The Tree Stumps are Out

 A warm colour.
Pretty Daffodil

All the boundary tree stumps have been ripped out, roots and all, and my big clean-up continues. The damage looks serious (though 'damage' has quite the wrong connotations). But it's on and near the surface, nothing that a lone gardener with a rake and a shovel and a lot of dedication can't smooth over. Literally!

Friday 12th September

Yesterday was my second clean-up day. I poked around on the flat bit of the Welcome Garden, filled holes, and replanted the Virburnums. I watered and raked and watered and weeded. And when I got sick of that I wandered down the fence-line (which is fenceless) and found another hole to start filling in.

Today I have been doing much of the same. The trouble with holes in the ground is that they don't photograph well. Then, when they're filled in, only the filler-in understands what an amazing transformation has taken place. They drag their Non-Gardening Partner, for example, to the location of the ex-hole, point proudly, and wait for a response. Silence...

Lots of Daffodils

So I've done a lot of raking and levelling. The little stone wall at the top of the driveway is enlarged, and I've replanted one Pittosporum. Cross fingers. It's a medium size, grown for quick screening. I need some topsoil to help fill the holes in this garden. And I need some screening - being visible to the neighbours as they whizz up and down their drive is annoying me. I am a private gardener, with private gardening habits, hee hee...

 The cherry tree is in blossom.
Jenny the Visiting Dog


Today I was dog-sitting, so I had two country dogs keeping me company, and two dogs make for much more stimulating conversation than one. I took a number of leisurely drink breaks, with Jenny (a black and white matronly border collie) and Rusty sitting disciple-like at my feet. I expounded on the interesting dichotomy of scale in gardening. When one is doing a lot of little repetitive things, huge thoughts swirl around the gardening head. Did my dogs think this was strange? No, they didn't.

Thoughts for today : how chillingly clever Thomas Cromwell (Henry VIII's secretary) was, and how beautifully balanced the Bach sonatas for violin and piano sound. And why don't more people play them? Perhaps they are just too darn mathematical. So did my dogs agree? Absolutely! Jenny is one of those one-ear-up one-ear-down dogs and always looks as if she's listening intently...

It's Spring!

And it's spring! A couple of happy wanders around the garden with dogs and camera - and that spring feeling that I mustn't miss anything. Like the big cherry tree, and one of the weeping pinks in the driveway, both in blossom. My random tulips, some of which are flowering.

 In a patio pot.
Sunny Tulips

And a white Camellia blooming behind the Stables - it was smothered and flattened underneath falling pine trees last September. You wouldn't even know there'd been a problem. Dear shrub!

Saturday 13th September

Today Non-Gardening Partner is fixing my garden hoses. They are full of leaks, and joiners that don't join. I will buy some new hose lengths after swimming. Then it is his job to check everything. This is serious garden engineering!

Hours and Hours Later...

NGP has extended the main irrigation line and so I have a new hose with which to water the Welcome Garden. He has also fixed the other connections. Meanwhile I've been raking and shovelling and filling in yet more holes. But I have great news! All of the Allotment Garden is now edged and ready for top-soil and compost mix. I think I will plant the newest area with potatoes. Boy it's hard work filling up big holes, but it is possible with patience, and probably the most modular gardening task I've ever experienced.

 And Forget-me-nots.
Yellow Trumpet Daffodils

Right. A soak in a hot bath, a red wine, and the rugby (the All Blacks play South Africa) on TV. Reflections on the last gardening days - I'm so grateful that the tree stumps are gone now, rather than having to wait another year for them to be ripped out. Now the Allotment Garden can be a proper, permanent garden. Yippee!

 Name unknown.
White Camellia Bud

Sunday 14th September

Right. I have huge plans for today. Believe it or not, one more side of one more hedge needs its trimmings picked up and burnt. If I work really hard I'll also be able to get two loads of top-soil. Two! And work on the Allotment Garden (like planting things there-in). Awesome.

Much Later...

Oh well. I did my best. I barrowed a load of top-soil onto the proposed potato patch. I planted another Pittosporum, and filled in one of the biggest holes. This all took ages.

Regarding the Photos....

I'm afraid photographs of holes, either pre or post filling-in, just don't flatter a journal page. Please accept these spring-flowery images instead. When the Allotment Garden is really, really finished - and planted with teepees of sweet peas and little vegetables in neat little rows - all will be revealed!