Boxing Day seems like a great day to do some chain-sawing, right? It's overcast, and there are no pressing social eating engagements (until lunchtime). This morning's plan is to rev up Non-Gardening Partner (any suggestions?) and then rake up the remaining mess from underneath the plum tree (which he has to finish sawing down). Firewood logs need sorting, shifting, and stacking. I always do this in the heat of mid-summer, and it always feels daft.

 Come on, chaps...
Lazy Cricketers!

And yippee for summer gardening while listening to the cricket on the radio. New Zealand is playing Bangladesh in a one-dayer. I've alerted my concrete back-yard chaps - last seen skulking in the long grass, having enjoyed a rather long 'rest week'. Hee hee.

Much, Much Later...

I've had an amazingly wonderful day, simply because Non-Gardening Partner has done heaps of chain-sawing. The remains of the plum tree came down in the morning, before we zoomed off for a post-Christmas lunch picnic in the 'red zone' ( scruffy parkland which used to be covered with houses, damaged in the big earthquake). Shrubs and fruit trees have been left in place, and we saw healthy pear and apple trees, plus a large walnut. It's a dog paradise - so nice to spend some quality time with big brown Escher.


On our return NGP felled the large Cotoneaster, while I lopped and chopped and filled the trailer with mess. Cotoneaster is rather nasty to handle, with spikes everywhere, and branches going off at right angles. I've started pulling bits off the Daphne. Tomorrow morning we'll go to the dump - and then, yeay! I'll fill the trailer once more.

 Such a pretty blue shrub-tree.
Psoralea pinnata

Garden delights for today - the daylilies, and the scruffy shrub Psoralea pinnata (AKA African scurfpea) which is flowering now. Silly thing. It was supposed to bloom with the Camellias. Better late than never, I guess! The new Japanese irises by the water race have survived their long incarceration in planter bags. They're showing pale (but pretty) colours.

What a splendid day. NZ won the cricket match, and I even did some weeding near the tree felling location, trying hard not to pull out any self-sown blue Echiums. And neither NGP nor me ate too much.

 A pale lilac-blue.
New Iris

Tuesday 27th December

I've already put the watering hoses on and dug a giant dock weed out of the middle of the Salvia uligosa patch. There's also a serious patch of weeds to pull out in the Welcome Garden, including old forget-me-nots. Maybe later this afternoon? I do want to keep up my gardening momentum. The trailer is back from the dump and is now full of logs, and I have created a dense pile of Cotoneaster by the washing line, all ready to be loaded.

These dump journeys are working really well. There's a fire ban, and usually I'd be loading up the mess, then emptying it on the fence-line, then carting it over to the bonfire in the autumn. Triple handling! Vegetation doesn't cost very much to dump, and I send Non-Gardening Partner off on his own - with his wallet.