More bonfiring...

Now I am going to tell you all about today's six-hour bonfire. It's a spin-off from yesterday's four-hour one, which was itself a continuation... Yes, yes. I think the point is made. I've been burning a lot of rubbish. Now let's see if I can make this journal page interesting, hee hee.

 Seen one, seen them all...
Me and My Six-Hour Bonfire

The bonfire has consumed dozens of wheelbarrowfuls of dry dead leaves. Non-Gardening Partner has chainsawed the remains of the Viburnums in the Jelly Bean Border, I've raked and raked, and now the Jelly Bean Border is completely see-through, and rather nice. It took me a whole afternoon to drag out all the mess. It took NGP less than half an hour. Chainsaws are sooooooooo unfair.

Poor President Roosevelt...

Today I've been wheeling out mess from behind the pond and the cottage - loads of gum bark and gum leaf debris. Most of the paths in the lower Wattle Woods are now clear. But the soil is dusty dry, and President Roosevelt (a rhododendron) are showing signs of distress - there just hasn't been enough food and water for him. I've trimmed off dead branches and sad looking leaves, and tomorrow I'll give him lots of horse manure and a watering hose. Better late than never

 But the variegation in the leaves is lost. Oops.
President Roosevelt Rhododendron

Ornamental Anamanthele grasses behind the cottage have really taken over, sprawling over the paths. So the offenders have been dug out and all burnt, and there's room for some new plantings. I have some divisions of Rock Lily (Renga Renga) and some baby Anamantheles potted up, and there are other fresh green seedlings in the path behind the cottage which I'll dig out. That's tomorrow.

Doris can stay...

As I've trundled past the Cream Delight Phormiums I've stopped to take off their dead leaves. I've also lightly trimmed the Escallonias. Peeping up into the almost dead (i.e. 90% dead) Doris Plum tree, I decided that it can stay (it supports a rambling rose) until large pieces crash down.

 A favourite flax.
Cream Delight Phormium Stripes

Winnie the dog has kept me company all day, her style. She drops her tennis ball near my wheelbarrow, and waits patiently. After a bit of raking and scooping I stop to search for it (this can take a while - her grubby ball is well camouflaged lying in the dirt). Yippee! I find it, I exclaim in high, excited tones 'Here it is!', Winnie wags her tail and concentrates, and I throw the ball. Then the whole process happens all over again. Just occasionally she cuts out all that fussing and drops it straight into my wheelbarrow. Not possible to lose it now.



NGP seems to have spent all day inside reading the weekend newspaper, which is full of hyped-up doom and tabloid gloom. And possibly falling asleep in the chair? He appeared briefly by my bonfire in the drizzle. Clever timing. Would he like to do some more chainsawing? Not in the wet, naturally. But I need to be nice to him - at the moment he is filling the trailer with burnable mess for tomorrow's bonfire. Awwww shucks. More rubbish, just for little old me!

A six-hour bonfire doesn't do much. It just sits there, smoking and burning, for six hours. It looks like any other bonfire. I plod back and forth with my wheelbarrow feeding it, wishing there was another way to dispose of all this mess (there isn't). Towards the end of the day I poke at the fire with the rake and tidy up the edges, so to speak. This could be the time for deep reflection, but all I can think of is washing my smokey stinky hair and relaxing with some House Merlot. I do not enjoy the autumn bonfire. But the results of this rather large scale clean-up are amazing. Wow! Paths that I can swish along on, followed by an inquisitive all-black fantail, without tripping over grasses. Borders that actually do look better. Garden design which seems to work. Yeay!

The Bonfire Next Day...

Next Day...

Aha! I've sprayed (by hand) some oil and fungus mix onto the remaining Vinurnums - some are reprouting in The Hump, and are so far healthy. I've watered the sad rhododendrons, and I've burnt all the rubbish in the trailer (see above). This load was much drier (no drizzle, you see) and therefore more smoke-free. Dare I say more pleasant? I squashed my (clean) hair underneath a floppy hat to kept any smoke out of it.