Gushing and rambling...

If I limit the gush and ramble in the gardening journal, then this should infiltrate my gardening, making it more robust and focussed. Yes? Maybe? Worth a try? But I'm still allowed to gush and ramble about the cats and dogs that share the garden with me.

Wednesday 25th February

Spending so much time with the cats and the two dogs colours my perspective of what is or isn't interesting. For example, I'm always giggling at the kittens. Black Buster chases Winnie's tennis ball. And when I throw her bright orange frisbee, Tiddles the tabby leaps through the stalky grass trying to get there first.

 Throw the ball! Throw the ball!
Dogs By the Moosey Pond

Then last night there was a funny moment - Winnie and Tiddles (dog and kitten), noses together, both concentrating on some poor unfortunate bug on the kitchen floor. A tag team. Awwwwww. So cute!

 With a variegated Cordyline.
Buster the Black Kitten


There's a lot of 'cute' in my life, when I think of it. I love 'cute'! But there's also some fairly functional stuff. Like the gum leaves which are littering the paths in the Wattle Woods and need raking. Weeds introduced into my garden through spreading topsoil and compost need removing. Oh. I guess I've mentioned that before.

And this week there's been some 'yuck'. Rusty the dog's digestive system has been seriously misbehaving. He's been to the vet, has some pink medicine, and we are awaiting test results to see what on earth he's 'picked up'. Yes, country life for dogs has two sides. There are paddocks through which to run, green lawns on which to play, ponds in which to swim. And then there are the corpses of dead things to find, roll in and/or eat, or (on a slow day) bury for future consumption. Aargh!

Well, after a golden sunrise behind Pong Cottage, I'm having breakfast on my new patio furniture with the kittens Buster and Tiddles checking out my toast. Rusty is sitting at my side, burping loudly. 'And you'll never eat alone...' My early morning reverie includes the incessant 'plop' of a tennis ball. It's Winnie the puppy. Please throw the ball...

 The perennials love it in here - so much sunshine!
The Allotment Garden


Gardeners sometimes become obsessed with counting - the number of plodding steps, the number of weeds pulled out, and so on. If I counted tennis ball throws - in the kitchen, in the garden, in the pond, in the paddocks - maybe I'd do a couple of hundred per day?


I've done four hours of really good gardening 'helped' by Buster the black kitten. I've shifted roses into the Allotment Garden (perennials in here are looking rather pretty). I've weeded in the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden and tied the vigorous rambling rose into the fastigate Oak tree, up which it is supposed to grow.

I think parts of my garden are looking rather lovely. A recycled apricot rose, name unknown, is blooming - such a beautiful colour. Big Nicotiana sylvestris plants have self-seeded in the oddest of places. Other smaller Nicotianas are flowering, too. And still the dahlias bloom and bloom. And I keep on dead-heading them.

Little Mac :
Little Mac has her own page in the cats and dogs section.

Before I start my work, I just want to make a quiet mention of Little Mac, the black and white cat. It's the second anniversary of her inexplicable disappearance and we'll always miss her. She would have loved playing with the new kittens. Dear, sweet Little Mac, rest easy.

 So pretty!
Recycled Roses

Thursday 26th February

'Plop' goes another tennis ball at my feet. Ooh - a pink one! I am now an expert at flicking the ball sideways without looking, and without damaging anything (be it a plant or a household item). Except this morning a ball ricocheted off a chair and hit Tiddles the tabby. Sorry, little one!

Today I am taking my friend for a short walk in the hills. My animals can spend the middle of the day lolling on cushions and snoozing in their kennels.


Washpen Falls is a wonderful short walk, and my friend and I enjoyed ourselves. I love seeing nature's greenery, particularly the plants that grow on rocky cliffs above a stream. And of course walking on a track beside running water is magical. At the end of this walk there's a huge person-made pond (more like a small lake) surrounded by bush and forest. I rather like this. I'd love to have something this size in my garden. Hmm...

 A rather large pond...
Big Pond near Washpen Falls

When I got home I shifted hoses and threw tennis balls while both dogs charged around the garden.

 Woodland tobacco plant.
Nicotiana sylvestris

Friday 27th February

This afternoon I have been gardening with three dogs (Winnie, Rusty, and brown Escher who is visiting). And, frankly, three nice dogs operating as a pack are so easily fooled :'C'mon, you dogs, lets doooooooooo something. Let's shift the hoses! Let's hang the washing out on the line!' Three excited faces and wildly wagging tails. Yippee! We're off to doooooooo something!

You see, it's all in the body language and the tone of voice. In other words, complete trickery.

Anyway, we have all worked really well weeding sorrel out of the Dog-Path Garden (I've been trying to slice it out roots and all with the spade). I've trimmed lots of Lychnis and weeded out large networks of clover. I've pulled out broom and gorse seedlings almost as tall as me. I've also dug out an unhappy rose which is soaking in water - it's going into the Allotment Garden, together with some pieces of confused iris (I mean Iris Confusa Chengdu). Paying attention to little details, I guess, but so satisfying.

The dogs have each had their own tennis ball, but only Winnie has been returning hers, requiring it to be re-thrown. Rusty has never understood this part of the process, and just stands there with the ball in his mouth, looking silly.

Poor Old Dog!

+10 Oh, the bug which caused Rusty's rear end issues turned out to be campylobacter. Eek! No wonder he was in such - ahem - difficulties. For example, his vet consultation had to take place outside on a patch of grass. Poor old dog!