The rose pruning month?

 A Calendula flowering.
Winter Colour

Good morning, July. So you're the rose pruning month, yes? Well, I've pruned one white Iceberg. Wow! Guess what? Today I'm planning to prune some more. That is, as soon as I've trimmed the remaining Gunnera in the water race, and raked up some more hedge trimmings, and planted a large green Phormium by the house.

But, since it is mid-winter, I am still inside contemplating the outdoors temperature (about eight degrees Celcius) and thinking of warmer diversions, like music writing, coffee drinking, or book reading.


I've been good - I worked outside for four hours. I pruned two more Iceberg roses - both are the bright pink variety. Went in the water race wearing my new light-weight waders, trimmed more Gunnera and more Phormiums. Then great excitement - I found my sharp kitchen bread-knife sitting by the variegated Arundo. Yeay! The most amazing garden tool. So I used it to slice down a super-sized Phormium which was blocking an irrigation pipe. It will sprout again, clean, green and modest in size - for a while, at least. Then I sliced out a coarse green Carex and countless ferns. Slice is the word, when one is wielding a sharp serrated bread knife!

 Spot the cat!
Gunnera Roots Trimmed

Alas, I left all my mess lying on the back lawn. It was too late in the day to burn, and I didn't feel like getting smoky hair. Lilli-Puss (my lost-and-found-again cat) gets upset when I smell smoky. She sniffs at me and then hisses. Maybe she had a problem with fire when she was AWOL?

 Photograph taken from Middle Bridge.
The Water Race

Just for the record, I didn't rake up any hedge trimmings and I didn't plant that Phormium. Now I need to walk Winnie the dog - it's nearly six weeks since her cruciate ligament surgery. She's doing well - but always in her crate, or fully supervised. It's a dog's life!

Tuesday morning...

Have just had the loveliest morning garden walk with animals and camera. Winnie the dog is on lead, accompanied by Red Fred the cat - above, a bell-bird, flying from tree to tree, whistling down at us. I stop to shout back up at him :'Bird! You're beautiful! But I have cats!'

 Best friends.
Fred and Winnie

I look down - Red Fred has 'that' look in his eyes, and is poised to leap up my leg. Aargh! Moving on, cat-leap foiled, I stop to take a photograph. Fred prepares to relaunch himself. So quickly over the bridges we go - me, the dog, the scary cat, and the whistling bellbird.

The Mess!

Then I take photographs of yesterday's mess. Fred leaps high over the water race and lands on the Gunnera - satisfying (hopefully) his scary urges. Winnie pokes around, smelling smells. The bell-bird keeps on whistling his beautiful bird-song.

 Red Fred.
Fred on a Gunnera Root

New cat-dog combination...

We come inside to a new cat-dog combination. Winnie goes back in her crate, Pebbles comes back into the house, Red Fred gets shut outside, and Lilli-Puss comes out of lockdown. She's braver today, and slinks around to investigate the dog couch.

Oh dear. Poor Pebbles gets a fright, jumps up into the air, and runs for her life. Lilli, super-scary grey cat, merely looks puzzled.

So I put Lilli back in her room, and I go over to comfort Pebbles, who has curled up into the smallest dog-ball in the far corner of the room. 'Treats for dogs! ' I coo in my sweetest voice. She won't come out. Darling dog!


And now I am feeling a little garden-guilty. If I am prepared to take (and publish!) photographs of my mess, then shouldn't I be prepared to pick the mess up? But I'm tired, and cold, and I have my good jeans on. So I'm going to have a shower and wash my hair instead. As one does.