Summer daze...

 With Pond Cottage in the background.
The Obelisk Behind the Pond

Oops. The last few summer days have passed in a rather delightful summer daze (hmmm). My January life is simple. I play the piano, go swimming, do some gardening, poke (ineffectually) at the 3000 piece summer holiday jig-saw (which is too big and too difficult)...

And of course I organise Non-Gardening Partner - he has to mow the lawns, or play his violin with me, or cook on the barbecue, or take Rusty the dog for a cycle ride so I can watch Miss Fisher on TV, uninterrupted. I love being busy doing all the things I love doing.

Behind the Pond

And I love the greenness of the garden behind the pond. There's new shrub growth on the Pseudopanax and Rugosas flattened when the big pine tree came down. Along the path there's organised chaos - self-sown forget-me-nots are still trying to produce plants that flower. Clumps of miniature Agapanthus planted last year look happy, even if they're not flowering.

Gnomes Hiding...

Lots of garden gnomes are hiding in the ferns on the water's edge. I've carefully cleaned a lot of the rough grass clumps around them and levelled the nearby path by the water. Those gnomes seem perfectly contented in their leafy lost world, and I won't disturb their sanctuary for now...

 About fifteen gnomes are hiding in the ferns.
Behind the Pond

I've placed the lime green obelisk in the middle of all this. When I sit up in bed in the cottage with my early cup of tea I always have the door open, and I look out over the pond. Aha! Now I can marvel at the carpentry, too. The plan - well, the plan de jour - is to plant more rugosa roses to drape and lean over it. At the moment it's adorned by a lone Martin Frobisher.

 Shane, mowing the lawns.
Garden Gnome

Gnome News

While I remember, the two chaps who were decapitated in September's gales are mended (thanks, Non-Gardening Partner), and I need to move them back by the water. Poor things - but hey! Their scars are hardly visible. Gnomes are so resilient...

Log-Splitting Day

Yesterday was log-splitting day, which seems so odd in the middle of summer. The log pile now needs to be moved into the woodshed and stacked, another odd mid-summer task which lacks any sense of necessity. In mid-summer it takes a rather perverse imagination to recreate the chilling frosts outside and cold winds. Yet as I speak there's a polar vortex covering the USA. Hope my friends are OK.

Later in the afternoon the new baby visited, and lay gurgling underneath the pond paddock trees, big eyes watching the leaves, while two nosy cats (Tiger and Histeria) investigated a pair of squirming little feet. So far so good - Rusty the dog has not disgraced himself by licking the baby's face. It was idyllic - a serenely contented baby, wearing a green spriggy stretchy-suit, blending in with beautiful nature all around. Awwwwww!

 Seen from the path around the pond.
The Pond Paddock

+5 +5+10After an evening wine it was early to bed - all that physical labour, you understand. Then big Fluff-Fluff decided he loved me more than anything else in his cat-world, and so he camped out on the cottage verandah. Every couple of hours he'd try to jump in the window, but cottage cat Minimus would growl him away. He is not allowed into 'her' house. Then ginger Percy arrived to show off. 'Ha ha - she lets MEEEEEEE in!' he'd chirp, and leap into the window onto the bed. Kerplunk!

 With blue cornflowers.
Apricot Scentasia Rose

Dream, Dream, Dream...

All night I had snatches of the oddest dreams, which lurched between throwing firewood, manipulating jig-saw pieces, and going to a book sale where the organisers took your coat (mine was a black woollen Zorro cape) and then wouldn't give it back. I spent ages looking for it. Guess my evening would have been much more peaceful if I'd just spent the day in the garden, and thrown the jig-saw (3000 very difficult pieces) in the rubbish!

This morning I have apologised to Fluff-Fluff for scooping him off the verandah with my foot and propelling him towards the house in the middle of the night. It's not that I don't love to see him, but...

The Roses

Some of the roses look quite tired now. They did their best two months ago - it's hard work retaining ones youthful vigour when the summer sun beats down and the hot winds blow. But I can report a rose-naming miracle, while reading my gardening friend's blog (Jack, Sequoia Gardens, South Africa). That rose, in the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden, whose name I vaguely remember as being 'titled', is Cardinal Hume! Yippee! It's not a case of 'look for one thing, find another' - just a happy stumble-upon while waiting for NGP (we are going swimming). Good morning, Cardinal Hume, good morning. A belated formal welcome to my garden, dear rose, and thanks for your patience!

 At last he has found his name.
Cardinal Hume Rose

The trouble was, I lost confidence in my dithery, vague memories of what was on the label when I planted this rose, way back when. I Remembered him as Cardinal something-or-other and then I saw some images of Cardinal de Richelieu. Obviously this was not my rose. Silly, but I went right off Cardinals and started looking at Monsieurs and Docteurs instead. Oh me of little faith!

No Shame...

And finally, the jigsaw. There is no shame in abandoning a 3000 piece jigsaw when it's obvious the pattern is too indistinct, and multiple pieces fit perfectly (both physically and visually) into the same space. The scale of the photograph (a green and yellow leafy tree) is just too big, and the time needed to finish it is too great. So I've biffed it out. There is no shame. I have a 2000 piece replacement.