Issues with shrubs...
Taking the dogs for a walk, floating in a bubble of garden happiness. I cross the bridge, turn left, wander past the large soon-to-flower rhododendrons and onto Duck Lawn. Giggle, because Duck Lawn has been duckless for years - something to do with those dogs?
And then - kapow! Ouch! The bubble bursts. The dogs don't notice, too busy eyeing each other through the hedge, each ready to outrun the other. Sorry, dogs. I need a coffee. I scuttle inside for some mental strength (rambling in this journal). For I have just seen the worst case ever of shrubs gone straggly, well past their use-by date.
And I know I have to do something. Blast. This will be heavy duty work - saw, axe, long handled shovel. Dirty, muscly work. Dare I suggest man-work? The absolute opposite to fairy-flitting around nipping off little rose prunings with tiddly secateurs.
I took a 'before' photograph of the offending Hebes and green Astelia. I love Astelias. But this one is huge, most of its leaves dead. The Hebes are beyond help and I'll saw them off at the ground. OK. Let's go! P.S. I hate having to garden with the axe. It defines, rather horribly, the difficulty of the issue at hand.
Oh boy. It's taken me all day. The axe wouldn't cut properly, the shovel wouldn't dig properly - reckon I needed some sort of electric knife. It was really difficult. I also trimmed the nearby Phormiums, and raked up lots of leaves.
Then I gave up - had to burn everything, anyway, because bad weather (rain, maybe snow, please no snow) is forecast to arrive later this evening.
Six wheelbarrow loads of mess, and the littlest improvement to show for it. But I did my best. The Astelia is now a dirt-stump of fleshy roots. Don't know how to remove it. Might have to leave it.
Before and After
If tomorrow is really wet and nasty I could put on my wading suit and stand in the water race to clean up the next Astelia. This one can stay - just dead leaves need to be trimmed off, and scrappy ferns and Carexes cleared from underneath. My suit should keep me warm, yes?
No way! Temperature five degrees Celsius and dropping. Walking around the garden with the dogs is very refreshing. There's a tickle of a snow feeling in the air, and I know it's snowing half an hour up the road from me.
Duck Lawn with Astelias
Stay protected and sheltered, my lovely other Astelias. Don't worry. I wont let any snow come get you and knock you flat.