Monday, May 28, 2007
This and That
May is always a busy time of the year for a gardener in the Netherlands. After the ice saints have been (Gangulvus of Marmertus on 11 May, Pancratius on 12 May, Servatius on 13 May and Bonifatius on 14 May) it's usually safe to put out the tender perennials as the risk of night frosts is very low. So I planted up lots of containers and I moved a few big pots too, but I did not carry them as they are far too heavy. So I transported them across my garden in a different way. It's very easy this way and you won't do your back in.
It was high time that I jazzed up my plant standard with lots of new plants in pots as it was looking very sorry for itself. Here is how it looked before
and this is after. Much better!
As I was potting up the plants I heard a noise. It was Mr Blackbird again, making a bit of a spectacle of himself in the birdbath.
Splish, splash he was taking a bath, which was rather risky because there were kitties about, close by in the potager.
Fortunately for Mr. Blackbird both Vita and Dolly were far too busy enjoying the catnip to pay him any heed.
After planting up several containers I felt the need to do something else. Well if you're a real gardener then you are never lost for jobs, are you? So I got out my DIY obelisk kit and went ahead and built myself a nice obelisk.
To prove that I really have been paying attention while watching those DIY programmes on the telly; here's one that I prepared earlier. It comes complete with clematis Hagley Hybrid.
After all that hard work it was time for a cup of tea and a newspaper. While I was reading the local rag I noticed this interesting article on page 3.
Apparently some Dutch garden blogger won a Mouse & Trowel Award for Best International Garden Blog of 2007. Hmmmm, I wonder who that is? ;-) The things you read in the newspaper. Shocking!
To recover from this shock to my delicate system, I went into my potager to check on things. My three sisters bed is doing great. And before anyone asks: a 3 sisters bed is a bed planted up with squash, beans and corn. These are excellent companion plants. The beans provide the nitrogen for the corn and squash. The corn provides the beans with climbing poles and the squash keep the weeds down and retain the moisture in the soil with their big leaves.
In the Victorian greenhouse the tomatoes were doing great and were growing like mad. I grow them up spirals that are very handy for this sort of thing. You just twirl the tomatoes along the curves in the spiral.
Here's a closer look of how that works. I twirl my tomatoes about once a week and once they have reached the top of the spiral it's off with their heads!
As I came out of the greenhouse I noticed that a very good friend had come for a bit of a cuddle and some dindins; Macavity was here!!! And here he is, sitting on the compost bins enjoying his dinner. See, no mousie Wolfgang and no birdie either Layanee!
Here's some irrefutable evidence that men can multitask too; Macavity is eating and schmoozing at the same time.
After dinner it was time for a bit of a wash.
Who is an impeccably behaved kitty then? Macavity, who else? Macavity, Macavity, there's no cat like Macavity.
He showed up one day for dinner quite unexpectedly. Surprise had brought him along when she was still an outdoor cat. A very frightened and shy kittycat he was then and would not let me come near him at all.
A free spirit is Macavity, used to living it rough with no one to look after him. But lots of time and patience, not forgetting loads of TLC have turned Macavity into a new man err cat. And here he is in all his glory, basking in the sun in his basket on the front door porch.
Macavity, a stray cat that has found out that he's a place of his own now to chill and relax and were he's welcome. Isn't he just the best?
Macavity's a ginger cat, he's very tall and thin;
You would know him if you saw him, for his eyes are sunken in.
His brow is deeply lined with thought, his head is highly domed;
His coat is dusty from neglect, his whiskers are uncombed.
He sways his head from side to side, with movements like a snake;
And when you think he's half asleep, he's always wide awake.
T.S. Eliot, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats