The TV Couch Cycling Season...

 I love the scenery!
le Tour de France...

Yippee for le Tour de France! The serious apres-gardening TV Couch Cycling Season has started. It begins in Yorkshire, where the fields will be summery green and sheepy, and the spectators I whoosh past will all be in T-shirts and shorts. Hmm - being Yorkshire in summer, this may not be the case...

Saturday 5th July

One simple kindness can completely annihilate a grumpy, sulky mood. This afternoon, for reasons which do not need to be detailed, I was in one such mood. It was a beautiful winter-warm blue-skies day, and I hadn't been able to get into the garden. I was CROSS. On my way home from a singing rehearsal I went to pick up some clumps of Agapanthus I'd won in an online auction. Price - five dollars, and already dug out - a real bargain.

The seller had checked the Moosey web-site, and seen that I was a cat-lover as well as a mad-gardener. So was he. He loaded the heavy clumps into the back of Non-Gardening partner's car (oops - loose dirt) and refused any payment. We talked about cats, and Wales, where he was originally from, and I drove away with a huge smile on my face, feeling suitably humbled. Who am I to lose faith and get all sulky when there are such good people in the world? Thank you, Peter.

 First Snowdrops
The leaves are blue-green.

I managed to sneakily clean out NGP's car (where are you going with that dustpan and brush?) and then found that he'd chain-sawed the remaining skinny gum trees in the back of the Shrubbery for me. Another smile. Now I can properly clear and replant this area. And stop taking myself so seriously...

 So pretty.
Early Blue Polyanthus Flowers

Sunday 6th July

Oops. It's been another day when the garden has been overlooked. Morning chamber music - beautiful Bach, then lunch at the dog park. But this afternoon I've spent two very happy hours in the back of the Shrubbery, mainly collecting logs for the path edges and loads of gum branches for the bonfire. My long straight driveway tidy-up is finished, and I've barrowed in loads of mulch to cover the soil. It looks great.

Monday 7th July

Yeay! I am so inspired by the Tour de France wiggling its colourful way through Yorkshire - the drystone walls, in particular. My first plan for today is to collect spare river stones from the Shrubbery and build up the stone wall around my big gum tree. It will need infilling with soil, too. I love my river stone walls - they are effective and interesting garden features. Thank you, Yorkshire, for reminding me.

Shift the Dayliles?

Another idea for today. Several clumps of daylilies (plus some rescued white roses) in the driveway near the house have never flowered well. They need more sun? I think they do. Now is the perfect time to dig them up and replant them in the Allotment Garden. Right. Where's my border collie? A popular Yorkshire working dog, by the look of it. C'mon, Rusty, we are off gardening.

A Few Hours Later...

Oh, the joys of sharing a garden with animals. On my way back from trying to find (and feed) Lilli-Puss in the Hay Barn I spied big Fluff-Fluff, hunkered down underneath the big Leyland hedge. He didn't move when I called him. Oh no! My big fluffy cat was sick! Carefully I crawled in underneath the branches (quite difficult when one has dodgy hips and knees). Was my beautiful big cat OK?

+5Oh yes, he certainly was. Mister Mean-Eyes Fluff-Fluff had Lilli-Puss baled up high above him in one of the Leyland trees. So I shoo-ed him away with a Cordyline leaf, and Lilli made her escape. What a rat-bag!

 Deep in the Hump.
The Cordyline Grove

I've been working deep in the Shrubbery, redirecting the path, stacking firewood, rolling the huge logs down to the fence-line, and rescuing squashed Agapanthus and Pittosporums. I've started my stone wall repairs. But I've had to explain to Rusty that dogs do not have morning tea. He's humphed into his chair and is sulking. Oh boy. Right. Let Phase Two commence.

Much Later...

I've worked so hard. I've cleared the little Cordyline Grove in the Hump, replacing path edges and raking up the mess. This garden gets great afternoon sun now that next-door's pine plantation has been felled.

 Beautiful greens.
The Agapanthus are Planted

Tuesday 8th July

This morning it's a frosty zero degrees Celsius outside, But I've been toasty-warm inside, cycling past Fountains Abbey with three large house cats all balanced on my lap (always a bit risky as Histeria the tabby tries to clean the other cats' ears). Nostalgia moment - Non-Gardening Partner and I have visited Fountains Abbey. Wow. But I was ever so much younger then...

I'm waiting for the day to warm up a bit before starting my gardening. C'mon, sun, do your stuff! Rusty and I have already been down to feed Lilli-Puss in the hay barn, disturbing a hawk (there must be something yummy in the orchard). So what better to do while waiting than put in a big online order from the seed catalogue? Hee hee. Have done. Now it's mid-day and the day temperature has only just reached eight degrees. Eight, however, is my personal gardener-activation temperature, so I'm heading off outside. Wish me luck.


Oh boy. I've done my best. But surely all that waiting around shouldn't have used up any energy? My plod was far more ploddy than usual. Winter in my step, rather than spring, perhaps? Another bonfire, yet more of the Shrubbery cleared, my new smile-inducing Agapanthus clumps planted, photographed, and looking beautiful. Nice work, after all.

Before I go, a few thoughts.

  1. Do I like Periwinkle? In its place, yes, yes, yes.
  2. The little birdies are now feasting on the red crab-apples.
  3. My polyanthus plants from last year are starting to flower.

Now I'm back off to Yorkshire (throw in a bit of Derbyshire) with a glass of red wine. Vive le Tour!