Flowering now.
Nicotiana sylvestris

Best not to write up the gardening journal after a really long hard-working day in the garden. The words tend to sound tired, while the happy element (which is always present) somehow gets filtered out. But I'm always super-proud when I've done a large chunk of gardening. Love, love, love it.

Sunday 11th January

Like today - I even went back outside after the evening meal, well-watered with cider mixed with cranberry juice, and trimmed more edges. But then Tiddles the tabby appeared, and her paws worry me near garden tools that nip and cut. I'm so happy-tired. Why don't I just go to bed super-early and finish my book? I am travelling on trains with the older (and wiser) Paul Theroux, about to leave Sri Lanka. It's only 6:30. Does this worry me? Nope. Good night.

The Next Morning...

Ha! Twelve hours later, and I am fired up with enthusiasm. And I know exactly why yesterday was such a good gardening day. There are several reasons :

  1. I didn't have to multi-task and throw Winnie the dog's tennis ball.
  2. I was listening to New Zealand (us) win the cricket.
  3. I hadn't lost my new garden tools.

But the main reason was to do with the symmetry of the circular. Alpha and Omega. I did a gardening loop.

 Large flowers in the Perennials Garden.

I started by trimming the Gunnera on Willow Bridge and dead-heading the standard Blushing Pink Iceberg roses. Three hours later I'd made my way around the edges of the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden and was back where I'd started. I scooped up the spiky Gunnera leaves and the rose prunings, dumped them underneath the hedge, and headed for the house. We had already won the cricket match. Ha! Sooooo satisfying...

 This Gunnera needs trimming!
Escher on Willow Bridge

Whilst on the loop - sorry about this - I made some serious observations. Firstly, my chemical weed-killing of sorrel has not worked, neither has my careful scraping up of plants and roots. But I knew it wouldn't. Secondly, the miniature Agapanthus like it in the Stumpy Garden. I know this because they haven't died, and are all about to flower madly. Thirdly, the Campion. It can stay. love the pink, white, and in-between flowers. OK, it's a weed. But such a pretty one.

Another Loop...

Hee hee. Today has been an equally good gardening day, and again I did a sort of loop. I sloshed up one side of the water race between Middle Bridge and Willow Bridge, rough-weeding the flat dog-path edge. The dog-paths themselves were pretty much impassable, blocked with huge Phormium leaves, rogue Gunnera seedlings, and so on.

 I need more stones.
This Dog-Path is Underwater

Then I sloshed back down to my starting point weeding the other sloping side. This is more difficult because I don't want to cause erosion. Erosion! Eek!


Thoughts - I need to repeat the process with my ladies' spade. I need to trim all the dead leaves out of all the flaxes. I need to recover and pot up all self-sown lupin seedlings, and put more stones on the dog-path surfaces.

 Agapanthus, Orlaya, and Pelargoniums.
Flowers by the Cottage

These waterside walkways are now passable dog-paths, and slimline dogs with pointy noses (like Winnie) fit perfectly. Ungainly, wobbly people and large blundering dogs (like The Head Gardener and brown Escher) don't. They crash into the Phormium leaves and topple over into the water. Oops.

Tuesday 12th January

It's the end of another good gardening day. I hope this is not just the 'Wildside Cider with Plum and Blackberry' speaking. I just want to say how lucky and blessed I am to have such good cat-friends, dog-friends, family and person-friends. And to have a bag full of new library books and a comfy bed in a garden cottage in which to choose one and start reading it.

And to have a large garden which looks rather lovely, not showing too many signs of neglect. Oh really? This is definitely the cider talking!

So is it really too early to go to bed at 6:30? Not if I'm happy-tired yet again, and I can choose between a DCI Barnaby Midsomer Murders book and a train journey through China. Ooooh goodie.

Goodnight, before I disgrace myself in a surfeit of the cidery-sentimental.