Ten more minutes of daylight...

 The big Wattle tree is almost flowering.
Winter Glass-House

The days are getting longer, and I reckon its noticeable. Today ten more minutes of daylight are available (to a keen winter gardener) than were on the shortest day. So why exactly am I still inside my house listening to Beethoven?

Monday 8th July

Mind you, I feel in the mood to write a list, but I'm not in the mood to do anything strenuous I put on it. This is more than silly - it's lazy!

Let me paint the picture of my outdoors. The winter sun is shining, and there's blue sky. The winds which have roared around the garden lately have stopped. All is calm, if a little nippy. It's not wet, not even damp. So here's the list of non-gardening things I've done so far:

  1. Bid for five more Biggles books (success, cheap).
  2. Taken Rusty the dog for a walk (cold).
  3. Cycled into Marseilles (TV, le Tour de France).
  4. Collected the black foster cat (purr, purr).
  5. Checked the back paddock for any more accidental lambs (none).

And what is my self-reward for such a busy morning? I've just made myself pancakes with maple syrup, banana, and bacon. Did I deserve this? No way! So I'm going to change into gardening clothes and make up for my sloth.

Much, Much Later...

My goodness, what would I have missed if I'd stayed slouching indoors! I might have missed the baby pink Camellia, the first to flower, and Sharifa Asma, silly rose which doesn't know when to stop. Both are pale pink, an extremely beautiful colour to see at this time of the year. I raced inside for the camera...

 With just a few early blooms.
Pink Camellia - First to Flower

Then I shifted and divided some variegated Scrophularia in the Dog-Path Garden, and planted two of my recycled roses in the space created. I decided to burn my bonfire and start getting rid of the dry rubbish (it's been piling up underneath the hedge while the big winds have been blowing). That took up the last couple of hours.

Black Cat :
The last time I tried to foster cats (Histeria, Percy, and Lilli-Puss) they ended up staying here - for ever!

And now, great news, and possibly the shortest cat-foster in the history of compulsive rescuers of cats. Black Puss is off to a good home, and I'm expecting his lovely new owner any time. The cat has been with me (shut in a room) for less than seven hours!

He's a happy chap, but we have a dog and six cats already, a couple of whom can be big bullies when the mood takes them. Fluff-Fluff - could I possibly be talking about you, big boy?

 Silly rose!
Sharifa Asma Rose in Winter

Not So Much Later...

Yes, he's gone to his new home with a lovely 'little-old-lady' (hopefully she won't be offended by this description). It's the perfect place for this friendly, street-battered cat who I'm certain is one of the many domestic animals misplaced by the Christchurch earthquake.

As a Moosey cat black cat would have had to stick up for himself and find his place in the 'pecking' order. Now, as an 'only-cat' he will be the much-loved centre of attention, which we all deserve. Even those of us who aren't cats, hee hee.

Tuesday 9th July

Oops. Another slow start to the day. Aha! When in doubt, write a list. So what have I done so far?

  1. Vacuumed the downstairs (boring).
  2. Wandered down to the hay barn to feed Lilli-Puss (absent).
  3. Couch-cycled about 60 km through Provence (le Tour).
  4. Put fresh pineapple in the bird feeder (lucky birds).

You can see this is a rather desperate list, an attempt to justify my lack of gardening and mask my general laziness. Let's be blunt. The weather is supposed to turn nasty in the late afternoon. So late afternoon would be the perfect time to stop gardening, come inside, and read my book, or crochet more of my purple rug, or get my non-weary couch-cycling legs to Montpellier.

In order to stop gardening one has to have started. -Moosey words of wisdom.

But in order to stop gardening one has to have started. So I'm going outside - RIGHT NOW! - to find an area which needs weeding. I will garden until the rain comes. So there, Miss Lazy!

 The birds have eaten a pice of fresh pineapple...
Guess What This Is?

Over Four Hours Later...

Redeemed! I potted up more of my perennial divisions (Stachys, Heuchera and Scrophularia), and then weeded and cleared the little garden by the Sleep-Out. The cherry rambling rose on the fence-line here seems to be a thicket of dead branches, with just a few green canes on top. It might, might, might need cutting down completely, to start again. But I'll let it flower this coming summer first.

I re-ignited the bonfire, and then kept on and on collecting more and more burnable stuff for it. Nearly all the big, dry Gunnera leaves are now burnt, and the piles of mess underneath the Leyland Hedge are almost gone. On cue, at four o'clock, the rain arrived. Smoky hair = shower, I think, and then a full set of clean apres-gardening clothes.

It's so nice coming into a freshly vacuumed house to relax and unwind. And would you believe it - the rose Masquerade on the pergola has four or five new blooms. Another silly rose! And I've found more 'first' Camellias - the shrubs in the Wattle woods are just starting to flower, tiny flashes of pink amidst all the glossy green. This is very exciting.

 And where has that dog-nose been?
Rusty the Dog is Thinking...

By the way, today was one minute and six seconds longer than yesterday. Do you think Rusty the dog noticed?