Pine Logs in the Ram Paddock
Let's think this through. I've done fourteen days of garden cleaning-up in a row. I'm trying to have a day off, and I'm feeling guilty! Daft? Obsessed? All those years and years of 'mother-guilt', impossible to shake off? Hmm... Obsessed, I reckon.
Wednesday 25th September
I've been trying to enjoy myself couch-cycling in Britain, watching a TV cycling tour. It's not working. I've been trying to enjoy doing my jigsaw. It's a Welsh hillside with a stone farmhouse, patches of rhododendrons, surrounded by scrubland and purple hills. I've been trying to sit still, relax, and read my book - a novel set in the time of the Leningrad siege, about Shostakovitch. Now there was an obsessed person!
Then I look outside to see if it's stopped drizzling. Ah, yes, almost. More daffodils are drooping, as are my pots of pick-and-mix tulips. The lawns need mowing, and I can see the trail of chopped up pine logs dribbling down the ram paddock. Aargh! I really should be outside, cleaning this area up.
President Roosevelt Rhododendron
This coming weekend we'll have a huge bonfire in the front paddock, over the stumpy remains of the fallen gum tree. This is where all the pine branches not needed for firewood and shredding will go. Who will sort them out and pile them up? Alas, not the jig-sawing me, nor the reading me, nor the TV couch-cycling me. The gardening me. The clean-up me. The real me.
Three Hours Later...
OK. I worked in the Hazelnut Orchard, creating more piles of firewood branches, piles of logs, and a very wobbly pile for the shredder. The rest of the mess is left on the ground ready to be transported to the bonfire. I have done this before. Now I have twice as many piles, and finally the fence-line wires are clear of debris.
Going back to the house I plod past lots of forget-me-nots. These pretty little things are flowering now, and I mustn't forget to say hello to them. In my garden they are not weeds. And I must give thanks - huge thanks - that, being fit and active, I can mentally and physically do this cleaning up without too much heaviness of mind, or bodily groaning. You should see me heaving huge tree trunks about with a deft flick of the wrists, and a smile (grimace?) on my face, working out in nature's gym, hee hee...
I'm off to Jazz Choir now, and when I get home I'm going to drink. That means wine, at least a glassful, really quickly. I deserve a bit of head-spinning.
Lilli-Puss and the Wheelbarrow
Thursday 26th September
OK, it's Clean-Up Day Number Sixteen and I'm still 'at it'. But I'm having a 'slightly too big' day, one which could swing either way. So I've come inside for a muffin and a cold drink, and a bit of Beethoven. On days like this I'd probably feel better just meandering around aimlessly. When I set myself a goal, like burning all yesterday's rubbish, the task seems to be never-ending. Which it isn't, of course.
Lilli-Puss has been lurking nearby where I'm working. She's funny - she rolls over and over in the mud, and then spends the next ten minutes cleaning her dirty fur. Then she mud-wriggles again. She is absolutely, wonderfully cat-happy with this repetitive process. I could learn from her (though mud-wriggling might not be appropriate). Cats are so much in touch with what makes them happy.
Each time I trudge with the wheelbarrow to the bonfire (about once every fifteen minutes) I pass blue flowers - Muscari, that beautiful Brunnera Jack Frost, and Forget-Me-Nots. These spring blues are happy and cheerful. And so should I be. And I sort of am, honestly!
- Brunnera :
- Brunnera Jack Frost has beautiful silver patterned foliage as well as pretty little blue flowers.
I know! After I've had my break I'm going to do some proper gardening. I'll fix the stone wall of the Agapanthus Garden, and rake the soil etc. level. There's rather a lot of the 'etc.' I could even plant my new Agapanthus clumps in some of the gaps. I'll keep the bonfire gurgling by feeding it occasionally.
A good almost-gardening session! But there are three good reasons not to replant the Agapanthus Garden at once. The fence needs to be repaired, the Agapanthus which are squashed and buried may re-sprout, and there's more daylight and sun. By the way, I finished that goal I set for today.
Friday 27th September
I have not become obsessed about clearing up the tree mess in my garden. My first plan for today is to do some weeding. Weeding! Yippee! Then I'll visit the Welcome Garden, where smaller pine trees still lie crashed amongst the shrubs. Maybe I'll work for an hour or so clearing this area. Non-Gardening Partner is having the day off today. He's working in the sheep paddock for a couple of hours, and then I can then ask him what he wants help with. Shredding? Chain-sawing? See? I am not obsessed. I am not obsessed. I am not...
Ha! First I did an hour's weeding, in the Herb Spiral and the vegetable garden. I love the Herb Spiral! Then I did an hour in the glass-house pricking out more seedlings (sorry, lettuces, but there are too many of you). Then I did two hours clearing. I've propped up a horizontal Cordyline in the Frisbee Lawn Garden with some huge logs. Maybe it will survive? I trimmed the smashed Grevillias right down to ground-level. I'm not sure if these shrubs re-sprout - well, we'll see, won't we?
Another Pile of Firewood
My bonfire self-ignited, and I've made a start on the Welcome Garden. NGP wants lots of little piles of firewood all over the garden, rather than bothering at this stage to stack them all in one place. Right. What's the next plan?
Three Hours Later...
What have I got to show for my afternoon? Lots of little piles of firewood all over the garden, so cute. A swirling bonfire, the Welcome Garden clear, logs from the big pine branch resting behind the Stables stacked. Things were going so well. Then Non-Gardening Partner offered to mow the house lawns. Oops. Oops. Oops. He 'found' my edging shears in the long grass, and has come inside muttering something about shear pins. Sorry, NGP.