"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Friday, August 25, 2006

Busy Week

No, I've not spent all my time drooling over pricey Maine real estate. I've been a busy girl while the Chap has been away.

Took Ruth to the vet for a quick well check and a weigh-in. And we picked up Lola's medication for her annual August allergy outbreak.

Spent a lot of time in the garden, the weather was so wonderful. I chased monarch butterflies around with my camera.

I've managed to keep the hummingbird feeders topped up. My goodness, they're ravenous. You'd think a big migration is coming up--and you'd be right!

Last weekend I transplanted two roses from a side garden to the back fence, Petite de Hollande and an own-root Charles de Mills. The former budded but didn't bloom this year, and the latter is now mature enough to have bloomed for the first time ever. I hope they'll be happier in their new site.

This week I spent one entire day weeding and moving around more roses. All of these are in new locations: Alberic Barbier, Mme. Sancy de Parabere, Clothilde Soupert, Roseraie de l'Haye, Falstaff, Nearly Wild, and Seagull. Quite the physical workout!

There are still a couple of rose bushes that might get similar treatment. Or not.

In addition, I transferred the large rhododendron that never blooms to my long border, along with a large white potentilla that I rooted myself. I can't believe how much it grew in just a few years, so much that it needs a lot more space.

And I divided and re-positioned one of my beloved pink heathers--I had two large ones, both blooming now. I'm going to like having many more scattered round different beds.

On another day I got out the shears and took care of some pruning--the smaller mock orange, the spirea, part of a forsythia, and the male winterberry outside my office. The female one is fruit-bearing, so I didn't touch her.

My biggest project that day was whacking back my wisteria. I root-pruned it first, then took away all of the long, green tentacles that were covering the octagon deck. Now only the two big stems remain, with just a few leafy bits. Visually it's a big change but a necessary one, to promote bloom next spring.

I've spotted the big brown bunny rabbit at the edge of the woods on two occasions this week, late in the afternoon or at dusk. Neighbours have mentioned seeing him in our driveway early in the day. Obviously he's taken up residence here.

I was thrilled to (finally) receive the reproduction of a Godfrey Kneller portrait of my novel's male protagonist from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I look forward to viewing the original painting on my next NY visit, but this copy will do for now. He's very attractive.

My Chap, also very attractive, returned from Montréal, bearing gifts: numerous bottles of my favourite beer and some toiletries. Plus, a special surprise which I adore--in the "lotions and potions" category. His trip to Québec was excellent, the weather was lovely for driving. Usually I tag along, but we would've had to kennel the girls, and we don't feel Ruth's quite ready for that.

Anyway, I accomplished so much I don't regret staying home.

Now back to the manuscript.

Rose of the Day

Redouté. Another of the incomparable David Austin English Roses. A sport of the ever-reliable Mary Rose, this one looks its best early in the season, then tapers off. But I do love its colour and its fullness and its fragrance.

The rose was named for Pierre-Joseph Redouté, the Belgian/French flower painter so famous for immortalising Empress Josephine's roses. I have many books of his flower prints, which have so often been reproduced. His roses are particularly popular, and on posters, postcards, even gift wrapping paper! If you get a pressie from me wrapped up in pretty Redouté roses, you know you're a very special person.

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