A tiny treat...

So what am I going to do next in the garden? I fancy something small-scale, like hands-and-knees weeding. I would see it as a tiny treat - no plodding around with a heavy wheelbarrow load getting foot-sore, no lifting anything heavy or grabbing anything thorny. Hey - since when has weeding with a cold, wet, muddy bottom been a treat?

 Dear cat...
Fluff-Fluff the Cat

Wednesday 6th August

So today I sat in the wet grass on the Frisbee Lawn with my hand diggers, and started gently scraping. I was going really well, concentrating on pulling every little green nuisance out. But then - aargh! Big Fluff-Fluff arrived. Seeing his mother at cat-level was irresistible, so he smooched me on the chin and sat on my hands. The more I pushed him away the more he snuggled in. Aargh! It's so difficult to weed around a huge fluffy cat.

Then I saw an Iceberg rose up there which needed pruning. Fair enough. And a shrubby Lavatera (similar to the variety 'Barnsley') which needed chopping down, with cuttings taken for some fresh new plants. Fair enough again. The rose Cecile Brunner needed the BIG NIPPER treatment (scary) and the green Phormium had more dead leaves than live ones. Fair enough again. All done, with Fluff-Fluff now trying to sit on my feet and nearly tripping me up.

I found two little recycled roses, floundering underneath a Corokia. I didn't even know their colour - they hadn't flowered for me yet, and obviously needed to be shifted somewhere sunnier. Fair enough. Both dug out and popped in a bucket of water.

 In the sunshine.
Creamy White Camellia

Then I remembered the Clematis montana. Oh no! What to do with it? How many shrubs can I let it strangle? I peered more closely at those shrubs - blast! When were the Hebes last pruned? They'd grown too big and leggy, and I'd left it far too late.

Go with the Flow

This was turning into a big strong-arms, standing-up gardening day, and I'd promised myself a laid-back, leisurely loll. But good gardeners always go with the flow. At least I escaped from big Fluff-Fluff's outpourings of cat-mother love.

Thursday 7th August

I like Thursdays. Thursday is a very positive day - there's still time to catch up, so that the garden week isn't wasted. I also like Mondays, when I usually make a heap of fresh promises to myself. These day-attitudes are really silly, though. For a retired older lady who gardens and does little else, the days of the week are irrelevant. What matters is the season, the weather, the state of the rose pruning, the weeding, and so on.

Aha! The rose pruning! How very good I have been this afternoon. I've worked my way along the Dog-Path Garden, weeding and trimming things. I've pruned all the roses. It's a very scruffy garden, thanks to the invasive Euphorbias robbiae which doesn't look its best in winter. Alas, I've now decided to accept this sneaky little 'ground cover'. For now!

 A New Zealand variety.
Red Camellia Takanini


The rosemary shrubs by the koru sculpture were dreadfully woody, and the Phormiums needed all their dead leaves removed. I've trimmed the ferns which circle the Koru brick courtyard, swept the brick path, and glared at the sorrel weeds. The tiniest chemical thought did waft through my mostly organic mind. Sorrel is impossibly nasty stuff to pull out, because the roots simply break off. And no, I do not want to use it in salads. Hmm...

Apart from the sorrel, all is fair-to-middling - even good - in this garden. The three new red Takanini Camellias, still gawky juveniles, seem to be OK, and I'm sure the newly transplanted deciduous Azaleas will like it here. The moss on the courtyard bricks has died off. I've cleaned up all the old stalks and leaves from the daylilies, and weeded the actual dog-paths (without falling in the water).

I haven't worked here for a while, and it is such a peaceful, spiritual part of my garden. I think it's time to take a cup of tea and camera over there, sit and contemplate, and enjoy the afternoon sun.

 The garden bench in the Dog-Path Garden.
Rusty the Dog

Today's gardening thanks go to my dog Rusty who kept me company at a discrete distance, and chased away all the birds and aeroplanes that might have bothered me.

 The sun is almost setting.
Selfie - Lilli and Me

Saturday 9th August

I've spent the last two days continuing my small scale gardening. It has gone soooooooo well! Yesterday I worked in the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) garden, pruning roses, weeding, and trimming a large Miscanthus sinensis. I had to stash all the rubbish underneath the hedge because the wind was blowing fiercely. This afternoon I continued along the Dog-path Garden - there's another even larger Miscanthus in here, and if I don't trim them in the middle of winter the new shoots start growing, unseen, and then - aargh! It's too late! One rhododendron close by the water (whose roots have been waterlogged for a while now) has finally, inevitably died. I've chopped it down.

Again I tried to take notice of and remove the tiniest weeds, and towards the end of the day I collected up all the rubbish and lit the bonfire. Whoosh went the rose prunings - surely there can't be many more roses that need pruning. Please let me be nearly finished...

+5I've had wonderful cat company from Lilli-Puss, by far the smoochiest of my cats when she's in the mood. Her claws are awfully sharp, though, and she tends to think of me as her favourite tree trunk. Ouch, ouch, ouch! So we sat on the blue seats for a more regulated 'cuddle', while the late afternoon sun disappeared slowly into the earth. What a groovy day!