On the Reading Stump.
Gnomes by the Pond

Visitors are coming early next week to have a first-time look around the garden. I've worked out what I can and cannot get away with. A cleared path gets a tick and a glowing cherry red heart. Cleavers (such a naughty weed) gets a black skull and cross bones.

Meet the gnomes?

So far today I've worked so hard. First of all I cleared the path round the pond. Trying to think like a first time visitor - surely they'd like to meet the garden gnomes? And they wouldn't want to dodge forget-me-not clumps, get covered in biddi-bids, or trip on dead tree branches and wobble into the pond.

Then I cleared the paths behind the cottage and up through the Wattle Woods. They're beautiful paths - well, I think so - when they're clear and visible, that is. But there's such a huge lot of Alkanet mess, and Cleavers is running rampant. The early fluffy pink rugosa roses were sprouting new canes madly. Happy, are you? And I haven't even watered you for ages - I like that in a rose.

 Not sure of the name.
Pink Rugosa Rose

My third path clearance was the one behind the glass-house. Mourning Widow geraniums were blocking the edge, while my weedy old favourites Campion and Alkanet flopped all about. Not any more. But the bees seem to love the geranium flowers. Don't worry, bees, I have left huge swathes for you to enjoy.

 Mourning Widow
Geranium Phaeum


Now this may be the silliest thing I've done, but I've left all the mess lying on the paths. The plan is to have a rest, a cup of tea, sample the latest loaf of home-made bread, then return outside with the wheelbarrow, scoop everything up, and dump it. Might need some self discipline.

Much later...

No problem. All done. Lay down on the grass in the shade, pretty tired. The dogs arrived, thought I was dead, and proceeded to paw me and lick me back to life. Then Black Fred the cat smooched and bunted my tired body. It felt like he was giving me some of his excess cat-energy. Nice! Enough energy to get me inside and into the shower.

OK, so all my path photographs look the same. But all my paths are different. They have different edge plantings, and different nuanced curves. Some are edged with logs, some with river stones. Some even go up a bit. I love them!

Path Behind the Cottage