By hand...

When a random gardener with great intentions (me) has a large garden, it's easy to forget to slow down. Hand-watering the roses - aargh! No time! But the little, slow things are sooooo important.

 Black Fred and Red Fred.
Sleeping Kittens

Like stopping writing one's gardening journal to cuddle the kittens. The Fred kittens (identical twins) live in a whirl - chasing, playing, jumping and climbing - then suddenly they want to be cuddled to sleep. OK. There's always time to pat the cat.

 The Salvias and Nasturtiums are just starting to flower.
The Allotment Garden

So proud...

But fast, concentrated, efficient gardening work gives me a great feeling, too. I am so proud of me today. I could have so easily snoozed my way through another hot holiday afternoon, listening to he tennis commentary on the radio, reading my book (a very good one) about the Borgia Pope and his family. But no way! Not me! I've been outside working really, really hard, showing superb self-discipline, setting an amazing example. If only to myself.

I've been clearing and watering the Allotment Garden. Finally my neighbour has mown the long weeds along his side of the boundary. I've been moaning about his mess, so really! I needed to tidy up my side as well.

And gosh it looks great. I've pulled out lots of old Lychnis clumps (their flowering is very close to being finished), and clumps of the purple weedy flower that the bees like. I've only cleaned up three of the six 'compartments', but have already removed six barrow-loads of mess. Two hoses are now watering the shrubs (Pittosporums and Rugosa roses) along the boundary.


So after dinner I hand-watered each rose, murmuring quiet apologies and promises to do better to Rhapsody in Blue, Friesia, Whiskey Mac, Aotearoa, the hedge of Roseraie de L'Hays, the trio of tall Graham Thomases, the Cornelias and Crepuscules busy on their second flowerings... I cleared totally around runty little Munstead Wood, and the runtier and littler Lady of Megginch. These roses deserve better.

And now I have arranged Black Fred along the side of computer keyboard, while Red Fred is sprawled on my lap. So I won't be going anywhere for a while! It's so peaceful when one enjoys a slow moment..

Friday 11th January

It is also very peaceful for a responsible gardener to have the little watering hoses on, propped up on stalks, and to shift them along the Allotment Garden every hour. Mindless and repetitive, but a good system. Today has been a somewhat musical day, but I can water my little rosy treasures at the same time.

 A beautiful flowering annual.
Lavateras by the Patio

Was happily practicing some Bach when I heard the lawn mower. Aargh! Stopped mid-quaver, and quickly scooped up a barrowful of gum bark mess off the house lawn, trying to beat the mower's arrival. And I did - only because it gave an almighty clunk on its way past the Adirondacks and stopped, dead. Aargh! Something broken? This often happens when I've left a hand digger hidden in the grass. Or (please no) a spade. Nope! Phew! It was just one of the dog's sticks...

+10Right. The hoses need shifting again, and then I need to wash my hair, pour a glass of the House Merlot, and spend some quality time with my cats and kittens. Buster is still sulking. Tiger doesn't care at all - this morning she shared her pet milk bowl with the Fred kittens, no problem. Soooo mature, Tiger!