Just one garden thing...

So here's the plan. Each day this week I'm going to choose just one garden thing and try really hard to finish it, rather than choose a garden area to work in. Garden areas are never finished, but it must be possible to start and finish a 'thing'. Surely it is... So today, Tuesday, it's the Gunnera.

 It grows into a giant.
Gunnera in Spring

I'm going to work my way down the water race and cut down all the brown Gunnera leaves. They'll be stacked to dry off for the bonfire. Also I'll chop off the watery stems. They'll need a lot more drying before they can be burnt, though. So they get their own separate pile.

Five Busy Hours Later...

Oh dear. The time-scale of my plan has been drastically changed. In five hours I've only managed to clean up two Gunnera clumps - I have eight to go. So my new plan is to spend the whole week on this one task. Ha! The enlargement transformation strikes again.

 One clump done.
Dogs Drinking Near the Gunnera

Today, mixed in with the Gunnera work, I've been burning rubbish on the bonfire and creating a new pathway to come off Willow Bridge. The Yellow Wave Phormium now completely blocks the original alighting place. I've used the last of the big river stones to start a sturdy (I hope) stone wall for the new edge. I've rescued spring daffodil bulbs (just starting to sprout) and pieces of a rather nice stripey grass (Japanese, the name escapes me, but I'll look it up).

Dogs Don't Do Gardening...

The three dogs have been keeping me company, but sadly I've come to the following conclusion. Dogs don't do gardening. They see me wandering around and bending over, but aren't really interested in what I'm doing or looking at, unless I am simultaneously throwing a tennis ball or a stick. Dogs don't get the concept of wheel-barrowing things, either. It's fun to trip up the wheeler and steal something out of the barrow. And as for the stacked piles of rubbish underneath the hedge - these are surely dog toys! So Winnie drags out all the huge Gunnera seed-heads, shakes them to bits, and then leaves them all over the lawn. Grrr...

 In front of the Hump.
Three Dogs - Rusty, Escher, and Winnie

But don't think for a minute that I'm disappointed. I've had a wonderful winter day in the garden. Absolutely wonderful. And I love having three dogs. Now a hot bath, a drink of cider (flavoured with blackberry and plum) with my evening meal, and then straight to bed.

Wednesday 17th June

Hee hee. Escher the sleep-on-a-bed-inside dog might have spent his last night in comfort. He is getting a dog-suit, and he is going to sleep in his outdoors kennel. About 2am this morning (cold and frosty) he woke his mother, needing to go outside. Then he happily disobeyed her instructions and charged over to wake Winnie and Rusty in their kennels. I'm awake! Pack-party! Let's doooooooo something!

 The liquidambar, one of the last trees to shed.
Dropping Leaves

Today's plan is exactly like yesterday's. There's a slight frost, but oh joy! The winter sun shineth. Soon we are off to the dog-park, and then we'll trim some more Gunnera. I'll take photographs this time. But it occurs to me - I'll be taking photographs of nothing... Oh well.

Thursday 28th June

Today's plan was the same as yesterday's, but alas! Bad weather is imminent, and we've only just returned from the dog park, where there was a bit of a dog fight.

We stayed well away, but I felt sorry for one of the owners who has been trying all the right things to socialise her dog. She's damned if she does, and damned if she doesn't. She keeps her dog on a long lead for a reason. Others need to respect this and either avoid them, or at least make sure their dog(s) don't crowd around too much. And now, my thoughts regarding jittery, reactive dogs who wear soft muzzles. Other people write them off as 'dangerous', whereas the owners are just being pro-active and responsible. It's the dodgy dog without a muzzle to be wary of! See - two weeks with three dogs and I am suddenly an expert! Hee hee. What a fast learner!

+10 +10+10And so are my cats. Last night there was total feline-canine harmony. I was TV-couch-cycling in Switzerland, with new brown dog Escher beside me, ginger Percy on me, and big Fluff-Fluff cushioning my head. On the other couch the young cats black Buster and Tiddles the tabby were snoozing, and Tiger was purring at my feet. My dogs Rusty and Winnie were on the carpet behind my couch. I am the centre of the House Pet Universe, obviously!

 In a patio pot.
Winter Polyanthus Colour

And guess what? About five days until the shortest day of the year, the mid-winter solstice, brrr and all that. Right. The cold rain has started, so I'm going to play my piano. Brahms, dear Brahms, here I come. With heaps of gusto and good-will in my ancient, clattery arthritic fingers.