Little things - and big things!

It really does pay to keep the gardening eyes open at all times. And not just to avoid tripping on Winnie the dog's abandoned tennis balls. But to notice all the little colourful things, precious little gems amidst the functional dull greens and browns of my winter garden.

Wednesday 14th June

I've spent ages today shovelling wet ash onto my wheelbarrow and plodding with it over to the dumping place. Obviously, this was quite a repetitive journey, each load seeming heavier than the last one. But then I opened my eyes - not to the garden maintenance that I saw needed doing en route, but to the little splashes of colour. Even green! I saw confused shrubs with wee flowers, long before their proper spring blooming time. I saw the very, very first Jonquils - I call them 'paper whites'. These were rightly in flower. Yeay!

Thank you Histeria, for bringing a plump wriggling mouse into the kitchen. Bad cat etiquette - dropping the mouse at my feet. Thank you, Winnie the dog for - ahem - taking care of my wriggling little problem. Subtle, too - dashing out the dog door with it, rather than making crunching sounds in my presence. Aargh!

 The south side, in the Orchard.
Trimming the Hedge

Thursday 15th June

A most exciting day! A first for me, a big gardening experience. The hedge trimmer man returned to finish the big shelter belt hedge. And he asked me if I wanted to go along for the ride! I felt like a little child, yes-pleasing, oohing and aahing, sitting in the little 'dickie seat' with my camera. Armour plated glass above, the monster whirring blade out front, and pieces of hedge flying overhead and thumping onto the cab roof. Perhaps I should get out more, hee hee. I loved it.

What I am not so loving is my bonfire, which has been cranking since lunchtime. Grr... In between dumping loads of Leyland trimmings on it I've been re-laying the edge of Middle garden, and reducing the length of Middle path, so there will never be another need to hastily dig out mature rhododendrons.

The grass has to be thirteen of my boot lengths wide (from the edge of the hedge). I measure, dig out the stones and relay them, rake madly, and level the new grass strip (digging out any ferns and euphorbias therein). I've replanted two of the rhododendrons, back further into the borders. One to go - a huge one, which will entail lots of digging and dragging.

 Throw the ball!
Winnie and her Moon Ball

Friday 16th June

I'm having another serious burning day. But my bonfire has other ideas. This is my cue to wander around the garden cleaning up th dead Cabbage tree leaves (which are very encouraging, if you're a bonfire). So I've piled it high with dried Gunnera leaved and (alas, fresh and green) hedge trimmings, and told it to stop misbehaving and jolly well get on with it. A stern talking to. What are you? A bonfire. So quit sulking and start burning!

Winnie and I have already been for a walk in the local forest. Well, I enjoyed ambling along with my (human) friend in a relaxed, leisurely way, while Winnie zigged and zagged across the path at full speed. Winnie's weight is slowly coming down, too. She's now just under 21 kilos. Phew! So much better for her furry running legs.

Exciting culinary and dietary news! I have joined a vegetable delivery scheme - a box of 'honest' vegies, sourced locally (whatever is growing well at the moment) arrives each week. Ha! Each evening Non-Gardening Partner is eating (without too much fuss) curly kale, cabbage, and spinach in various saucy disguises. My next trick is to try him on salsify, hee hee. But seriously - I am a lazy vegetable shopper, and am so much happier when someone else harvests and delivers.

 As the hedge trimmings go up in smoke.
Another Bonfire Selfie

OK. Back to that truculent, bad-tempered bonfire. And more little things to take notice of - the finches are busy eating seeds off the Gunnera seedheads, just over the water. Birds! I love you!