindrops splattering, with young Minimus my cottage cat snuggling on the woolly blanket beside me. I played the 'I'm glad I'm not in a tent on a mountain ridge' game - it always makes me smile.

 Lovely colour shading on the petals.
Pretty Pastel Dahlia

Dead-Heading the Dahlias

Now just the wind is whooshing around (though it's not too cold). I've spent a brisk half hour picking up gum bark and dead-heading the house dahlias.

I've also had a quick sneaky peep at the Shasta daisies by the back lawn - phew! Not too much flop, though I don't want to tempt fate. Not too much yet, shall we say... Now I have a new jigsaw (a dour Welsh hillside) to start and a cricket match to listen to on the radio - the England team is here touring. Please, please, can we beat them at least once?

Wednesday 6th February

Today has been a New Zealand public holiday, and Non-Gardening Partner and I went morning swimming and sushi-ing with my girlfriends. He's spent the afternoon in the Hazelnut Orchard 'doing' suckers, while I've completed the third item on my sternly worded list of some days ago - namely, clearing the Shrubbery. With so much compost and horse manure the soil in here is quite dusty, and it doesn't hold water well. Anyway, in the little area I've cleared by the seats I've just decided to plant some miniature Agapanthus. An instant solution, a sunny spot, two bucketfuls of Agapanthus to recycle...

 What a boring photograph! A Corokia on the left, a golden Escallonia on the right.
Stone Wall and Shrubbery Shrubs

Musically speaking I've been trying out Beethoven, but - oops, ahem, she says sheepishly - I'm finding his symphonies a bit predictable and un-engaging. They don't quite fit the apres-gardening mood. That does it - nobody with musical taste will ever listen to me again!

And regarding the cricket - yippee! We beat England! Yes! Yes! Only a T-20, and only a warm-up game against a New Zealand second eleven, but WE beat THEM. Ha!