All the lovely spring things...

 Silly thing, flowering underneath the hedge.
First Blue Iris

Mountains of mess - we're busy clearing up after the big winds. Chainsaws are buzzing, loppers are lopping, wheelbarrows are wheeling well-marked trails over the lawns to the bonfire. But my garden is so beautiful in mid-spring. Mustn't forget all the lovely spring things...

Saturday 14th September

A big day, with brilliant helpers making a big difference. I can see much less mess! Yippee! The bonfire ran all day, and gradually my team and I cleared the back of the Stables, a whole garden area. The Camellias have survived (phew) with just a few branches broken. The Gunnera crowns look OK, the Hebes have broken off but they'll hopefully resprout.

The big green Phormium is flattened, but who knows? It might perk up. The giant reed isn't such a giant now, but it will regrow. Most of the roses are OK - their canes just bend, rather than break. Roses are survivors, aren't they?

 My Agapanthus garden was on the right.
The Side Driveway Clean-Up

Non-Gardening Partner's first job was to fix the sheep fence in the back paddock. Meanwhile two of his eager man-friends worked their way up the side access drive with chainsaws. The last task of the day - NGP cleared the last huge pine tree trunk which was blocking the water race. Guess who intrepidly stood in the cold rushing water and heaved the logs towards the bank? Oh yes, that was me, what a legend. But we all knew that...

 Beautiful colours.
Pale Sunny Daffodil

Sunday 15th September

Today will be my fifth day of clean-up, and so far I'm going really well. I'm now burning the rubbish pulled from the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden, while more and more of the side driveway is being cleared. The chain-saw men have moved into the Hazelnut orchard, and the ewes and lambs have been shifted into a secure paddock. There's an extra lamb! Oops. When did that happen?

The cats make themselves scarce during the day, with all the noise and the comings and goings of strangers. Silent night - all is calm, and they appear back in the house, settling onto our laps for a purry cuddle. Our power is back on, and this is a tremendous lift after a hard day's work - particularly hot water for showers, light, and the internet (welcome back, world).

What I did Next...

My journal pages for the next days will be rather mundane stories of 'What I did, and what I did next'. Sorry about that! Later this afternoon I start the clean-up of one of our own trees, a huge pine (ooh goodie, I love cleaning up pine trees). It's crashed down the ram paddock, reaching the pond and squashing a batch of gnomes.

Headless Gnomes

But first I'm going back outside for session two by the Stables. May my raking and sorting be fruitful, may my bonfire burn hot and hearty, and may my hands not get too sore. And may my mildly arthritic toes enjoy being once again in my sturdy gardening boots. Enough!

Much Later...

I have news. There is no nice way to say this. Two of my oldest gnomes, Laurie (reading his book) and Robinson (smoking his pipe) have been decapitated. I think the others are OK - they're just been knocked over. Warning : these photographs may be upsetting. Discretion is advised.

I feel good about yet another big day, and finally I'm cleaning up my own tree mess, which sort of makes a difference. At least I don't feel nearly as petulant. NGP has had a big day shredding rubbish along the side driveway. The chain-saw men have been wonderful.

 Waiting to be rescued.
Garden Gnome under Pine Branch

My repetitive plod to and from the bonfire goes past some of the sweetest things - split corona daffodils, a blue iris flowering in the compost underneath the Leyland hedge, edge-of-the-border Bergenias flowering furiously, and the big pink rhododendron by Middle Path, just starting to bloom. Even the (slightly) invasive Euphorbia in the Dog-Path Garden looks fresh and pretty.

 I call my big pink.
Sunny Pink Rhododendron

Mustn't forget the spring garden delights...