I finally finished planting the knapweeds and mallows in the daffodil lawn, intermittently inspected by kittens who came bounding across the grass to greet me before tearing up the oak tree. I ended up locking them in the house after lunch, so that I could cut the last bits of straggly grass under the tree and along the line of the hedge without fear that I'd accidentally lop Mr Fluffy's feet off. They were all lounging about digesting and looking relaxed and not as if they were about to go anywhere, but through the glass door I could see Mr Cool beginning to panic as he realised that he was locked in. It took less than an hour to finish the grass, once I didn't have to mind what I was doing so carefully, and as soon as Mr Cool was allowed to go back outside he no longer wanted to.
The Systems Administrator managed to get the mowers over the top and bottom lawns. We haven't had much rain in the past couple of days, but the dew overnight is pretty heavy by now, and the grass wasn't drying during the day. It's still all surface moisture. I planted some old polyanthus left over from last winter's pots by the front door, that have been sitting in individual plastic pots all summer, and digging down four or five inches the soil is still dry. The daffodil lawn is bone dry too along the strip closest to the hedge, and unless we get some proper rain fairly soon I can see the hose coming out again.
I was very pleased with myself for tidying up the mess of old compost bags and assorted dump-bound rubbish that had accumulated behind the woodshed, so that there was space to put the hose away in a series of big loops on the ground. It wasn't doing anything for the appearance of the garden, having got into the habit of leaving the hose snaked around the edge of the drive to whichever area I was last using it, and I needed somewhere where it could be coiled and uncoiled reasonably quickly and easily. I hadn't reckoned with my efforts giving the Systems Administrator a nasty fright with the boiler, as I stacked bags of waste waiting to go to the dump too densely around the flue, and the boiler cut out. It had done the same a few days previously, and the SA seemed to have fixed it by removing the Parthenocissus shoots that had started twining around the metal cage protecting the flue and vacuuming dust out of the exhaust. Not knowing that I'd moved things around near the flue, the SA was spooked when the boiler did it again.
I planted my bag of a hundred Crocus tommasinianus in the bottom lawn, to bulk up the existing display. A hundred bulbs didn't seem to go very far given the size of the lawn, and I wondered if I should have ordered more. Five hundred, or stop pussy footing around and order a thousand. Five thousand! I add some more bulbs every year or two and the display is building up, though I still don't feel it's achieved critical mass. I only ordered a hundred this time partly on grounds of cost, but largely because I thought planting five hundred bulbs might just get too soul destroying, not to mention hard on the wrist. I note with envy those interviews in magazines with owners who claim to have planted a few dozen crocus bulbs some years ago, and now have sheets thanks to naturalising. My crocus are still nowhere near being a sheet. Maybe mice find them and eat them, even in the lawn. Or the grass is too vigorous for them to self seed.