Some Frost Photographs...

 Getting fat...
MInimus My Cottage Cat

Aha! A strictly seasonal plan - take photographs of frost (minus six degrees Celsius overnight). This means waiting for the sun to cast a few of its morning sparkles around, otherwise there'll be pictures of gloomy, grey-blue nothing-ness.

Friday 29th May

I had to sleep in the house last night. Young Minimus had a mouse/rat on the loose in the cottage. As she crashed and bashed her way behind chairs and bookcases I tried to relax in my toasty warm bed. Alas - this was not to be a cosy cottage night.


But sleeping in my indoors bed was almost as disturbing. I got 'Bustered'. Buster the black cat was overjoyed at finding her mother actually in the house in the middle of a cold night. So she kept trying to get into the bed. And she was in the mood for play fighting. Ouch! Eventually she stopped face scratching and finger-biting and settled down. I did wonder if sleeping with a loose mouse might have been preferable.

 Time to cut the leaves down.
Frost on Gunnera

OK. I've taken some frost shots. See what you think - do they make you feel cold? Brr... I've watched Tiddles the tabby watching the bird feeder, tormented and fascinated. It's still far too cold to do anything useful outside. Time for a hot coffee, I think.


I've worked so hard for over five hours. I've been doing more edge digging - there are so many edges in my garden's layout. Too many, perhaps? And I've trundled barrow-loads of rubbish to the bonfire. I've also tried to trim all the suckering branches off the Viburnum in the Dog-Path Garden. So now the nearby red rhododendron will be totally visible from the back lawn. Nice! And visually sensible...

 So frilly!
Frost on Heuchera Leaves

But there's slightly dodgy news concerning the rhododendrons in Middle Garden. The magenta one that I half trimmed doesn't look so good, and the big lilac also looks sick. This could be my fault, dumping too much bonfire ash underneath them last year, before I 'wised up' to their acid versus alkaline requirements. Or it could be one of those random fungal events. Hmm...

Saturday 30th May

What a brilliant day! I started off at 9am with my bonfire - there was a lighter over-night frost and it was cold. What better way to warm up than to rake dried leaves etc. So I raked and raked. But I also got grumpier and grumpier. Raking is repetitive, for sure, but my shoulders get quite sore.

 In the Pond Paddock.
Oak Leaf Piles

Then Non-Gardening Partner cheered me up. He helped me get a trailer-load of river stones for the edges down the driveway (which I duly laid), and then he raked the Pond Paddock leaves into huge piles. I trimmed the Echinops and the big Phormiums, and the perennials I call 'toad lilies', then started to burn everything. Sorry about this, but last year's attempts at producing leaf-mould have failed dismally. I have bags full of crackling leaf skeletons. Just not wet enough.

Glechoma hederacea :
Here's the clean green variety of 'Creeping Charlie'. A dear little pest.

Creeping Charlie has escaped onto the Pond Paddock lawn in many places. I wonder how much of a problem this might be? I suspect that rather than wondering I should be removing it and give the grass a better chance. I know, I know...

The day ended with me poking at the bonfire, feeling very, very proud. And then - a hot bath, a lovely reward for the gardening feet which have trudged many miles, a hot bed (I love my cottage in winter), and my book (a historical girlie story by Phillipa Gregory).

 No tripping over now...
Stone Edged Path

Monday 1st June

We are going swimming, because it's a public holiday. Then - more stones! More edges! More bonfiring! More raking! Hmm...


Feeling in need of a short rest - I've just collected and laid a whole load of heavy stones along the entrance path to the Forest in the Hump. The dogs and I, followed inevitably by Tiddles the tabby, walk this route every morning, often in semi-daylight. I've even trimmed back the overhanging Astelia and Phormium leaves.

Confession Time

Laying down sensible, robust, secure, stone path-edging - this is pro-active gardening for the pre-elderly, hee hee. I can now confess the following - an old-lady fall! My shoe tripped over one of the logs just last week and I went crashing down with a resounding 'ooomph'. Oops. Winnie immediately arrived to energetically lick my face, in case I needed reviving.

Right. A refreshing cup of tea, then a smiley, smoochy chat to Non-Gardening Partner. Would he like to help me with my afternoon bonfire? He lightens and brightens up my day so much.

And he did just that. A top bloke!