The strings are from the horse manure bags.

This morning at swimming my university lecturer friend taught me a new phrase : 'elaborative interrogation'. It will now be applied to the following statement. 'This morning I have been barrowing'.

What with?

My wheelbarrow (with which I barrow, see photograph on left) is green and strong, and has lasted nearly twenty years. The tyre has only had to be mended once for a puncture.

And what have I been barrowing? I'll tell you, and also give the destination of the barrow loads. Hope you can keep up! Ash from the bonfire (dumped by the boundary fence), mulch and horse manure (spread onto the Island Bed), mess from The Hump (thrown into the trailer), small logs (for one of my random piles underneath a hedge), wet weeds (for the compost).

 With various loads...
Green Wheelbarrow

Is barrowing interesting and enjoyable? Hmm. Not really. Is it boring? Definitely yes. Varying the contents of the barrow has absolutely no effect on my boredom threshold. Extremely heavy or wobbly loads make me very cross. In fact, I swear out loud when the top of a load falls off.

Why barrow anyway?

I barrow because I like walking. I am a gardening woman who uses her legs. The alternative, a zippy little ride-on with cart attached, is not for me. I like to be natural, using my own personal fuel. So there! Ha! I have elaboratively interrogated myself (I think).

 The yellow dust is pine pollen.
Pink Daphne

Have just hung some washing out on the line and noticed nearby weeds, dead brown ferns, general mess, a rampantly resprouting Banksia lutea rose, and a very sad Daphne. When I get too bored with barrowing this afternoon I'll do a spot of tidying by the washing line.

Later, Dusk...

Aha! Why is one of the Daphnes sad? Because the main stem has split apart, almost at the base. So it needs to be trimmed low down. The Daphne just across the wee stepping stone path is huge, healthy, and the flowers smells gorgeous. Another, white flowering, planted a few years ago, is not growing at all. It looks half dead. Hmm. Daphne troubles...

 The yellow dust is pine pollen.
White Daphne

I've trimmed most of the ferns, and the Hypericum. Memo to self (more specifically, to Non-Gardening Partner, to be actioned next weekend) :

  1. The rose on the house arch needs pruning with the hedge trimmer.
  2. A Pittosporum needs to be chain-sawn down.
  3. The Banksia rose needs an archway erected.
 Cornubia in the Driveway Garden.
Red Rhododendron in the Sun

For as sure as water runs downhill, and swallows fly - south? (we don't have swallows), Banksia lutea roses resprout. This darling rose brought down a huge, strong plum tree some years ago, and had to be sawed right down to its ankles.

Tuesday 14th August

So today I remove all the ash off the bonfire, burn the trailer-load of mess, simultaneously barrowing horse manure and mulch, trimming ferns, pruning more roses, cutting down the sad Daphnes, weeding, raking leaves from the lawns... Sounds feasible.

I stop here and there to admire the garden colour - more Camellias, the first red rhododendrons, the Hellebores, the little white snowflakes... I take photographs! Cheery, inspiring photographs! Then I wander (i.e. plod - work doggedly, slowly and perseveringly at a dull task, with heavy steps) off to barrow some more.

Aargh! Not a verb?

Footnote : It might be appropriate to mention that 'barrow' as a verb (which is how I use the word) has no entry in the usual online dictionaries. Oops...