Sunday, 6 August 2017

overdoing it

Mr Fidget fell in the pond.  I was weeding by the pond and there were no cats in it, then a moment later when I went into the kitchen the Systems Administrator gestured to me through the window to come and look at something, and there was a wet and pathetic Mr Fidget, little ratty tail all draggly and fur sticking up in punk spikes.  He must have climbed straight out after he fell in, to judge from the large wet patch along one side of the pond and absence of water at the top of either of the wooden ramps that are still in place from when the kittens were first allowed outside, and he seemed entirely unharmed except in his feelings.  It might be just as well that yesterday I topped the pond up because the water level had dropped by four or five inches and I was afraid that it would be too far to climb out if any of the cats fell in.  It would happen to Mr Fidget.  We were starting to hope that he might be getting less accident prone as he got older.  I dried him on the kitchen towel and gave him some biscuits, but he went on looking pathetic.  As the SA said, he was probably not very happy at all his fur smelling of pond water.

I went on weeding by the model railway and moving gravel, until on about the fourth barrow my back suddenly twinged in a way that told me that I had better stop.  It is frustrating since I would very much like to finish spreading the contents of the second bulk bag, and not have it sitting by the gate for months.  In the meantime I shifted to weeding the turning circle, a meticulous but lightweight fingertip job.  The thrift needs deadheading, since the old heads are not especially ornamental and the tight buns of foliage look better without them, but am leaving the brown, spiky heads of Eryngium and the bobbly spent flower stems of Asphodeline lutea until winter. Both are attractive in a decaying sort of way, especially early in the morning with dew or frost on them, and contrast nicely with the smooth domes of the deadheaded thrift.

There is lots of sheep's sorrel.  However much I pull up, it always comes back.  Dead Eleagnus leaves have tucked themselves down among the other plants and need scooping out.  It's debatable whether to leave the old stems and seedheads of Nigella damascena any longer, or if they have already passed beyond the architectural stage to become merely tatty.  There is some sort of native plant whose name I don't know, that looks quite like salsify but has yellow daisy flowers instead of pink, and seeds itself more than I should like.  I pull the seedlings out, a slightly fiddly task since the small ones are easy to confuse with Asphodeline at a casual glance.  As long as they come up with a white tap root and not a cluster of yellow roots I know I haven't got the wrong one.  There is a running grass that dives among the roots of the Iris florentina.  In the past I have lifted all the iris and dug the area over, but since a tiny bit of grass always escapes it's easier just to pull the grass out and resign yourself to doing it again in due course.  There are brown, dead, not even remotely architectural stems of Silybum marianum, that need to be pulled up and added to the pile of stuff bound for the bonfire.  They are extremely prickly.

Our Ginger came to watch me work, and wanted to sit in my lap as I kneeled.  I petted him for a while then fetched him a spare foam kneeling mat to sit on, but he wasn't having any of it and stomped off.

No comments:

Post a Comment