Arabella's Diary April
Normally April is the Socks favourite time in the garden - that moment when the weeping cherry comes into bloom, the alpine bed displays its colourful little jewels like an open treasure chest, the beautiful blues of muscari, the excitement of finding out which tulips I have planted where and the heucheras, so beloved by Nigel Colborn, just beginning to bush back into their full beauty! Just when it was warm enough to venture out and welcome the new season into the garden 'THE WALL' situation happened and today the initial dismantling stages are taking place by Mad Andy and his mate. A very nice gentleman was kind enough to provide the Socks with a recommendation of a Landscape company who will (hopefully) be tidying up and erecting fences at a later stage. Yesterday the Socks armed themselves with pruning saws and secateurs and started cutting down some of their old garden favourites. The clematis'elizabeth' montana has been cut back to a 3ft framework, we planted it twenty years ago when we first moved in and it sprawled all over the neighbours fence doing a good job of hiding that and our crumbling wall. Unfortunately it was the only thing holding the neighbours fence together. Sad that we will miss that one week of splendour when it is a pillowy mass of pale pink blooms. The wall-covering cotoneaster I am less sad to see sawn up for the skip - it was never a favourite The winter flowering clematis 'freckles' will have to be cut down - I am in two minds whether to leave the trunk to see if it sprouts again - the glossy evergreen leaves and flowers look lovely in winter but in summer it is a bit of a mess. Some plants we have dug up and potted to be replanted when the trauma is over, others are left to fend for themselves taking their chances under builders boots, some I have taken the opportunity to dump like a slightly annoying Hebe (the plant not the cat).
Spook's Saturday outing went well and fears of him straying too far outside the garden seemed, for the time being at least, to be unfounded. Luka's death on the road last year has left us extremely anxious and overprotective and for the present Spook is only allowed out when we are there to keep an eye on him. Sunday we didn't fare so well - one minute he was dancing and leaping around the garden after any passing fly, bee, or gust of wind, next he had vanished! For ages there was not a sign or sound of him and the Socks rushed around in a frightened frenzy screeching and searching for him. Whilst standing on the back wall trying to spot him it crumbled under my feet and I slipped jambing my leg in between the wall and trellis, gashing it and covering myself in scratches and splinters as I crawled out. More time passed as we tried to reassure ourselves that he was probably stealing cookies from someone else's kitchen and that he would eventually return. Then a frenzied miaowing started to emanate from behind the shed of a neighbour two doors down. The neighbour (who was out) had put netting between his shed and the back wall to stop cats going exactly where Spook now was. He had somehow fallen down behind the shed was now imprisoned and more than a little spooked! Eventually, of course, he did manage to clamber out but not before I had received more cuts, scratches and splinters fighting my way through the near neighbours 'wild' garden to get near enough to coax him out.
Spook was well pleased with himself after his adventure - the Socks were, shall we say, less so. Both cats are now under house arrest until the wall dismantling is finished. Spook will have to have his full freedom soon but not until our nerves have recovered from this episode.
Spook's Diary - The Cookie Monster!