Good morning again, February...

Dahlias by the Bonfire

Good morning, February. Let's start again, shall we? Thanks for all the rain. Please try not to flop over all the dahlias and the gladioli flowers. Am looking forward to being outside, working away in you again. Yeay!

Alas, today it's too wet. So far I've made six more jars of plum jam, visited the country library (and an almost deserted country cafe), and done some good jig-sawing. Plodded through my morning piano practice - I can almost hear (inside my head) all the notes my fingers should be playing. This has to be a good thing, yes? And I love my new bike. Am hoping to bike all around the orchard later. Such daring, such courage!

Important memo to self : wash hands after jam making before playing the piano.

Monday 7th February

So far today - two hours work, five barrow loads of trimmings (mainly old Lychnis). The plan is to rest awhile, then do lots more. And finally to burn the lot.

 So pretty.
Magenta Lychnis


Am off to take the dogs for a bike ride around the orchard. Then whoosh and whoopie doo! More Lychnis trimming. I pull out the older plants and trim stalks off the younger ones. Any that are too close to a rose get removed. Seems fair enough. You see, I absolutely adore them when they flower in early summer. Right, dogs. Where are you both? Because you're certainly not keeping me company in the garden. Nothing is.

I can remember when I always had one cat or another close by when gardening. This latest batch are usually far too busy snoozing on beds, or (Red Fred) lurking around the hay barn. Buster often hides in the vegetation and spies on me - but I don't know she's there.


I've raked out more dead pieces of the woodshed rambling rose, pulled the sprouts off that rude Kiwi fruit vine, trimmed more stuff, and collected gum bark from the Pond Paddock. My secateuring hand is starting to get achy, and I need it for my piano playing.

 The bumble bees love them.
Pretty Orange Ligularia Flowers

Do you know what I'm really looking forward to? Silly really. Cranking the slow cooker (pork and potatoes) up a notch, washing my hair, and playing some slowish but oh so beautiful Albeniz. Silly not to be living in the moment. But am about to burn, and the bonfiring moment is not such a pleasant one to live in. OK. I can do this.

 A well fed stray!
Speckles the Stray Cat

Tuesday 8th February

Cats are sooooo random. Speckles the stray always eats his meal at dusk. So first thing this morning he arrived on the cottage verandah, stared at me through the glass door, and licked his lips. Breakfast was required. Being a dutiful cat mother, I obliged.

The Taming of the Cat...

Oh joy! Though not totally impressed, he let me tickle underneath his chin for several five second bursts, while he was eating. Such progress! Such detail!

Already today I've dumped two loads of gum bark and dead rose clippings on the bonfire. While it thinks about reigniting I'll play some Albeniz.


Fourteen barrow loads of mess flaming and smoking away on my bonfire. That's a lot. Wow. Collected from behind the Pump House as well as by the container.

 Shasta daisies and Red Hot Pokers are flowering.
Summer Bonfire

It's most unusual for me to be bonfiring in mid-summer, but there's been so much rain that the fire season has stayed open.