Lovely spring sunshine...

 Dear cat.
Fluff-Fluff in the sun

It's a spectacularly warm day, for September (spring) - twenty-two degrees (Celsius). Wow. So beautiful. I'm off to do a little light weeding by the house. Shepherd's purses, beware! I should just shrug the gardening shoulders and smile, but that lovely spring sunshine will give the weeds even more 'oomph'. Hmm...

Tuesday 15th September

Today we have already been to the dog park and the library (I have borrowed the newest Phillipa Gregory, an easy historical read, nice). I've been cleaning up by the brick courtyard while Escher, tied to a tree, has been munching a large beef bone. The other dogs have been lounging in the sun. Big Fluff-Fluff the cat has been 'helping' - that is, getting totally in my way. He's a wonderful gardening cat.

All I need to do now (apart from weeding out squillions more shepherds purses) is to scrub the bricks with a wire brush, and blast them with water. Easy!

 Hee hee...
Dog Solar Lantern

Another Dog!

By the way, I have the grooviest birthday present, a 'dog solar lantern', which I've put on Pond Cottage's verandah. It is a guide for the darkest of nights, to keep me on track when I've been drinking cider and am wobbling slowly past the pond. Last night on the way to bed I got quite alarmed. Eek! The neighbours were shining an orange torch near my cottage - too close! Were they out in their paddock rabbitting? Shooting possums?

Hee hee. It was my 'dog solar lantern', glowing in the dark. The dog is larger than Fluff-Fluff the cat, and both Escher and Winnie have already barked at it.

Wednesday 16th September

Extraordinary weather - today is almost too warm to work in the sun. I've been weeding, not terribly successfully, and am having a semi-crisis of confidence. The side of the Shrubbery garden needs absolutely everything pulled out, and I need to start again. The soil is hopelessly dry - even after the winter rains.

How Fussy?

I don't know how fussy to be, so I am poking around like a scratching chook. I'm desperately trying NOT to remove any self-sown forget-me-nots, so I have created - a rod for my own back? That hardly applies to hens, but I think it is the expression. And I have found more patches of sorrel. Aargh! The plan is to settle my thoughts, sort out a strategy, and write a list. I will do some planting, rather than this chook style weeding lark.

  1. Dig out Carexes, plant by wriggling stream.
  2. Dig foxgloves out of lawn, plant by cottage.
  3. Plant ornamental grass in pot.
  4. Plant Cannas by house.

As for my weeding malaise, I blame my self-seeding regime, and that's silly, because I love forget-me-nots, pansies, meadow foam, cornflowers, lychnis, poppies... I love their generosity, and I feel awful pulling any of them out. Hopeless? Too romantic? Maybe I'm just a too-nice gardener.

Three Hours Later

Much better! Things (as listed above) have been planted, and I even weeded the little garden by the cottage. I watered the pots and the pond-side roses, and thought again about putting the Cannas in a slightly submerged pot. Is there enough sun? Oh boy, probably not. Escher just lay about in the sun with his bone - no need to be tied up.

 Black Doris.
Plum Blossom

I am going to semi-dig up the Shrubbery Garden by the rustic courtyard seats. I will temporarily pot up anything nice (pansies, poppies, and so on). I will bring in some top-soil and compost, water madly, and replant my little treasures. I might shift in some roses, and plant a Rosemary. The sorrel (which has crept in from the next door paddock) will feel the gentle touch of my puffy weed-killer bottle.

Thursday 17th September

So far so good. I've dealt to the Shrubbery with the hand-digger, supervised discretely by Buster my black cat. I've potted up pieces of rescued Stachys, Lychnis, and an orange poppy. The soil, if it can be called this, is not good. This weekend I will barrow in some decent stuff. Roses? No way. No wonder those I've tried to grow in here have sulked and died (RIP Canary Bird, Omar Khayyam, and Fruhlingsmorgen - two lucky Gallicas got out just in time).

During this short lunch break I wish to reaffirm my gardening status. My confidence is back. I am feeling pretty good, really. Take no notice of any weed-moaning. And I wish to reaffirm my love for spring, embracing all its variations in weather. Today isn't so swelteringly hot, and there's cloud cover, so the garden immediately looks greener. The black Doris plum tree is now in blossom, and the Camellias behind the garage are in full flower. I love them. Red Camellias get away with half of their blooms going brown, I reckon.

Here's the afternoon's plan. It's a list, by the way, because that worked so well yesterday.

  1. Put Shrubbery mess on bonfire.
  2. Clean out dead Gunnera leaves etc. by pond, add to bonfire.
  3. Rake paths behind pond, add to bonfire.
 So sad.
Poor Escher

No prizes for guessing where this is all heading. Next door's workmen have been burning huge piles of 'slash' for weeks. My little plume of smoke will make the tiniest contribution.

Much Later, Much Cleaner...

Oh joy! Clean fingernails and tingling hands. Apres-bonfire clothes, warm socks. Dogs inside, snoozing on chairs. Poor Escher. Earlier, while distracted by Buster's slinky black bottom, Winnie ran by and stole his bone. Then he was tied to a seat for two hours. I've been working in the pond paddock, in dog-sniffing distance of the neighbour's offal pit. I just don't want him getting into trouble. He's been a bit sad and squeaky.

I've spent ages hacking off dead Phormium leaves and pulling out the hugest shepherd's purse weeds. I've cleaned up the pond decking. I've left the bonfire gurgling on its own. And I am soooooooo proud and happy! Thank you, spring, for showing me the error (I'm sure there was one) of my ways.