All fired up..

Good morning to the lifting of the fire restrictions, and to my bonfire which awaits, ash-less. And so, after so much clearing of scruffy dry mess (mainly debris from the Eucalyptus trees) over summer, 'tis the burning season. Hmm. Hmm again. I'm not feeling so enthusiastic about this. So over the next few days (and journal pages) there won't be much else to talk about. Oh, wait a minute - there's the trundling of the wheelbarrow, interspersed with throwing frisbees and sticks for the dogs.

 We looooove our frisbees.
Frisbees Inside...

Likely I'll discover lots of hand tools in the middle of the rubbish piles. And choices, choices! Which hedge shall I clear under first? And how much of the stuff can I redirect into my lazy composting pile? I will do my best to redirect what I can, but I have to burn the gum debris, plus Cordyline and Phormium leaves. And then there are piles and piles of smaller tree branches. Hmm again.


So why am I sitting here in my posh (relatively posh) clothes, drinking tea and clattering on the computer? Aha! It's called procrastination. And I can't get my good jeans dirty, can I?

 And attendant dog in the background.
Head Gardener and Her Late Summer Bonfire

Now it's question and answer time, at the end of the day :

Interviewer (me) : Isn't your garden a big too big for an older-lady gardener to manage on her own?
Head Gardener (me) : Unfair question to ask at the end of the day.

Int. : But isn't it too big?
H.G. : My garden is the perfect size.

Int. : But you never, ever finish anything.
H.G. : I jolly nearly finished clearing underneath the Leyland Hedge. I bonfired for four hours.

Int. : But you didn't finish, right? So doesn't this prove that your garden is too big?
H.G. (enigmatically) : Even life's smallest garden is never finished...
Int. : Aargh!

Sorry about that rude interviewer. I got rid of her, had a shower, then went to the counry pub for a pensioner's roast and felt very proud.

Wednesday 28th February

First thing today I'm going to finish the Leyland Hedge clean-out. I estimate maybe four, maybe five more barrowfuls to wheel out. Here are some close-ups of the (mainly) David Austin roses which grow near my bonfire, to help you pass the time.

Later, Lunchtime...

Hmm. Bad estimate. Would you believe more like twelve? So I've done half, and the bonfire is fizzing and flaming merrily while I slurp coffee and crunch ancient grains, cracker style. Another rule of gardening life. Half is always better than none.

And At the End of Another Day...

Well, there's finished and 'finished'. And my gardening day ends up the latter. That hedge is sort of cleared, and I've also made a good start on the mess by the Pumphouse, behind the pond. So much rubbish, all the results of my Stop the Summer Scruffiness campaign. And all needing to be burnt.

Love those dahlias! And so do the bees.

The dogs...

 And some of my cricketers...
Me and Winnie

I've also thrown lots of sticks into the water race. I fib a bit. 'Where are your sticks, dogs?' I gesture, flapping my hands around. 'Oh, no! (my dramatic voice). The sticks are lost! Lost! Lost!' (my sad voice). The dogs understand this word, and they believe me, because I am the boss. Off we trundle to the next clearing-up place. 'This way, dogs. Let's find your sticks.' They wait while I load up the wheelbarrow. Then the magical moment : 'Oooooooooooh! Here are your sticks!' The dogs are overjoyed - their sticks are not lost any more! On the way back to the bonfire we stop on Middle Bridge and the dogs jump into the water race to retrieve these new sticks. And on, and on, and on...