50) $@#*!

Marauders!
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Predators!!
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Thieves!!!
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**Something** has been attacking my plants.  Not slugs/snails, I'm sure.  Whole plants have been nipped off and have disappeared, and I don't see any trails.  Some of the remaining stems look sort of chewed.

Bizarre as it sounds, one of my first thoughts was cats.  We do get a few of the neighbourhood moggies into our garden, and I wish we didn't1.  Some of the remaining stems have a chewed look that remind me of cat-grass chewing.  I see no evidence of small rodent-teeth or beaks, but mice or birds are still possible culprits.

I see nothing for it but to put netting over the beds.  And being thankful that I have a few spare plants kept back in the greenhouse.


1Don't get me wrong, I love cats!  But they mess everywhere and do quite a bit of damage, and they wind up the hounds like crazy.  And they are not mine.  One of my biggest fears is that one day, we will miss a cat that is in the garden, and one of the dogs will catch it when we let them out.  If that happens, the cat will die, and our dogs will be in deep, deep trouble, because such is the law in this country.

49) Garden report

Potato plants are going great:

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The rescued herbs are thriving:

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Especially the thyme:

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The other bed now has even more potatoes, onions, carrots; leek and parsnip seeds have been sown, and apparently, mushrooms are sprouting between my carrot seedlings:

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These beds don't look too tidy right now; a whole pile of dead leaves from the pyrocanthus in the neighbouring garden have come down on top of everything.

These vertical poles are a dog-fence, by the way:

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They're just bamboo canes, pushed in to the earth, and sure, the houndies could push through if they really wanted, but this is enough to stop them randomly wandering across my seedlings.

Possibly most importantly, the rest of the veggies are now fenced off from the rest of the garden:

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Getting that fence up was a major part of the work my Dad did last weekend.  Since then, J and I have bought some plants for the border; nothing organised, planned or primped; just a selection of Nice Looking Stuff.  I think my favourite is probably this lily, which is sufferring right now from my horrible photography skills:

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Today, I got the first of the pea canes in:

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Surrounded by calabrese broccoli and summer squash seedlings, this should be an interesting square metre for a month or two to come!

48) Fallen off the face of the blog

O hai!

It would appear that I haven't posted anything for over two weeks now.  What can I say?  There has actually been fairly little knitting – I have started a new, ribbed sleeve for Eloise, which I think looks much better than the all-reverse-stockinette version; the dandelion wine has been fizzing away merrily in the kitchen and is starting to clear, and the beer in the garage is ready to be bottled.

The garden – ahhh, the garden! – is making huge progress.  My folks came to visit last weekend, and both my parents are spade-wielding dynamos.  My Dad, in particular, is an unstoppable force; I was getting up at 07:30 in the morning to find that he'd already had three cups of coffee and put in several fence posts.  They left at 10am on Sunday, and he did a few 'last minute tasks' before getting in the car, including totally digging out, restructuring and sorting out the compost heaps (which are now well behaved and beautiful).  Photos to follow.

I completely overdid things, of course, and have had half the week off work with a CFS flare as a result.  I sort-of knew things were heading that way, but hoped I wasn't too bad.  In the end, though, I had to insist that Mum (at least) stop digging and lifting and sweeping and pruning and, instead, just sit and drink tea with me for a bit.  Because it's a horrible feeling that your guests are working hard whilst you're having the vapours on the patio.

The rest of my 'spare' time has been taken up with ::drumroll:: freelance work!  I am really, really excited about this; I am putting myself out there as a knitting pattern checker/editor/grader.  I already have a few contacts/clients, which is awesome, but if I'm going to make a full-time, professional career out of this, I will need MORE.  Of course, I can't blog about the patterns I'm working on, and what would normally be my knitting time is being eaten into in a major way right now.  And equally of course, this is likely to become more and more true as I build up a client base big enough to support me whilst still working a full-time job.

For the sake of J and the dogs, and my own sanity, I don't think I can leap from the corporate ship into the midst of the current economic storm.  At least, and at the risk of overextending a metaphor to a dangerous extent, not without building myself something of a life-raft first.

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