I am stronger! How do I know this? Three years ago I did battle with the coarse green Carexes in Middle Garden. I flung the spade and I swung the axe for hours. They wouldn't budge. Ha! Today the biggest one came out - easy as - in five minutes. Three years bigger.

 Much tidier in the middle...
Middle Garden - Late Winter

Shush - we won't mention using a much sharper shovel. Let me enjoy the illusion that I'm cheating the passing of time, hee hee. Feeling on top of my gardening game, I'm now off to remove some more. They're a lovely ornamental grass when young and fresh. But as soon as they're big enough to throw out seedheads - pouff! Their beauty is lost, and they just look scruffy and weedy. Hmm...


I managed to remove a few more overgrown and exceedingly grunty Carexes. I rescued a rose (a Bright Pink Iceberg) which was struggling underneath a large green Phormium. And made a decision about the Japanese Irises - rather than remove them, I'm going to dig out the medium sized Phormium which blocks their sunshine. And cross my fingers that the neighbouring Gunnera grows the other way (which it probably won't, but it's worth a summer finding out).

 Near the Koru spiral.

Then I raked up leaves around the Dog-Path Garden, and started on the brick Koru spiral courtyard. Hmm... the birds have messed up the brick path, scattering soil everywhere. I trimmed assorted things. I whispered some words of encouragement to the rose Honorine de Brabant, dying a slow death. Funny rose - a huge, seemingly healthy shrub, so why now, all of a sudden?

 My gardening companion.
Red Fred in the Wheelbarrow

Barrow Cat!

Was accompanied by one of my Fred cats - the one that loves going for rides in the wheelbarrow. He leaps on top of whatever's in there, then we wobble along and I tip the contents, plus the cat, out. Then in he leaps again. So funny. Not sure which Fred it is - think it's Red Fred. Tiger the tortoiseshell made one of her rare trips outside to sit on Middle Bridge. Dear Tiger - not burning bright, but fading fast.

I could have, but I didn't start up the bonfire - just didn't want to mess up the precious afternoon sunshine (and my hair).

Next Day...

For my first gardening session, I'm off into the water race in my wading suit to attempt more removals - a Cortaderia and some oversized fern clumps (behind the Stables) and Carexes growing around the Willow stump. Then I might splosh down towards the glass-house to further clear up the banks. Hope I can find a kitchen steak knife sharp enough. Then, lunch, and then - sow some seeds! Plant some Polyanthus! Plant the new roses properly in their new garden! Rake the mulch in the Jelly-Bean Border!

 In the Willow Tree Garden.

Celebrate the imminent arrival of spring - take photographs of daffodils!


Hmm. I am not as strong as I was yesterday - funny, that. Same shovel, but two huge root clumps have proved impossible to slice out. I've spent three hours in my suit, and the steak knives (two) have been brilliant. Two choices.

  1. Suit up, get back into water, and swing that axe.
  2. Let things be, collect and start burning all the mess.

And what about my seeds? That would be a lovely, forward thinking way to finish the day. Oh boy. Don't really feel like doing anything.

Much Later, Dusk...

Blast! I ran out of daylight. I did burn all the piles of rubbish, and this took two hours. There was just enough time left to pot up the four recycled roses and a couple of lovely deep pink Bergenias. No axing, no seed sowing, no raking or planting. And now it's cold, and I have to find Tiger, who keeps (ominously) going outside to hide in a nest of leaves in the garden.