Messy March

red Fred

Messy March. A very messy fact of my gardening life. Autumnal? I think I'd rather like that. Cooler temperatures on the evenings. I'm liking this! The first of the autumn bonfires? Welcome to the March Clean-Up? Not quite liking this as much. Anyway, there's a fire ban at the moment.

I've been working in the water race, one of my lovely water 'features', cleaning up the edges. I've been filling the trailer with ferns, flax leaves, and coarse green Carexes, all chopped out of the water race between Willow Bridge and Middle bridge. This is seriously grunty work, me armed with shovel, axe, bow saw, and sturdy kitchen bread knife. Oops.

Swimming Kitten

Yesterday Red Fred the kitten had his first serious water experience. There I was, standing in the water slicing through fern roots. He carefully climbed out over the water along a sturdy Gunnera stem to see me. So far so good. Then he stepped onto the attached Gunnera leaf, which slowly sank. Before I had a chance to put down my nippers and scoop him up he'd tipped into in the water. Oops. Cats can swim. Fred made it to the bank, kicked out his legs, then spent the next hour washing the water and mud off.

Monday 4th March

What do I feel like doing today? How about cleaning up more ferns in the water race? Middle Bridge needs to be clear and safe, not overhanging with slippery fern fronds, the planks of the bridge invisible. But what about the weeds in The Hump, and the gum tree mess in the Hen House Gardens? Aargh! I need at least four of me. And definitely that strong coffee. OK. I'll do some more fern slicing. At least the water's not too cold.

 And the Gunnera leaf that Fred climbed onto
The Water Race

Thursday 7th March

I've tried to concentrate on one thing all week - clearing the edges of the water race. Otherwise I though I might get in a total tizz, and lose heart at the enormity of my March mess. So each day I've trimmed ferns etc., and finally I've reached the glass-house. I've filled the trailer three more times with Phormium and Astelia leaves, coarse green Carexes (so generous with their seedlings), blobs of muddy debris, pieces of Gunnera, and ferns, ferns, ferns. Some of the fern clumps have been massive, taking nearly two hours to 'dismantle, while I've got muddier and wetter.

 Phormiums and Ferns.
Edge of the Water Race

But I've done well. Middle Bridge is clear and safe to travel over. The water race is looking much better. My rubbish piles along the fence are looking much chunkier. Oh well. The Fred kittens have continued to enjoy my water gardening. Both kittens are fascinated by the running water, but so far we've had no more sudden swims. They do provide wonderful company.

 A beautiful orange colour.
Ligularia Flowers

I've also started trimming the Ligularias and the Phloxes, and finished trimming the Shasta daisies. When I get a bit annoyed with the water work (or my feet get a little numb) I've wandered over to the perennial garden. The Ligularias are a bit of a nuisance, but I don't have the energy to dig them out. Not yet...

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