A swift sprinkling of that old country garden magic - lawns lowed, edged trimmed. Nothing else matters (thanks, Metallica). The mess is transformed into serene, contemplative beauty - just like that! Pouff! Edges are amazing...

 Stones, and a row of Agapanthus, by the Koru Courtyard.

But it did require a fairly substantial seven hour gardening day to achieve the look. And rather than get nit-picky in one place I cruised around a lot. For example, I cleaned the brick Koru courtyard. The birds (love you, birds) had scratched and raked layers of dirt and horse manure onto the brick path. Little Aquilegia seedlings were shyly nestling between the bricks (I love you too, dear things, but not in my path). I dealt to the sorrel with my squirty weed killing bottle. I scraped some moss off the shadier parts underneath the big Copper Beech.

 Golden and beautiful.
Copper Beech Tree Leaves

Buying and planting trees one of life's garden gambles - well, it is for my trees. Unbelievably, at one stage I almost cut the Copper Beech (see above photograph) down. It was a juvenile and was affecting my rose plantings underneath - with excessive shade. How rude! Phew! I'm glad I exercised restraint, and didn't turn into a reactive idiot. I simply shifted most of the roses out and replaced them with deciduous Azaleas. Totally sensible!

But - oops - nearby I allowed one cute, pretty, little waterside Gunnera seedling to grow, and so it has, becoming spectacularly large in just three years. Oops again.

Tuesday 6th February

Aha! I've had another big cosmetic day, but I have also been very thorough. The roses and perennials garden by the Herb Spiral is weeded, and I've tried hard to remove all the deep rooted dandelions with the garden fork, plus a nuisance oreganum which has seeded and spread all around the spiral's path.

I didn't know that this supposedly spiritual place was the dog's toilet, though. There has been much deft foot dodging, and weeding with bare hands (I love the proper feel of the dirt) has been interesting.

I've also continued doing the edges, trimming as far as the glass-house. And - oops - a little of the squirty bottle sprayed on thistles (a patch which grows off root runners - maybe Californian thistles, not sure). I remind myself that this area was a sheep paddock twenty years ago and the 'lawn' is accordingly - robust?

Edges have voices!

It's funny how a trimmed edge has substance, and a voice. Like a garden tour guide pointing out the obvious : 'Well, over here you'll see the garden border - and if you turn this other way, you'll see the lawn. They are two separate entities. Enjoy!