The Bonfire de Jour...
The Bonfire de Jour is a hot pot of textures, smells, and burnable garden objects. Pieces of viburnum with what looks like sooty fungus will be laced liberally with dry gum leaves and flame grilled. Tender, lemon flavoured Pittosporum branches, cut down only yesterday, will be delicately added as garnish. Dead Phormium leaves and strips of Gum tree bark will be draped over the top like giant fettuccine ribbons - these should go up (or down) a treat. As will nature's fire-starters, dead Cordyline leaves, which will be sprinkled carefully around the sides. Giant Gunnera leaves carry water in their veins, so these will make a tasty, moist topping. Gently, gently, dry mess from the Hump will be collected and flung liberally over everything. The smoke will rise, the flames will spit and swirl, the rake will poke and prod. It should all take about four hours, and will be delicious! AAAAAAAAAARGH!
Three hours later...
Everything was going so well, though Non-Gardening Partner had to be reminded to move my trailer of dry mess. 'The trailer's full, ready to move now' I said sweetly. I thought this was a fairly clear piece of information. Waited. Found him lolling on the bed half an hour later talking to Buster the black cat. Honestly!
The Bonfire de Jour - Abandoned!
Anyway, it was THE perfect autumn morning's bonfire - leaves and small branches burning away, modest, efficient, lots of flame, not too much smoke... And then the wind decided it was time to get up. Out of bed? Hmm... a late riser. So I had to bucket on some water and leave it to simmer, splutter and die down. Blast! I was so nearly finished. But safety comes first. I know, I know.
Monday 7th May
Wind (a gusty norwester) is forecast for the next three days. So my interrupted bonfire will just have to wait some more. Today's plan is to rake out the new space created in the Dog-Path Garden's interior, then dump loads of horse manure therein.
Autumn Cotinus leaves
But first, we are going to the dog park. Just three of us - big brown Escher went home yesterday evening. We will see if our car behaviour has improved. The two collies are noisier than a team of scrapping teenagers. I've stopped driving cross-country with them together because they (particularly Winnie) are so distracting.
Much, Much Later...
Pebbles has spent the afternoon in her kennel in disgrace. First, she grabbed the intestines out of a huge hare (very recently deceased) and ran off with them dangling from her mouth - like a story book dog with a string of sausages. Oh no, she was NOT coming back to me. Obviously this dog-delicacy needed undisturbed digesting, and so she disappeared into the orchard. My immediate issue then was to remove the rest of the remains. Dogs are sooooo basic!
Well, I found Pebbles half an hour later stuck on next door's side of my dog proof fence, looking very guilty. Grrrr. She was put under house (i.e. kennel) arrest. Winnie and I plodded back and forth with horse manure, past the inert bonfire (sob). Thought - there's now room for a new shrub in the cleared garden interior. Ooh goodie - maybe a new rhododendron?
Above are some of the Dog-Path's existing rhododendrons in flower. Something to look forward to!