Rake those leaves!

 A Sorbus tree, late to drop its leaves.
Autumn Leaves

It's the last weekend before I go on holiday - lovely relatives to visit, warm temperatures, summer days! I'm so looking forward to it. In the ideal gardening world, before my departure I will have raked absolutely all the autumn leaves off the lawns. And I will have weeded everywhere, and raked all the paths, and popped all the half-hardy plants into glass-house pots.

I will also have finished my clean-up in the Hump, and burnt everything - all my rubbish. No stone will have been left unturned. And as a final statement I will have built the new garden shed.

Friday June 11th

'Built the shed'? I don't quite think so. The garden shed's project manager is actually Non-Gardening Partner, and I just do what I'm told, gently, like John Bunyan's snail (I love that poem).

Snail Poem

Time for some trivia? A learned friend has pointed out that since snails are hermaphrodites, he thinks that John Bunyan's 'Upon a Snail' poem should read as follows:

Not so easy for this older-lady gardener to identify with, so I'll quote the last four lines properly:

Ha! I love and believe in those lines! Actually I've found a few snails while digging the post holes - I just throw them gently towards the fence-line so I don't tread on them. Like Shakespeare (more trivia) I am kind to snails... Enough! The day awaits, and my digging hands are about to transform into musical conduits (I mean I am playing Poulenc and Bach with my flute friend). Back soon.

 It has coral coloured flowers.
My New Pelargonium

Right. It's later, and I have dug all the remaining post holes, measured all the right angles, and checked that everything is level. And everything is! Phew! Even having slightly sore hands cannot destroy this moment.

'Don't sit inside worrying, just get out there and start doing.'
-Moosey Words of Wisdom.

I have successfully done something which was scaring me. Here's my new rule of gardening: Don't sit inside worrying, just get out there and start doing!

Easy - and I even managed to lift (sensibly) the heavy woody bits. Hopefully tomorrow I can help Non-Gardening Partner put in the shed floor and maybe the walls.

Bluey the Gnome :
The garden gnomes certainly brighten up the winter garden with their red hats.

I took the new garden gnomes (four of them) over to the pond to meet the others. The two brothers have met, with no reaction what-so-ever - I was the most excited life form present.

So Bach (the original Moosey gnome) and Bluey (his long lost twin), hands in pockets, are now casually watching Rupert the fishing gnome, while the other three are leaning on garden tools and staring over the pond to the paddock beyond. Ha! They will probably be noticing the leaves which need raking up - that's my last job for today. But I will do this in my apres-gardening clothes with clean hair. Last night at choir a tiny grasshopper leapt off my head onto my music. Not a good look...

 Safely tucked into the greenery.
Gnomes By the Pond

Saturday 12th June

Aargh! One of my posts has to be moved over about 2 cm, otherwise my hole digging is a success. So that's what I'll do first today - easy. Then NGP will pour in the concrete, and then - aha! Ready for the floor! Prepare for many, progressive photographs of this building experience.


All these shed details! Aargh! I've dug out some hebes and a large Phormium tenax which were in the way. I've shifted some little blue irises and dug out all the daisies - they needed to pop into the glasshouse for winter anyway. While waiting for the concrete to set I've got time to rake up all the autumn leaves from the lawns - which is precisely what I should be doing instead of twittering on in this journal.

Much Later...

Oh boy. The shed floor is done! While NGP nailed and screwed things in place I raked up my wet autumn leaves. Rather than just fill the glass-house with bags, I took them straight to the garden up the fence-line behind the pond.

 The first small hurdle.
Shed Floor, Head Gardener, and Cat

A quick bit of surface weeding, a thick layer of newspaper, and on went the wet leaves - instant mulch. It all took time, but I love it when I'm sensible (am often not).

 A driveway tree, last to lose its leaves.
Winter Sun in the Trees

Cat Company

I had brilliant cat company. First little Minimus followed me around, then she discovered the warm benches in the glass-house and big Fluff-Fluff took over. He strutted around being nosy.

And the Football World Cup has started, and the first All Blacks rugby test is on tonight, so there's lots of exciting TV sport to relax in front of. I am so tired!

Sunday 13th June

Oh dear. Driving cold rain, falling down on my shed floor. It might be a good morning for some web-gardening. I could do some more mulching - I've got five bags full of leaves from the first autumn raking session. They make a brilliant ground-cover in a shrubby garden.

Eek! A few flakes of snow - eek! It's only two degrees Celsius outside, too cold for me. Roll on my summer holiday, I say! I'm sorry, but I do not garden in two degrees. Time to play some piano, do the crossword (cryptic, of course), and maybe make a list for my holiday packing.