Smooching the camera!
Smoochy Minimus

Minimus my grey cat lives (that is : snoozes, snacks, sleeps, eats, lolls around, eats some more) in Pond Cottage. And Minimus is on a cat-diet. What to do? Come into the big house, check out the food bowls, and enjoy some sport : scare the dog-pants off Pebbles, and pick on dear old Tiger the tortoiseshell.

Poor Pebbles. Trotting along the hall, minding her own dog-business, she passes Minimus hiding behind the flowers on the hall table. Out leaps the scary cat. Kapow! Hissssssss! Pebbles runs outside, curls up in the tiniest ball on the patio, won't come back in the scary house.

This cat-diet of hers definitely affects my gardening serenity. I now have the pleasure of Minimus's company all the time in the garden, more to indicate her extreme cat-hunger than to enjoy my friendship and conversation. And so she watches and waits, camouflaged in the tussock grasses. Sure enough, along comes Pebbles the dog, not a care in the world... Kapow! Hisssssss! Oh dear.

+10Inside Minimus lures Tiger, my senior house cat, into traps (underneath seats, behind doors, in corners of a room, etc.) from which there is no escape. She then guards the exit with much posturing and nasty howling. Tiger is stuck. Tiger, who doesn't ever think an aggressive thought. Sooooooo unfair.

 There she is, on the left.
Minimus Lives in Pond Cottage

This morning I did some trimming around the BIG GUM, and some weeding in the top of the Jelly Bean Border, into which I tipped out bags of luscious looking horse manure. And again, Minimus arrived, which again put Pebbles into a bit of a spin. Share the garden, share the gardener, you sillies! Then the wind became too gusty and noisy, so Minimus scampered off to shelter underneath the house decking.

 Always checking for the new dog Pebbles.
Minimus in the Garden

Monday 26th February

Aha! Transition time. All the dahlias are desperately making new flowers, while the Shastas along the water race are now all trimmed. The Shasta trim always signals that summer is pretty much over. But more - much, much more - on that! There's an even bigger indicator.

No fire ban...

Aargh! The fire ban has just been lifted. So all my piles of gum leaves (I have been going on a bit about raking up gum leaves) can now be burnt. And, I regret, they have to be burnt, for they will not decompose. And the driveway gum tree mess can be raked up and taken straight to the bonfire, without 'double handling'.

Aargh! Now I'm thinking aching shoulders, smoky hair, a hot and bothered gardener - for at least the next week. There's so much mess lurking underneath the hedges, and piles of gum tree branches from the huge piece of tree that fell down two weeks ago. Blast! This is when gardening becomes a bit of a chore. Best not to think about it too much. Today is too windy to burn. Maybe hope for wind tomorrow?

 Would you believe nine wheelbarrowfuls?
Aha! The Bonfire Ash!

But first, the ash heap from my last bonfiring season. This ash is wet and heavy and has to be removed. So today I decided I would do a alternating 'circuit' - dump an ash load, then collect a load of trimmings (two more garden areas have flopped over Shasta daisies).

 Beautiful bark...
Around the Big Gum Tree

I've rather preferred the trimming to the shovelling. And during my travels I have found lots of creepy grass mixed in with the dahlias and roses in the the Dog-Path Garden. Another blast. I need to sit down with hand digger and try to trace (and remove) all the grass roots.

 Zooming in front of my camera!
Minimus the Cat

C'mon, Minimus. It's time for your supper. You poor, hungry, cat...