I'd like to welcome (not) my first head-cold of the year. Such a nuisance - so minor in the scale of health and happiness, yet so annoying. So the weekend's gardening has been rather sniffy. But I have made some progress. On Saturday I spent three hours sorting out more piles of hedge trimmings for the shredder. I just kept plodding up and down - nothing too much to think about.

 Busy on the Azalea.
Bumble Bee

Sunday 6th August

I'm really cross with my nose today, because the temperature has been delightfully balmy. I've tried a sulky snooze in bed, but forgot to take my tissues - and then Winnie the dog leapt upon me and licked my face. Awake, awake! OK, OK. So we wandered outside and I pruned the Allotment Garden roses. I hope it was OK to prune Mrs Oakley Fisher. She has the strangest growth habit, where the sensible pruning answer might be to use hedge clippers. At such times I wonder if there is some sneaky, subliminal message - like 'leave me alone'.

Let's hope for a better nose day tomorrow. For there is much to do in my garden, and I can even see the first Camellia flowers.

Two days later...

OK. One worse day (yesterday) spent sleeping, snorting, sniffing and sulking in various house beds. But I read a whole book, and that's a sign that the head and/or the body isn't in too sorry a state. This morning I woke feeling much more lively. So I have just completed five hours gardening without stopping. And the only reason I'm inside is that it's started to rain. I've pruned the house roses, dug out ferns, and trimmed heaps of dead leaves off Phormiums in the Island Bed. Looking up and over my shoulder - a joy! The large pink Azalea in flower, covered by frenetic, purposeful bumble bees - large ones, too. Each bee is covered in spots of pollen. Darling things!

 The large Azalea in the Island Bed.
Pink Flowers!

Then I rescued some Liriope (which started its life variegated and visible) from a smothering self-planted fern, replanted the pieces, and pulled out two hopelessly dead standard roses (Blackberry Nip and Dancing Something-or-Other). Who knows why they died? Maybe not enough sun. Standard roses tend to disgrace themselves in my garden. I cut all the Alstroemeria tops off. But I ignored the weedy grass pieces there-in. Oops. Mind not properly on the job...

Understanding Hydrangeas...

In the middle of the Island Bed I shifted a white hydrangea out into open space. I don't understand it. I bought it from a country garden some years ago, a mass of sprouting greenery on a huge ball of roots, with all stalks trimmed to ankle height. Now all the fat woody stems are dead, while the live growing stems are slim and spindly. My fault? Or was the shrub just too old when I got it? Hmm...

 Love those Phormiums!
The Island Bed in August

I also burnt the dry rubbish on my bonfire, and added two more barrowfuls of hedge trimmings to the mix. Its smoky out there! Maybe not so good for the head-cold nose and lungs. Actually, I'm going to have a wee lie down now, apres afternoon-tea. I deserve this!

Wednesday 9th August

Hmm... Not so easy to get a good night's sleep with an annoying nose. So first thing this morning Winnie and I went for a drive to the forest, an hour's walk in the fresh air. When we came home I was still feeling a bit dozy, so I rewarded myself with a short pre-gardening lie-down. Read my book, drifted off, woken by Histeria the tabby pawing at my face. I lay there for a further cosy five minutes and visualised the gardening I would soon be doing.

 By the laundry.
First Pale Pink Camellia

There I'd be, back in the Island Bed, weeding the top edge, far from the house. I'd trim all the old Lychnis stems and the two modest Miscanthus grass clumps. Wouldn't I? Except that it was now raining steadily (I didn't hear a thing, apart from the bellbirds whistling and chiming to each other). So that was that. Or, to be more accurate, that 'is' that, and here I am freshly showered, writing about a gardening day that should have been. And still sniffing.

+10 Aargh! Action stations! Tiger the tortoiseshell has just brought me a wriggling mouse. This is the second such in two weeks. She is super-proud of herself, then always lets them go. Winnie - I need you! Nose! Stop tickling! Where are my tissues?