I promise...

 Seedheads in winter.

My latest Fine Gardening magazine, skimmed through early this morning in Pond Cottage, has warmed up the winter-gardener in me. But (as usual) I am now embarrassed about my slapdash planting schemes. So yet again I promise to give thoughtful attention to detail, and to aspire to a slightly more manicured garden.

However, I did say 'slightly'! But I do promise to sort out the whole garden over this coming winter. And I've made these promises before. Oops...


As usual I want to buy some of the magazine's plants. How about a golden Cotinus? Absolutely gorgeous. And a variegated Cistus? Ditto. But will either be available here in my gardening country? Probably not - the newer varieties can take years to reach our shores.

Catmint :
Enjoy this beautiful photograph of Catmint and my dearest blue-eyed cat B-Puss. I still miss him!

I'm also inspired by the article on Catmint. I grow a traditional row along one side of the house path (the cats build little nests in it in summer). Well, I'm going to divide and recreate, and continue the edging idea right around my small patio garden (where the sand pit used to be). And I promise to propagate more of the Six Hills Giant variety, too. And plant this delightful Catmint out in the open more.

Tuesday 28th May

OK, winter, whatever and where-ever takes your fancy! Cover the lower bits of my island with your snow blankets, then fizzle out before you reach my garden.

 Cats Percy and Histeria on the patio table.
Good Morning Winter

It's still quite early in the morning and I'm looking out to blue skies, green lawns, and cats sunning themselves on the patio table. I've got my gardening shirt on. Rusty the dog and I have already been for a walk down the road. Apparently it's only three degrees (Celsius).

Two Hours Later...

Blast! Well, that's what the icy wind outside has been doing. It's been far too gusty for a bonfire, and too cold for any advanced digital dexterity. Temperature check - only five degrees. Aargh! Far too cold!

 Mexican Orange Blossom.
Choisya Flowering in Early Winter

But I've been good. I've done some cold-fingered weeding, planted some bulbs, trimmed the house dahlias, divided up and replanted some ailing Bergenias underneath the Choisya. This silly shrub is half-flowering - beautiful! Now I'm inside making myself pancakes with banana and maple syrup (and streaky bacon on the side) for lunch. Hee hee...

Much Later...

Non-Gardening Partner has arrived home from work early. In town it's been hailing and sleeting ferociously, and on the peninsula hills it's snowing. I've been somewhat lucky with my little patch of sunshine.

 Early winter colour.
Blue Seats

Wednesday 29th May

Right. Today is a better gardening day - it might be cold, but the wind has gone. I'm just enjoying my first cup of coffee (which Fluff-Fluff the cat will NOT spill over my computer). I'm already dressed in rather grubby gardening clothes. Just as well I have no decent lounge suites to spoil, hee hee.


A good bad-lunch habit? For the second day in a row I've cooked myself pancakes with maple syrup, banana and bacon. And have I deserved it? Oh, yes. I've relaid the edge pavers on the house side path, scooped up more seedlings and potted them up for spring, planted polyanthus plants in the decking planting boxes, and done a speedy tidy-up of my glasshouse. Wow!

Much Later...

Working backwards from the bonfire to the most sensible piece of plant-shifting I've done for a while - lovely hybrid daylilies in the shade of the Elm Tree have moved over the lawn into the sunny, open Glass-House Garden. In their place I've planted some cutting-grown hydrangeas, to go with others in this shady garden.

 Quite a sneaky nuisance.
Iris foetida

Back to Fine Gardening, and me becoming a 'finer' gardener by reading it. There are many reasons why my garden is not well-manicured, and my pathetically grateful attitude to self-seeders is one. So I'm going to get tough on the green strappy Irises which have those alarming orange-red berries, and no flowers to speak of. I think they're Iris foetida. I seem to have a great many clumps of them, taking up prime locations.


One final thought - the day my garden is 'well-manicured' is the same day that my gardener's fingernails are sparkling clean, smoothly trimmed, and nail-polished, I fear!