I was working so hard on my wheelbarrowing circuit - dragging gum tree branches out of the Shrubbery and off to the bonfire, then loads of top-soil and compost into the Shrubbery to fortify the soil and encourage the new garden. And then, in the middle of all this, the hedge trimming man arrived. Eek! Change of plan, effective immediately!
Tuesday 12th August
You see, well-seasoned country gardeners are ever flexible. And (alas) he thinks that his machine will be too wide for some of my gardens behind the water race. So I've had to dig up all the endangered edging plants (rows of miniature Agapanthus, Irises, Bergenias, Daffodils) and dump them inland, well out of harm's way. Fair enough, too. Country gardeners should understand that the width of a hedge trimmer doesn't magically diminish from one visit to the next. Access needs to be maintained. Blast!
Rusty the Dog
I've also had to drag piles of heavy Pittosporum branches out of the way, and roll and heave the heavy logs in the front paddock so the Leyland hedge there can be trimmed. Aargh! My bonfire, however, has worked well, even if my day has degenerated into dragging and heaving, and little else. This is not feminine gardening at all - it's man-muscle stuff, and I am ill-equipped. So I'm going to have a cup of tea and rest my aching back.
- Juvenile Conifer :
- This wee photo was taken fifteen years ago, when the conifer was just about the right size. Hmm...
But first, I'll check on my hedge-trimmer to see what he's up to. I have asked him to whip his blades around the far-too-big blobby conifer in the driveway. Thought - all these hedge trimmings will now need to be cleaned up. Aargh! I will be dragging and heaving (and bonfiring) for weeks. Of course, the big stuff goes in the shredder, so piles of branches (all pointing the same way) will start invading my dreams.
Not So Much Later...
I went back outside, thinking to do some more work, but I changed my mind. Seven hours is quite enough for one day. And, frankly, I felt like a stiff old lady, shuffling down the driveway spilling my tea. I did notice that more of my yellow daffodils are now flowering. Nice!
Yellow Trumpet Daffodil
Now I'm showered, my hair is washed, and I'm super-proud of being such a busy gardener, so that's quite enough sad-and-sorry stuff. Thought - would Non-Gardening Partner mind buying me a bottle of wine on his way home from work?
Wednesday 13th August
The hedge trimmer man returns today to attack (?) the big southerly shelter belt. I'm off to empty the topsoil out of the trailer - the Shrubbery will love me! The trailer can then be filled with burnable mess this weekend, when I will have help - possibly. You see, NGP has subtly restructured his weekends. 'Doing the sheep's bottoms' used to be his rather mundane excuse du weekend jour for disappearing. Now he has flying sessions as well, and the adventure-seeker lurking deep within me can't really argue with that!
Where's my dog? C'mon, Rusty, dozy old dog, out of your armchair. We need to get busy.
Tea Pot in the Shrubbery
The hedge trimmer has finished. Damage - a couple of squashed irises, the odd ornamental tree branch down, a couple of roses side-scraped, and tyre tread marks on the back lawn, all of which will heal. No problems at all, but oh boy! The hedge mess is all very scrappy stuff, which means burning rather than shredding.
I Love the Shrubbery
Meanwhile I've been barrowing top-soil into the Shrubbery. I love the Shrubbery. I plod back and forth on my new path, past the garden gnomes, who are getting a bit sick of me saying hello and little else. Conversations with gnomes tend to be very one-sided. Then I can peep up the other path and see the big tea-pot in the periwinkle. Not that makes me smile!
I've just pruned all the roses in the Island Bed, including a couple of really annoying Ballerinas. Sorry, girls, but what sharp thorns you have! And alas the morning frosts have browned off the big pink Azalea in full bloom (can't remember this happening ever before).
The Hedge Trimmer Only Just Fits
OK. I will start the big clean-up tomorrow. I would much rather be planting the new garden area behind the Shrubbery. But, after all, I am a flexible country gardener...