Stern words...

 It has been a great year for the Rosemary in the top of the Herb Spiral.

Stern words. I have not run out of marmalade for the breakfast toast, or fair trade organic coffee for the morning slurp. Nothing hurts. All my fingers work. I am wearing my snuggly woolly blue house jersey (I love blue). My cats are happily snoozing. My dogs are waiting politely for us to do something.

And I have a social life! My plans for today : a morning dog walk with a friend in the local forest, then afternoon tea and Brahms piano duets with another friend. Except I haven't done any practice...

Tuesday 27th September

There is absolutely no excuse for being in a moochy mood. My plan for self-remediation is as follows : donning a laminated (?) cooking apron, I will spend a quick hour in the glass-house potting and pricking out seeds. There will be no need to change clothes (the excuse I seem to use for not doing the seeds). When we get back from the forest I will, however, change into gardening gear. This will be in a neat pile, waiting for me outside the back door. No excuse, you see.

My Piano :
This is my piano, with dearly departed Fluff-Fluff on the seat. Miss you, dear cat!

Later, I will collect take-out coffees and surprise my afternoon-tea friend. I will be full of cheeriness, and I might even play Brahms half-decently. I will not take fright when I see a G# and crash-bash the wrong note. G sharps are doing that to me lately - causing a split second's panic, a senior musical moment, if you like.

Much later...

I've had an amazing day. It is so easy to re-energise. A productive, 'well-aproned' hour in the glass-house, then an hour's forest walk (a loop track, much more mentally satisfying than 'there and back') with three dogs and a wonderful friend. We nattered about making every moment of every day count, even if it's tiddly small and one of our knees (or hips) is aching. The older dogs snuffled and shuffled along the path, while young dog Winnie criss-crossed far and wide, smiling with dog-happiness. Dogs love doing something, and so do humans, I reckon.

 A private spot.
The Shrubbery Courtyard

I can also report a couple of semi-respectable pages of Brahms, and two robust gardening sessions. The garden around the Shrubbery courtyard is now properly weeded. And, quietly excited, I found some bags by the pond which had 'leaf-moulded' properly. So I spread the contents around the Esk Sunset No.2 (silly name) tree and roses. The double Kerria has been duly photographed, and the periwinkle partially reprieved. As long as it stays at the back by the sheep fence where it's supposed to be. Don't laugh!

 And suckering, oops...
Double Kerria Flowering

Wednesday 28th September

Message for my garden. Since I have no car today I am all yours. Please treat me kindly, make the most of me, and no nasty surprises please.


Hmm. Do I really want ten thousand little seedling plum trees? No, I didn't actually count them, but there are lots. And lots. LOTS! I've spent a busy morning out near the Laundry Garden, fixing paths, weeding, trimming rogue trees, and generally poking around. I've pruned the Clair Matin roses, and tried to cut more dead wood out of the huge yellow Banksia. This rose is a monster now, and part of the plum tree it climbs up has broken off. Oops. Maybe the tree has scattered its children far and wide in protest.

At the end of the day...

I have been working for seven hours. I am very proud. So what have I done this afternoon? Nothing dramatic, or exceptionally noticeable. I've starting the clean-up of the pond's waterside garden. I have further pruned the Ballerina roses (was very wimpy the other day, nipping the tiniest bits off the top). I have found and pulled out lots more little Berberis seedling shrublets. These must have sprung up when I wasn't looking (as usual). I spent the last hour burning all my rubbish and reflecting - a very pleasing punctuation full-stop.

 Waiting for dinner.
Dogs on the Lawn

It's been a day when I haven't finished anything, and I've seen many more weeds in the borders I've walked past. But that's OK. I've found my gardening oomph - and the missing green watering can. The dogs have enjoyed themselves being outside all day. The evening meal is organised, and I am off to loll on the TV couch with a cold glass of milk. I love my garden.