Dogs and Irises

 An amazing colour, like dark velvet.
Big Indigo Iris

This week features my big bearded irises and my medium and small non-bearded dogs. Touch wood there'll be no dripping rain followed by wind to blow the beautiful irises over. The dogs have had a wonderful week, as usual. I love having two dogs!

Monday 10th November

This morning Winnie the puppy went to the vet for her final vaccination. She is nearly 8 kilograms - that's heavier than big Fluff-Fluff. Phew! The natural order of cat weight versus dog weight is restored. She was relaxed and obedient on her lead, and didn't pee on the vet's floor.

As a treat we then visited another country dog, Jenny. Dogs and owners went to the Hororata domain for a long and leisurely walk right around the racecourse, followed by a pot of tea at a country cafe. What a wonderful way for the pack to spend a quiet morning!

But no gardening was done and now I'm sitting inside mid-afternoon looking through my latest batch of rose photographs. It's not so hot today, so I'm going water the orchard roses, so they can all be rewarded for their climbing efforts.

And I am so impressed with Non-Gardening Partner. We walk around the orchard every night with the dogs, and last night he mentioned proudly that he'd very carefully done some weed-spraying for me around the bases of the orchard roses. Oh no! Did he notice and therefore avoid spraying the white Clematis which grows up Meg?

 Blue Dutch irises and big whites.
Garden Irises and Euphorbia

Dear man - he saw it just in time, but had to get a bucket of water to wash the spray off one of the stems. He tied up all its other straggly bits. Wonderful. A man in a million. Not to be confused with my country friend's NGP, who proudly cut all the stems off her white foxgloves. They were just about to flower, and he decided they were weeds. Weeds! Worthy of a place in Sissinghurst's white garden and he decided they were weeds...

Tuesday 11th November

Today's plan is severely structured. Until the day is done and I have changed into clean biddi-bid-free clothing, there can be no sneaky lolling on the TV couch to watch Downton Abbey's latest shenanigans. This Lady Mary is going into the garden.

The Plan...

The plan formulated itself whilst on the first early walk with the dogs and Fluff-Fluff the cat. I will start my work in Henworld. I will simply clear the gum leaves and forget-me-nots and plant things in the gaps. I will work my way along in a fairly straight line, until I get to Middle Bridge, where the magenta rhododendron needs water, possibly. I will also follow myself with the hoses, if that makes sense. It's concentrated gardening - one place, one space.

Much, Much Later...

What a day! And how many forget-me-nots have I pulled out? And - dare I ask another question - how many are still left in the borders, looking tatty and covered in mildew? That's what it looks like. And Winnie the puppy is just the right height to get herself covered from head to toe, from tummy to the top of her back, in sticky biddi-bids.

 A black and white border collie.
Winnie the Puppy

Anyway, the Hen House Garden is relatively clear and weeded, and I've trimmed its edges. I've also made a start weeding along the house-side of the water race. This afternoon the big wind blew, and my hoses kept coming apart (so frustrating - I hate it when water dribbles out into a puddle on the driveway and is wasted).

Wednesday 12th November

OK. I've explained to the dogs how a gardener wakes up full of lovely, peaceful garden thoughts. So when we go for our first walk she will be slow and dreamy, gazing around at the beautiful roses, and so on. Suddenly tripping over a dead possum on the house lawn will indeed cause her to scream loudly.

 Winnie checking out the flowers.
This is a Rhododendron?

Aargh! Luckily Winnie the puppy hadn't seen or smelt it, and I had time for - aargh! a discrete disposal. Winnie is stubborn when she finds such things in the garden. So far this week I have managed (with difficulty) to remove three dead mice (slowly and carefully) from her salivating little mouth while holding her collar tight. Her obsessive behaviour (It's MINE! MINE!) reminds me that dogs are sometimes not like people...

 With one of her toys.
WInnie the Puppy Inside

Much Later...

Blessed relief - rain falling, and cooler temperatures, as well as my hoses watering some very dry garden areas. Yet the Agapanthus just keeps on growing well and even looks lusciously green. Splendid plant. Anyway, I've been pulling out forget-me-nots. More, more, and yet more. For nearly five hours. And just when I think I might be getting on top of this activity I wander past another garden and see another patch. I've also planted out more pots of annuals, and that at least is a forward-looking thing. And now I need to warm up (and clean up) myself.

The dogs are back inside snoozing. This afternoon Winnie found a desiccated, dead-flat rat in the Frisbee Border. Somehow, if there's a cat's ex-trophy to find anywhere, she'll sniff it out. And she will NOT give it up! But I tricked her by throwing a tennis ball, hee hee...

There's supposed to be thunder this afternoon, and already I can hear some distant booming. The pheasant is hooting and honking in response, so maybe it (the thunder) is coming closer. Hmm...

Two Dogs...

+10My goodness I love being with my two dogs. I'd like to think that the two dogs love being with each other. Rusty is so patient. And when he's in the mood he plays. Winnie is so annoying, all wants to play all the time. People could learn from watching the way they sort it all out, hee hee.