My next clean-up...

 See all the gum tree leaves.
Rusty on the Path

I've already chosen my next autumn clean-up location - the Wattle Woods. There's a lot of mess here. The Wattle seed pods have fallen, ornamental fountain grasses have gone to seed, Phormiums need their dead leaves trimmed, and huge strips of gum tree bark on the ground need collecting.

Monday 18th April

Oh, there are weeds, too, and rogue potatoes ready for harvesting. And next-door's nosy cattle are leaning over the fence, eating my greenery. Eek! Imagine them blundering around my garden. Cattle do NOT stick to the paths. I checked - the fence is really secure.

Today's plan is simple. With rake, shovel, and wheelbarrow, I start clearing the paths and the gardens close to them. Then I step back, survey the wondrous improvements - and pick up the rake again. Gardening isn't complicated. Oh, and the bonfire will doubtless re-ignite, so I burn everything.

Escher :
Escher has his own page, in my cats and dogs section.

The Wattle Woods occupy the far edge of my garden, and as well as nosy next-door cattle the neighbour's offal pit is within sniffing distance. But Escher, brown dog with the super-nose, is away with his parents again. Yes! Yes!

It's five hours later, and I've come inside for a cup of tea and a tiny snack. Alas, the rules of my Shape Up For Life Campaign (AKA Diet) do not allow a spoonful of peanut butter or chocolate hazelnut spread. And seeing a teaspoon lying casually in the kitchen makes me feel hungry. So sad.

 High in the Wattle Woods.
Big Wattle Trees in Flower

My work in the Wattle Woods progresses steadily. It is nowhere near finished. I've dug out over-sized grasses, trimmed trees which were overhanging the paths, and carted out armfuls of gum tree bark. The bonfire is flaming and smoking away. The plan now is to return for one more hour, then have the longest shower, wash all the smoke out of my hair, put on the cleanest clothes, and cook the evening meal.

Yellow Wave :
This flax variety seems to grow well in my garden for about ten years, no more. Then it comes to pieces.

I cleared as far as the Phormiums by the lower curved bridge. Two of the green ones (variety Yellow Wave) have split open badly and need to be completely dug out. That's for tomorrow. Photographs? It was a little dark and gloomy in the woods, and as for the bonfire - well, today's is pretty much like yesterday's. Except that the conical ash volcano ash gets a little fatter.

Tuesday 19th April

If all that I do today in the garden is to dig out the Phormiums, then so be it. I've already been dog-parking and swimming. And in a moment of supremely misguided optimism, I thought I'd romp through Cesar Franck's violin sonata, the last movement with that groovy canon. Not a problem? Oh dear. How the mighty have fallen, cut down by hoards of barbarian double sharps and flats, aggressive key signatures, cross-over hands, squillions of octaves... Blast! Non-Gardening Partner and I used to play it, sob sob.

Much Later...

Wow. Son (Escher's 'father') axed and dug the flaxes out for me, taking about twenty minutes. I am so happy! First I organised smaller pieces to pot up. The raking of the cleared area (and the burning of the pieces) then took me three hours. So slow! Snail's pace.

 Messy, messy paths!
Escher in the Wattle Woods

When I wasn't looking, all three dogs popped sneakily next-door and rolled in cow manure, so they've all been shampoo-ed. They are now lounging inside in the late afternoon sun, sweetly fragrant, waiting for dinner, and a continuation of their good life. Time I made myself smell dog-nice, too.

 With some big gums in the distance.
Wattle Trees

Footnote : I've had another go at the Franck. It's now plodding along slowly but surely, just as I was, this afternoon. Most of the notes are now there. As with the Wattle Woods paths, there is some progress! But the Woods have been either splashed with glaring sunshine patches, or too gloomy to camera-focus. So the photographs are a little unspectacular - mainly greenery and dogs. To add some colour to this page, you might enjoy the following pictures of Wattle Woods shrubs.