Responsible and wise...

An oddly satisfying autumn task of great importance - the final organising of the firewood. Some is even stacked on the back porch for these colder weeks, and next winter's lot for log-splitting has been collected in a pile. Without complaining! I feel terribly responsible and wise, having such a long-term view on things.

Sunday 19th April

Already this morning I've burnt a lot of rubbish collected from the front paddock, and I've also collected and stacked lots of pine logs by the back door These were only chain-sawed yesterday, but the wood is dry (i.e. dead) enough to use now.

 And only half of if.
Wood for Splitting for Next Winter

My plan is to try and not use the heat pump at all, just the log-burner. Of course I already have a woodshed full of dry wood, but that means a trip outdoors - maybe in the dark and cold, wearing a warm jacket, and boots.

 A David Austin rose.
Lady of Megginch Rose

Naughty Dog!

Speaking of boots, naughty Winnie the dog has carted off one - just one - of my good, styly Merrell shoes, really the only shoes I wear when not in the garden. My friends already put up with grubby fingernails (oops), fairly tattered shirts, and bonfire-smoky hair messed up with twigs and the odd crawling beetle. Wearing my clumpy gardening boots to coffee might be the last straw.

My only other footwear (saved for the very best occasions) are some cherry red Doc Martins, which take about half an hour to put on and lace up (the curse of the fumbling arthritic fingers). By which time all the friends would have given up on me and gone away. Hmm... Winnie! Where have you put it? I've checked all the lawns...

This afternoon Non-Gardening Partner and I finished the clean-up of the front paddock. Together we bundled all the big rounds of Eucalpytus wood over the fence, to form a rather ungainly pile for the log splitter. We collected bags of pine cones for kindling, and raked up all the remaining mess. Whoosh went a trailer-road of rubbish in a bundle of flames (and hardly any smoke) on the bonfire.

 A warm pink.
Kate Sheppard Rose

Monday 20th April

Today I've been doing some weeding in the Herb Spiral. I've cut up cornflowers that have gone to seed to make some self-sowing mulch for next spring. The roses I planted around the house-side of the spiral are doing well. So this whole garden is now officially herbs and flowers. Oh, and weeds. Mustn't forget the weeds.

Wonderwomen Roses...

And I mustn't forget the roses that are blooming now, named after three wonderful women - beautiful Darcey Bussell, the poetic Lady of Megginch, and suffragette Kate Sheppard, as warmly pink as the best cosmetic blusher. Kate is alongside the spiral, and the others (both David Austin roses) are just tucked in on the other side of the pergola.

As I worked Tiddles the tabby chased beetles and bugs in the grass, while Buster, sleek, elegant, languid Miss Buster, draped herself up on the pergola and watched. She often supervises the bonfire from up here.

 Blackest of cats!
Buster the Cat on the Pergola

Now I've lit the log-burner, and have retired inside to cook the evening meal and reflect on the autumn-ness of my garden. So many trees are turning colour now, and I so love the Berberis shrubs for their brilliant orange and wine reds. They're so prickly, and could become a self-seeding nuisance, but they're always forgiven in autumn.

 Fiery red mixed with green.
Autumn Berberis Leaves

I found my missing Merrell shoe behind the TV, so Winnie, too, is forgiven. I should be thankful she hadn't buried it in the garden? Hmm...

Tuesday 21st April

Garden, I'm sorry, but it's a grey and drizzly indoorsy sort of day. We've already been to the dog-park, and I've promised the dogs some garden walks. Obviously we'll visit Lilli-Puss in the hay-barn, and I'll take some more autumn photographs - I don't want to miss any of the subtle changes this year. Just quietly, I'd quite like to lie down on a bed and snooze for a few hours. Oops.

Wednesday 22nd April

Yippee! I'm off to pick up my prescription sunnies. A gentle reminder to self never to leave them in the car - Winnie the dog has just chewed my two dollar Op-Shop pair. There is a grave difference in price, you know. And a marvel at how the littlest things can bring such joy. Prescription sunnies! Woo hoo!

 OK, OK. On my way!
Dogs Ready for Garden Walk

And there's still more firewood to collect. A lover of the neat and orderly would sniff at my outdoors firewood pile, so scruffy and non-homogeneous. Many pine logs still have their clumps of dried cones attached. Nothing stacks easily, and the lengths and widths are all different. But guess what? I jam it into the log-burner and the resulting heat feels just fine! A firewood connoisseur wouldn't be able to tell the difference, hee hee.