Cleaning the Jellybean Border

 Rubbish from the Jellybean Border
Evening Bonfire

I did it - something which I should have done a long time ago. Well, to be gardening-honest I started doing it. Cleaning up the Jellybean Border. And telling myself off. This clean-up is well overdue. Very naughty!

What have I done today?

The Jellybean Border is a fairly robust shrubby space, though there are prettier, more precious things around some of the edges. So what have I done today? Started clearing excess detritus from the ground. Trimming Prunus suckers. Making sure the Pittosporums don't crowd out the new rhododendrons in their forever home. Cleaning dead leaves off the bulky Phormiums. They are here for ornamental reasons. So let them at least be tidy, so their spiky striped leaves are enjoyable to look at.

The middle of the border is thick with Viburnum tinus. Very soon these fat shrub-trees will be flowering, so I've left them alone. And sorry, no photographs as yet (except my bonfire, flaming merrily as the winter night fell).

Wednesday 15th June

Right. Today's plan is to clean up the out-of-sight edge of the Jellybean Border by the Ram Paddock. This might involve some heavy-duty pruning - the shrubs will be overgrown, and there will be some rather large suckers. I can sense all this without even peeping.

Four Hours later...

Inside for refreshments and evaluation. The shrubs etc. aren't as out of control as I thought. I've got the bonfire flaming away, six wheelbarrowfuls. The dead Graham Thomas rose is out, and I can see where the sheep have been nibbling at the Corokias and the lower branches of the Viburnums. A small group of wethers were in this paddock for five weeks, supposedly to munch down the grass.

 The Berberis turned red in autumn.
Berberis and Hydrangea in Winter Sun

I reckon I need a couple more days of raking and burning, after which things will be organised. I'm going to have a wee rest now anyway, since I have been up since 5 am. Why? Because this is when the dogs woke me up, barking in their kennels. Nothing seemed to be wrong when I turned up with the torch, so we all had a pee and a poo and a bit of a run around and then came inside. I mean the dogs, oops...

 Underneath the Cordyline trunks.
Ferns in the Jellybean Border

Just Two More...

OK, OK. Two more wheelbarrowfuls. Just two. I can do this. I'll take some photographs. Then I can have a shower, wash my hair, put on my new pale blue apres-gardening shirt and go to a choir rehearsal.

Thursday 16th June

This morning (just before sunrise) I walked past the Jellybean Border (as I do every morning) to get the dogs up. It was misty, and I was wearing my new, grunty op-shop black boots. This detail is not at all relevant. I could see the results of yesterday's clean-up. Tall Cordyline trunks stretching upwards, fussy ferns on the stone edge, still green... It was inspiring! Yeay!

Right. We are back from the dog park. A slow cup of coffee now, as I gather my gardening thoughts. Getting started is the thing. Best not to overthink this, just change out of elegant canine clothes (?) into grubby, smoky gardening gear. And maybe a goal - finish the Jellybean Border, ready for some barrow loads of horse manure to come in? Oooh. Scary stuff.

 Barking mad today!

Late Lunch...

Blow by blow, barrowful by barrowful, bark by bark (apparently there are lots of groovy things to bark at today) we are making progress. Inside for lunch, we are still barking - the oddest mechanical noise is coming from next-door. Maybe the gabions are finally being constructing along the lower boundary. Next-door is all talk and no trousers, hee hee. Not like me.


Not a whiff of a gabion - it was just a rather musical hedge-trimmer, and it was over the road. The dogs and I have been good - four hours in the Jellybean Border today, and I've burnt everything. I spent the last ten minutes in the cold water race, starting to trim the Gunnera leaves and stalks. They'll go on the bonfire when they've dried out.

The nicest thing about a winter day's gardening is all that happens afterwards : warm fire, woolly socks and slippers, cuddly jersey, and so on. My toes got so cold. Now they're tingling. Loooovely! The dogs are fed, I'm listening to Telemann, and planning to cook pizzas for the evening meal.

Friday 17th June

+5+5+5I say! My Dog Park Ladies' Pack have organised an outing this morning. We are off to explore a different dog park, with (of course) coffee afterwards. The social highlight of my week! Already my dogs are restless, in anticipation. Escher and Winnie are play-wrestling, with low moanings and groanings coming from the dog couch. Rusty is panting at me to try and stop me writing. OK. Let's go.

Rather Later...

Now I have to decide between the following :

Well, it is nearly mid-winter, and the sun outside is gorgeous. So I guess it's the second. I have maybe three hours of daylight. Do I need a motivating list? Not likely! I'll wear my shorts to show how tough I am.

I think the Jellybean Border will be OK now. This row of photographs above shows the main shrubs therein. All robust, hard working, and honest - like their gardener, hee hee.