We took a Garden Day yesterday in a bid to recover from the week we had last week. The twins played twig-house-building games alongside the brick wall, the Teenager worked on his engine in the carport (from the smell of it he had definite troubles reining in his Inner Spray Painter), and I tried to remove the stupid bishop's weed from the side perennial bed. Eventually I got rather bored with this Promethean task and started amusing myself with some Home & Garden Renovation games in this corner here.
It's an odd sort of corner, really. Those concrete steps belong to the neighbours, (even if I do have to keep reminding my children of this fact) and their rather looming juniper is the very same one that infected my pear tree with rust last summer and once housed a lot of mean wasps, so I don't look very kindly upon it. In fact, I'd rather not look upon it at all, but it can be a handy shortcut to the carport (says Richard the Always Look On The Bright Side of Life Man). It also has a large slab on concrete on it, for reasons we have been unable to ascertain. I used to use it for my compost bin. Now it holds, as you can see, a large oak barrel. It would be far more amusing if I had an actual budget for all my H & G plans, of course. Luckily I had something almost as good: I had $10 and An Idea. Those two things can go a long way (says Sheila the Plucky Jane Austen heroine).
(cue dramatic soaring music)
First, we went to Home Despot, where I bought a couple of two by twos. I had a one by two already in the carport, left from a plan we had for the Former Pig From Guinea, Henry (before his final trip to the Great Beyond). I pinched some wood screws from Richard the Man Who Hoards His Wood Screws (he maintains that I use them too indiscriminately), borrowed his saw, and with a couple of judicious cuts, using what I refer to as my Chinoiserie Angling Effect, I had me a little arbor. With Clever Angles. Later in the spring I will paint it bright green. Finally, I planted a little Sollya heterophylla,a some tiger lillies, and a Guy de Maupassant climbing rose on one side. On the other side the Gravenstein apple tree was already there.
And look, there is a Dominic, catching flies.
Max thinks we need a camera in the greenhouse to catch a glimpse of whatever comes in here at night. Because something (cue spooky music) does. See the cat? This is Toffee the Cat With A Funny Leg (he once fell off our deck, which is about 18' from the ground, and his leg has never looked right since). Well, Toffee loves this greenhouse. He walks around inside it, lays inside it, and spends inordinate amounts of time sniffing things. And it's not an irritated What The Hell Does That Neighbour Cat Think He's Doing In Here kind of sniff, either. It's more in the What A Truly Fascinating Smell vein.
See - here he is again. Staring at the ground this time. He did this for so long that I was able to stare at him for a while, walk around to the front of the house, go inside and get the camera, walk around back again, and take a picture of him and he never moved once. Not that he's a particularly lively cat or anything, but something is obviously holding his attention. Off the top of my head I would have said that it was a mouse or something but nothing is chewed or nibbled.
By the way, no, in case you were wondering, we did not push him off the deck. He fell. Alas, he is not a very graceful cat.
Finally, here is Skeleton Man, dancing around the town. FDPG did this as part of her Explore A Girl Guide Country badge. Skeleton Man is on his way to Mexico to see what's going on during the Day of the Dead Festival. Ever since we read some Diana Wynne Jones, followed by some Neil Gaiman and then some extended Dr Who viewings, FDPG has been very taken with all things weird and magical. And what, I ask you, could be more magical (and weird) than a happy Skeleton Man dancing through town on his way to Mexico?