My best friend...

 Just the moss to get rid of now...
Laundry Stone Path

My garden helps me so much - it's my best friend, whispering that I'm a jolly nice person, even if I'm small and a bit ineffectual. But why haven't I been out since daybreak weeding it? Because, dear Garden, the morning was frosty, and anyway I've been contemplating things. My garden is unconvinced. What could these 'things' possibly be, that need to be contemplated rather than simply done? Like weeding, trimming edges, lighting the bonfire, cleaning up mess (a Pittosporum tree was felled yesterday) and so on. Gardens can be rather single-minded at times.

Monday 23rd June

As can my cats be. Fluff-Fluff has been popping in and out of sight all day, his intentions obvious. 'I love you! Feed me! OK, don't then. Always worth a try. Back up into the garage roof I go. Try again in half an hour.' Actually, I've left him up there - better go and bring him inside, so he knows I really do care.

I've been living a bit inside my head today. Slightly sad things have been swirling around, and I've been puzzling away, trying to sort myself out by talking out loud. Rusty the dog is bemused - he thinks humans deliberately make things complicated. Why can't we just go for a bicycle ride? Because, dear Dog, you seem to be three-legged again, and accompanying a cyclist is banned until further notice. Who says so? The vet says so. Oh... And anyway, I'm doing some serious thinking...

 I call the gardens on the left the Allotment Gardens. They are full of forget-me-nots.
My Neat and Tidy Driveway

I've done some good work, though. My driveway is even tidier than yesterday. I've cleared more ferns and wet leaves from the Laundry path. I've trimmed underneath the purple flowering Erica, which seemed to be sensible. And the path is now so much wider - funny that!

So Good!

I've tidied up the Pittosporum - piles of branches await the shredder, the logs are stacked, and the small scrappy stuff is burnt. To encourage the bonfire I zoomed around the house gardens cutting down my favourite ornamental grasses - Miscanthus and Calamagrostis. This has to be done before they have the nerve to re-psrout. I have been so good!

 Lovely. Just lovely.
John Clare Rose Flowering in Winter

Finding anything interesting to photograph has not been so easy (apart from my lovely pink John Clare rose, see above). But winter is winter, after all - the solstice has only just come and gone. And I actually enjoyed burning my rubbish.

Up, Up and Away...

At the end of the day my introspective mood sort of floated up and away with the smoke from the bonfire. Bye! Thanks to my garden, my dog, and the cats I feel a lot better. So lucky, really.

 Flowering now.
Othello Rose

Tuesday 24th June

It's another frosty start to the day, with the promise of clear blue skies - winter mornings like this are so tingly. And perfect for making a hot pot of tea and watching some of the Football World Cup. Then it's really nice to say hello to the little wax-eye birds, already flittering and fluttering and swinging on their 'bird bombs' on the house patio. I love them.

Then we (my dog and I) wander off down to the hay barn to take Lilli-Puss her cat-breakfast. This is the best time for us to discuss our day. So what would my dog like to do in the garden today?

A Bonfire Day?

Would he like, for example, to participate in a big bonfire day? I could collect up all the trimmings (shrubs, perennials, even some roses) and burn them all. Rusty could plod alongside the wheelbarrow. He is, after all, a splendidly well-seasoned gardening dog. Aw - c'mon on, Rusty! It's not that cold out there - zero degrees Celsius is nothing to a chunky dog with fur. Zero! Eek. Scarf and gloves, methinks...

Welcome to the Tree-Men

 Felling the gum trees.
Tree Man

The tree men are here today, and have started cutting down a double row of spindly gum trees in the Hump. Well, they look spindly until you get close enough to hug them. Then they turn into big fatties! The trees, I mean, not the men. They block the morning winter sun.

Much, Much Later...

While the tree men have been felling gum trees in one end of the Hump, I've been dourly wheeling rubbish out of the other end. I've also spread more mulch onto the driveway garden - now that the 'fellas' have finished I can get more edging logs. You will understand they have to be a certain circumference, and fairly straight.

Hee hee. Yet again my garden has provided uncomplicated best-friend support all day. After the sad contemplative mood of yesterday came a slightly prickly one. So what better foil than to also do the following :

  1. Trim dead canes off the Wedding Day rambling rose and deliver to the bonfire. Ouch, ouch, ouch.
  2. Drag pieces of pruned Berberis to the bonfire. Ouch, Ouch, Ouch.
  3. Rake all dead Cordyline leaves out from underneath the Wedding Day rose. More ouches.

So I reckon I've done penance by getting scratched, and I've been laughing at myself for being such a maudlin goose (if there is such a bird).

Wedding Day Rose :
You can read about the Wedding Day rose in my climbing roses page.

Back to that pesky Wedding Day. It is the fiercest rose I grow, and I'm not sure that I like it very much. It's on the fence-line at the end of the driveway, and reaches up into the corner Cordylines.

This garden is now super-sunny, and so my plan is to add some compost, maybe trim down the neighbouring Pseudopanax (it's far too tall), and plant some cute little shrubs in front of the rose. Then I will expect it to flower, obviously only once, but jolly nicely, next summer.

 The Hump is on the left.
Winter Driveway Lawn

Now it's dusk, and the little birdies are still pecking away at their food. Maybe I am feeding all the flocks in the neighbourhood. Can I imagine a garden without birds? Aargh! No, no, never! Can I imagine my life without my best-friend garden? No, no, never!