Gardening with Winnie...

Gardening with Winnie the puppy is never dull. She digs holes in the middle of the house lawn. She bites the watering hose and delicately dismantles the potted succulents. I struggle past her with an armful of rubbish. Ooh, goody! Tug-of-War! But these high-impact interactions are puppy-puzzling. So it's OK to run off with a dahlia dead-head, but divisions of Bergenias are off-limits?

Winnie the Puppy

Wednesday 28th January

I am getting good at subtle multi-tasking. I can throw Winnie's orange Frisbee while carrying buckets of water to the Cistus shrubs down the drive. I can lob a tennis ball into the pond while watering the cottage garden. Minimus the cottage cat sits on the verandah watching, and I can usually manage a chin-tickle between retrievals.

Poor Winnie!

But today Winnie is under house-arrest, so to speak, after yesterday's spaying operation at the vets. She's only allowed outside on a leash, and just as well. There we were, walking slowly past the pond, and Winnie tried to go for a swim. No!

Then there's the delicate question of her toilet. Winnie likes privacy in these matters, so she heads off into the middle of a garden bed with me on the other end of the lead lurching wildly, trying to avoid entanglements with the roses...

 Winnie and Buster.
Kitten, Dog, Bucket, Potato...

Winnie will be a bucket-head for maybe ten days, and will be sleeping inside in her large dog-crate. The Frisbee and the tennis balls are packed away. And let's give Tiddles the tabby kitten a big pat. Having one's tummy licked and snuffled by a bucket-head dog - well, I'm not sure I'd allow it.

 Lovely kittens.
Buster and Tiddles off for a Walk

+5So we go for 'restrained exercise on a leash' walks, and the kittens come too. In fact, on our latest sedate walk down the driveway there were eight of us : the two kittens Buster and Tiddles, Histeria the tabby and ginger Percy, big Fluff-Fluff, the two dogs, and me. Quite comical, really. And I am the control centre of all these lovely animals. Just kidding!

 See her extra toe?
Tiddles the Kitten


Gardening with kittens is a million worlds apart from gardening with puppies. It's much, much easier. The kittens play with each other - they don't need me to do anything. Yet they keep me company, always checking where I am, occasionally leaping out to challenge, before scampering off somewhere else.

Kitten-gardening involves a lot of lurking and watching. And big Fluff-Fluff, nanny-cat, isn't too far away, hidden behind a tussock grass keeping an eye on things. If one suffered even slightly from Ophthalmophobia (thanks, Wikipedia) then working in my garden would be rather unpleasant...

Thursday 29th January

Winnie seems a bit sad today, so I'm off to buy her some meaty bones to chew. Like all border collies she lives to be active, so being confined as well as feeling sore is no fun - poor wee dog! It's drizzling outside, so there won't be much gardening done.

 Summer blues!
Blue Agapanthus Flowers

I'd like to pay homage to the Agapanthus flowering at the moment. If you dislike these rough tough plants, then read no further. And avert your eyes! They grow happily in dry, inhospitable places, and never sulk. They 'anchor' sandy banks with their rough, tough root systems. They are the unsung flower-heroes of my mid-summer garden. So there!