Faith, energy, and time...

I have to write about how beautiful the spring garden is looking. And how lucky I am to be a gardener with faith, energy, and time - the three gardening essentials. Prepare for effusive, sentimental gushing - someone has turned the tap on!

 A huge country rose, growing up into an old plum tree.
Banksia Lutea Rose

I think about people my age who are locked into their live - whose dreams and inspirations come from TV, after a draining day at work. My dreams and inspirations are self-generated, and my life is full of the gentlest of choices. Should I take the dogs to the dog park and change my library books? Or stay home, throw sticks in the pond, and take photographs of the first roses?

 She has just one extra toe on each foot.
Tiddles the Tabby

My Polydactyl Cat

Mind you, funny things can niggle and worry me. It may not be money (have just had to buy a new car). It's certainly not the garden (I love spring), or plant envy (I don't need to buy any more lavenders). This week it's been the clipping of Tiddles the Tabby's 'spare' claw.

Tiddles is a polydactly cat, and her one redundant claw, tucked underneath her furry mitten thumb, needs checking and clipping. She makes this extremely difficult, always wriggling out of my reach. I've been unsuccessful trying for ages. Yippee! This morning, after filling her belly full of topside mince and pet milk, I tickled her neck and managed the claw-clip. Phew!

While I am in effusive-gush mode, can I give a huge hug-thank-you to Non-Gardening Partner? He, the kindest of blokes, has swerved carefully while mowing, thus avoiding all the little self-sown forget-me-nots flowering in the middle of the lawns. Sensitive.

Lavender :
The dog kennels are surrounded by new Lavender plantings.

Plant-wise something 'epiphanal' has happened. I am a born-again Lavender lover. I like, love - loooooove - my Lavenders now, especially those planted around the dogs' kennels. It's because they are all relatively new and freshly flowering. I see now the error of my ways (I suspect this also applies to tulips). Buy heaps of new stock every year, hee hee.

I'd also like to thank my fingers for coping with hours of hand-weeding and not giving me too much arthritic grief. And - after a day of scraping, poking, and pulling - still being able to play Brahms's piano repertoire, half-decently. Best never to take such things for granted.

 These are new shrubs, growing by the Allotment Garden.
Big White Cistus

Friday 23rd October

I've had a couple of big hand-strength days, heaving out large Alkanet plants (the deeper roots stay, and so they'll resprout for the bees). They smother the growth of other plants. I've also rough-weeded along the boundary of the Allotment Garden.

This is the neighbours' strip of land, but they don't care one jot for weeds seeding and spreading into my garden. And I do. I've sprayed the roses on the rope swags for aphids, and squirted nasty stuff onto sorrel and Californian thistles.

I thought Escher the dog was being so good, just hanging around the Allotment Gardens, staying close as I watered and weeded. Turns out he thought (wrongly) that he was attached to a rope swag. After unhitching him, I felt rather sorry, and so I let him potter around with the other dogs. Hmm... Naturally he pottered over to the neighbour's offal pit, pushing his way through two fences. Escher!

 So pretty!
Unknown Perennial

OK. It's time to shift the hoses, and then soak my hands and feet (and parts in between) in the bath. Then a cider, I think, and a leisurely peep at the day's photographs. Every day there's something new to see.

Plants in the Allotment Garden

A strange flower has popped up in the Allotment Garden, and I'm loving the rose Campion, darling weed that it is. And I see that the tiny bucket of Solidago has - ahem - spread itself out a bit. Does this worry me? It's in the roughest wee garden, where the 'soil' is sandy, stony fill.

I also notice some self-sown Escholtzias. Nice. Look, I'm OK with deliberately growing 'naughty' plants in my garden. Naive, maybe? Je ne regrette rien... Just like that nuisance Alkanet, which seems to pop up here, there, and everywhere. A couple of months ago, in winter, it was one of the only plants flowering, and the bees were feasting. A good garden looks after its bees.

 Blue for the bees.
Alkanet Flowering