By the Sleepout.
Creamy White Camellia

I always panic whenever Non-Gardening Partner appears out of the blue to do the lawns. It puts me in a spin. Have I left any hand tools in the grass, to be spat out by the mower blades as the shear pins break? I scurry around like a woman possessed. Kerplunk! A resonating bang, metal on metal. Oops.

Sunday 4th September

Exactly that happened this morning. I was busy barrowing ash off the bonfire. I had a great circuit going : ash dumped on the fence-line, then a load of horse manure brought back and dumped by the Sleepout. Then that scary noise, followed by the lawn mower being switched off. Eek!

I crept over to see what havoc I had caused (it's always my fault, you understand). But not this time! A stone had been mowed. 'I didn't put it there!' 'Why would I put a stone there?' 'It definitely wasn't me.' 'I wouldn't leave a medium sized stone there in the grass'. The lady gardener who protests too much...

Much Later...

Have been working hard in slightly unpleasant conditions (coolish, gusty) on my trundling circuit. There's been lots of wind noise, but luckily no more kerplunks from the lawn mower. Have planted the miniature Agapanthus in a sensible place (by the Sleepout where the huge rambling cherry rose was).

 A very strange spring visitor.
Monarch on a Daffodil


Have weeded the Laundry Garden and laid some flat stepping stones to bypass the path and get to the lawn. Daphne (what a wonderful smell!) is blocking the path and I refuse to trim it.

Haven't quite finished 'dismantling' the bonfire. Going back to do just that, after slurping my coffee. Let's see. If I just spent two more hours... And then I can have a shower, wash my hair, put on my new 'buttriser flares' (whatever that means) and go visit someone. Escher the brown dog, maybe? I miss him the most at the end of a gardening day.

Much Later...

Since when does it take five hours to dump ash from a woman-sized bonfire? Humph. But it's done, and I've been trundling past the most beautiful flowering things. More and more daffodils, weedy little blue Muscari, patches of creeping violets, Camellias. Green shoots sprouting, blossom on the early Prunus trees. And a host of Monarch butterflies, all feeding on the flowering Viburnum tinus shrubs. Have they got the season right? I've never had a flock of these beauties ever before. Lovely, lovely spring things.

Monday 5th September

It's a lovely day for taking spring photographs. And for spring gardening, which I am about to do.

Five Hours Later...

I walk through the Pond Paddock every morning, past the messy ferns, over a lawn littered with old leaves. Ha! Not any more! Today I spent all my time raking and clearing my route. The ferns - even the Miscanthus zebrinus nearby - have all been trimmed. I'm impressed with the black Mondo grass, spreading itself rather nicely along the edge of the side garden.

No such praise for an ungainly clump of Epimediums (I believe this is what they are) blocking the path through to the back door. They've never impressed me, and I only remember them flowering once. I've gud them all out, keeping a clump which I might plant somewhere else.

 Viewed from the Pond Paddock.
Spring in the Wattle Woods

Anyway, I've been trundling and burning everything all day without a break. I've collected four dog tennis balls and three sturdy dog sticks from the Pond Paddock lawn. Phew! Saved from the clutches of NGP's mower!