What to work at in wild, wet, winter weather? Weeding? Well yes, there's always weeding, and I have done a little... But all those W words are rather off-putting. Seriously, it's just been too wet.

 Too wet to garden.
Wet Patio and Puddles

At times like this the house animals provide lots of news. Correction - newsworthy they may be not, but hey!

 Wet dog Winnie.
D for Devour...

The Hunting Tag-Team...

Buster, my slender, elegant, super-model black cat, caught a large rabbit yesterday. I quickly shut the cat-flap as a precaution. Inside the house, Winnie barked her squeaky bark - aargh! Buster then appeared on the patio, her chunky prey kicking for its life, and gave us a provocative dog-teasing cat-burlesque routine. Poor Winnie! I'm sorry, but rabbits are a serious pest here. So I shut my eyes, and tried to ignore the noise. You see, Winnie considers that she and Buster are a finely trained hunting tag-team.

It works like this. C = Catch. D = Devour. Cat catches them, Dog finishes off the job (i.e. eats them). And Buster is a teaser, not a killer anyway.

Nothing so dramatic with Histeria, my veteran mouse hunter, who brings her trophies inside whole but deceased (four this week). They are neatly deposited on the kitchen floor for the unwary (me) to tread on. Deceased rats (which scare the pants off me) apparently are better presented on the carpet or the hearth rug. Hmm...

 And evidence of the wet!
Weeding Evidence

OK, so what exactly have I done in the garden? I've spent one concentrated afternoon clearing around the dog kennels. The Lavenders look to be wintering well. I trimmed the Lavatera Barnsley which grows at the end of Winnie's kennel. I scraped weeds off the pathways and tried to make it all look lovely. But then the rain arrived full blast, and that was that. Allow me to show you the evidence, hee hee...

Hellebore - Winter Rose

Rain and Wind...

The serious rain has come with some semi-serious wind, but only minor branches of trees have fallen. The puddles come and go (my land is extremely free-draining) and the shelter trees earn their keep. It's quite wind-free near them!

Because of the rain, I've put the fruit for the birdies in a kitchen sieve - good thinking, Mother Moosey! They're also eating a lard ball a day. I estimate the wax-eye flock is over fifty strong. The blackbirds and starlings are not being bully-birds on the feeding station, and they're also pecking at the nearby crab-apples. Good sharing of the food, all you birdies.

Winter Roses...

On one of our many wet-walks around the garden with the ball-thrower I discovered a real rose (Kronenbourg) in rather full winter flower. Such a lovely surprise!

 The hybrid tea Kronenbourg.
A Real Winter Rose

Of course the Hellebores, the traditional 'winter roses', are flowering now. They're much harder to spot because their colours are rather subtle and they hang their pretty heads down so.

Sunday 23rd July

Today - magic! Blue sky again, and not a breath of wind - such a contrast with the last days, finally a day to spend outside and enjoy. Winnie and I have both had a wonderful day. First, we went to the dog park. Then I weeded for ages in the warm sunshine, and threw Winnie's ball. We went for a walk to check (i.e. try and count) the sheep. I weeded some more. And some more. I threw her ball some more. Then we zoomed off in the car to the forest. I walked around the paths for about an hour while Winnie crissed and crossed, ran ahead, then looped around and thundered past me from behind.

 On a beautifully sunny day.
Winnie and Me

So now W = Wow! From Wet to Wonderful in just a few days. I'd forgotten how timeless a good winter's gardening day can be. Now the Frisbee lawn's corner garden is much better organised, and lots of the self-sown Euphorbias have been tidied up. They'll flower in spring. Hopefully!