Ten years worth of rubbish...

OK. How strong am I feeling - mentally and physically? It's time to start cleaning out the back of the Shrubbery. Everything needs to be burnt. It will take days and days. There's over ten years worth of rubbish stashed in here. Oh joy!

 A wonderful shrub in the sunlight.
Pseudopanax in the Shrubbery

On mornings like this I think about telling garden fantasy fibs. The scenario - on the sly I hire in a team of men, pop out to a country cafe, returning when all the mess is gone. And then someone writes about me like this:

One Saturday morning Moosey decided she'd surprise her Non-Gardening Partner, off for a day's skiing, by cleaning out the mess at the back of the Shrubbery. 'I pulled out tree branches that were at least ten years old' she quipped. 'And now I've got a brand new area to garden in'. Moosey's next plan is inspired by a garden in Norway. 'I saw a lovely summer-house with arched windows in a Scandinavian garden book', she says breezily, 'and I just knew I had to have one.'

 No wonder I am always losing things - what a mess!
Garden Tools

Back To Reality

Hmm... Back to reality. First I'm going to try dragging the trailer over nearer to the mess. Hopefully my weak-woman's upper arms will do the business.

Then I'll fill it with tree rubbish. I'll need my bow saw and loppers to make the tree pieces smaller. Lots of it is old pine which blew down some three years ago.

Plant Seconds

Then - a little excitement for the middle of the gardening day - I'm off to a closing-down nursery to pick up some 'seconds'. I have no idea what they are - they may even be 'thirds' or even 'fourths'. Too bad. They're cheap.

By the time I get back, a car with a tow-bar should be available to get the trailer around to my burning heap. And then the loop repeats and repeats - until I start sulking too much.

 This tree is in the recently cleaned-up Island Bed
Early Plum Blossom


And then - hee hee - I can look forward to doing the same thing tomorrow. And tomorrow and tomorrow, creeps on the garden's petty pace from day to day, and all that...

Six Hours Later...

Wow! I've worked hard clearing and burning - one trailerful of old pine branches and gum tree mess. Minimus the wonderfully loyal kitten kept me company all day. And guess what? The improvements behind the Shrubbery are very visible.

Poor Old Man!

Unfortunately Non-Gardening Partner is feeling old-mannish after his day on the ski slopes, and doesn't feel like shuffling outside to see what I've done. Mind you, it is nearly dark...

And I picked up my trays of plants - mainly Kowhai treelings, Gooseberries, and little tussock grasses. Nice.

And I am semi-serious about that groovy summer-house. I showed the photograph to NGP who immediately started blustering about building my Adirondack chairs. But I'm not fooled - this is a distraction technique. He's thinking five thousand dollars for a summer house, fifty dollars for a chair...

Sunday 9th August

Right. It's day two of my clean-up and today Non-Gardening Partner is home to help me! Yippee!

'If I just focus on one thing I seem to make progress.;
-Stating the Obvious?

I reckon I could completely clear the area today and then prepare the Shrubbery for extension. That means I'd need to lift out the larger firewood logs as well - maybe a spot of chain-sawing? What would NGP rather be doing? As for me, I don't really have any other plans. If I just focus on one thing I seem to make progress. Funny that!

Later, Mid-Afternoon...

Another trailer load of mess is raked and shifted out of the Hump. It took me an hour and a half to burn everything, and I ended up hot, bothered, and exceedingly red-faced. So I lay down in the (wettish) grass to cool off. Above me a bowl of blue sky, a perimeter of green leafy trees (some gum trees, but never mind), birds singing, the drone of a distant chain-saw, the ends of my pine branches burning quietly - magic!

 Minimus is about eight months old.
Minimus the Kitten

So let me recapitulate. That's two trailer loads in two days, the same gardening project, and no gardening tangents. This is serious! I've raked the route of a new path into the Hump. I've stacked the wet and bagged the dry logs that NGP has kindly sawn up for me.

First Spring Daffodils


And another tiny moment of spring joy - the very first yellow daffodils in flower - a small group of miniatures on the stone wall edge of the Shrubbery. Right now before the sun sinks any lower I'm off to take a photograph.

Anyway, I need to 'collect' Minimus the kitten, my gardening companion, who has been with me in the Shrubbery. She always stays put in the gardening area until she's called and collected. Such a well-trained kitten. A small thought - she's about eight months old now. Perhaps I should cut the 'kitten' from her name...

Apres-gardening, my feet are tingling, my arms are scratched, and my knees feel - interesting. All my smoky clothes are in the wash, I'm as clean and pink as a clean, pink piglet (?) and I'm grinning with post-gardening happiness. Sometimes life is so simple. A quiet, contended 'Yippee'!