Fast and furious...

An exciting, if somewhat daunting prospect - a garden helper, half as young and four times as energetic as I am, is coming. He won't plod around gazing at autumn leaves - he will be fast and furious. And Escher the big brown dog is coming with him. Yeay!

The Trailer is Ready...

OK. Deep breath. Gardening jeans and dusty gardening boots on. Assemble all hand tools, plus two rakes. Where is my bow saw? The trailer is in place near the Hump, which I'm hoping to clean up. Dare I use the word 'completely'?

Later, Dusk...

Wow. What a day! Eight trailer loads collected and burnt, and I added lots of Gunnera leaves to the bonfire because it was so hot. Escher galloped around, following his nose in a haze of dog-happiness.

 Escher is very big!
Three Dogs...

Late in the day I was having a sneaky rest, lying in the damp grass by my bonfire. Suddenly the dogs appeared. Aargh! Our mother is dead! Into action went my three piece rescue team. Winnie licked my face vigorously (ouch) while Escher sat down very heavily on my tummy (ouch) and squeaked. Pebbles barked at my feet - trying to get me upright? OK, I am OK, dogs. I am alive, honestly I am. Just having a wee lie down.

 Escher trying to get the collies to play chasing.
Catch Me if you Can!

My garden helper has been brilliant - all I had to do was feed him and make him cups of coffee. He doesn't think what I'm cleaning up is silly, or the process (wheelbarrow and trailer) inefficient. Phew! I am his mother, after all. So he thinks he will come back and do another day. Yeay!

 A lovely dog.
Escher in the Garden

The Morning After...

Now - what to do today? I've already poked at the huge cone of bonfire ash, to see if anything inspirational would happen. Non-Gardening Partner is off work today, so I've suggested (as one does) he could saw down some of the easier trees in the Hump. No reaction, I'm afraid, and apparently the word 'easier' is incorrect. Girls doing everything is great, but this girl doesn't chain-saw.


Following yesterday's monumental achievements, I have been plodding around (adagio, solo) clearing and burning all day. It's been a lasagne bonfire - a bonfire of layers. This morning I cut all the sprouting shoots off the willow stump, chopped them into smaller lengths and burnt them with layers of dry gum leaves from the Hump. My two dogs have been humphing and lolling around a bit. I think they miss big brown Escher! I certainly do.

 A beautiful blue perennial.
Salvia uligosa

Trim, trim, trim...

After lunch I trimmed the Salvia uligosa stalks in the Allotment Garden. A three-way process, this - a barrow full of stalks, a bag of horse manure dumped and spread around the plant bottoms, off to the bonfire, then plod into the Hump to get a layer (AKA a wheelbarrow load) of gum leaves. For my records I also planted the rose rescued from the Stables garden (Eyepaint? Possibly) in the Allotment Garden, near the stone retaining wall.

My Salvia patch is quite large, and it took absolutely ages to clear. I got slower and slower, but that's because I found myself thinking more and more about new things that needed doing. This would tire anyone out! I finished off with cold but much refreshed feet, standing in the water race cutting Gunnera leaves and stalks. Now I am about to have a soak in the bath with a large glass of House Merlot. Yes!

Aargh! No I'm not, not quite. I'm back outside to collect up all my tools - saws by the Willow Stump, hand diggers on the back lawn (ouch), and my camera which is hanging on a wire by the pergola. Wearing my sheepskin slippers? I don't think so. Take them off at once. Hopeless!

 Lots of gentle colour.
Autumn Trees Across the Frisbee Lawn