I've read the daftest quote. The writer says: 'It's better to be a lion for a day than a sheep for a month'. What on earth is she thinking? Imagine being able to spend a stress-free month mooching around browsing, not worrying about a thing. Because that's what sheep do. The time-line of a sheep is uncluttered, and the life-style of a sheep is unaggressive. Nice!

 The blue noses are a type of lice treatment.
Merino Sheep in the paddock

There might even be a short walk down the drive to the front paddock. New grass - great ovine excitement! But I would definitely choose to be a Moosey sheep, a merino, bred for my fine wool alone. I never need fear ending up in a lamb casserole. And another thing about sheep, in particular ewes - they have lots of uncomplicated girlfriends. You can't say that about a lion...

Saturday 25th May

My new attitude of supreme positivity is soon to be tested. Apparently winter is arriving, all guns blazing, with bells and whistles (I think I prefer this latter phrase) this week. Well, I'm ready! I've got the firewood stacked, and lots of sewing to do.

Alstroemeria :
My friend grows a yellow variety which is terribly invasive. Gardeners - take care! Alstroemeria might not be suitable for you.

A flowery thought - the Alstroemerias on the edge of the Island Bed still look lovely. For me the dull pink (sorry, the word dull seems rather unfair) variety is little bit invasive, but nothing I can't handle. Put it this way - I've grown it for years and it hasn't really gone anywhere.

Not like that dreadful Creeping Charlie which has taken a liking to my Pond Paddock lawn. Non-Gardening Partner is too polite and mows around it, thinking he's doing the right thing. Blast!

 Beautifully raked.
Hen House Garden Path

So Sensible...

Today I cleared the Hen House Gardens, helped by young Minimus my cottage cat. I've been so sensible. Now absolutely all the Sedums (Autumn Joy, hee hee) are in one border, and all the Lavenders are in another. I've planted a new silver leafed Convolvulus shrub, plus the remaining daffodil bulbs, and shifted a rose.

I've raked the paths and raked gum leaves off the gardens. I've shovelled compost on to the garden. And I've trimmed the Phormiums and weeded around the Agapanthus.

My goodness - what haven't I done? I've left the autumn bonfire smouldering (the rubbish is a little wet) and poured a glass of wine (fortified with nectarine juice). Yippee for me! I love my almost-winter garden.

 One of the last roses of autumn.
John Clare Rose

Sunday 26th May

Phew! My new 'Winter, bring it onnnnn' mood is lasting well, with yet another beautiful gardening day. I've bagged up all the leaves from the Pond Paddock (this took all morning). I've redug the edge of the path to the cottage, making it wider. I tend not to use it on dark nights, just in case I fall in the pond.

Guerilla Gardening...

This afternoon I met Son of Moosey at a tree nursery which specialises in big trees. Too big prices, though - I didn't use my wallet. Son bought twelve medium-sized sale-price Pittosporums, then we went to look at the bulldozed section, site of some proposed 'guerrilla gardening'. Over the next couple of weeks my job is to collect as many bags of horse manure and organic matter as is possible. I'm really looking forward to making something out of completely nothing, using just what's been left behind. It's small person power. Will the council mind? The council won't even notice.

 One of the last roses of autumn.
Tamora Rose

Monday 27th May

This morning I've bagged up the oak leaves which had fallen on Duck Lawn. What rhymes with 'raking'? Aching! That's just a poetic observation, by the way... Now I'm off to have a bonfire. This may be the last before weeks of stormy, rainy weather (and maybe snow), so I intend to enjoy every flaming minute!

Later, Nearly Dark...

Aha! Time for quiet reflection on possibly the last bonfire of autumn, and on the beautiful roses, just one per shrub now, still blooming for joy. Tamora and John Clare always do this - they're both David Austins. This year Margaret Merril by the bonfire is another which is flowering late. And of course there's Nancy Steen - not called 'the autumn rose' for nothing...

Rusty the dog has been plodding around after me and my wheelbarrow all afternoon. But dogs don't 'do' reflective. I can almost hear him thinking 'Here she goes again. Whatever for?' as he drags himself up for yet another journey. He's bored with me. Too bad.


Anyway, I've left a most modest bonfire gurgling and I've come inside before it gets totally dark. What a mellow few days I've had. Just plodding around doing the same things quietly, over and over again. Just like a sheep! Baaaah!

 Look how colourful the garden still is!
The Last Bonfire of Autumn