Nothing too strenuous...

 The water is pretty cold.
Dogs by the Pond

Yeay! It is Non-Gardening Partner's birthday today. He is divisible by three. His birthday chores : trimming Hazelnut tree suckers, picking up more horse manure, fixing Middle Bridge, throwing sticks for the dogs. Nothing too strenuous...

But today has been oddly strenuous for me. I've had one of those days when my puff has completely run out. So annoying, when there's so much I want to do. It's mental, that's what it is!

I started in full flight at 9am, weeding, rose pruning, raking, and then spent a couple of hours in the water race cutting out Carexes. And then - oops - I came to the most luxuriant little grove near the glass-house, holding one of the banks firmly in place. They were so green and so pretty. The more I thought about them, the less I felt like removing any.

So I left them to grow some more, didn't I! Cleaned up two huge green Astelias nearby instead, pulling out dead leaves, and slicing out all the Carexes growing underneath them. But by 2pm I was completely 'puffless'.

 Pretty when young!
Spot the Carexes

Shook myself awake and prepared mentally for NGP's birthday party (complete with vegan birthday cake). Forgot to take the candles, almost fell asleep at the table, but the cake was sticky-pudding yummy. Perfect.

Tuesday 24th July

Great Excitement : the tree men have been back to fell the last trees in The Hump. More mulch piles, more logs to chainsaw and stack, more firewood. Oops : the weather (hail, sleet, a thunderstorm) has hampered progress. They climb the trees and bring them down in bits.

 Inspecting the wood.
Pebbles and Buster the Cat

I've been out inspecting the work. Just a few trees down, but it's amazing what a difference this makes. The house gardens look elegant, delightfully spread out, spacious and shapely. The ornamental big gum in the house lawn looks so beautiful (less competition) with more space and light around. Gush, gush...

 Pebbles the dog.
More Mulch

Lots of wood...

Taking a closer look, there's lots of wood down. At least a weekend's chain-sawing waiting in The Hump, and lots of burnable mess to rake up. But it's only five degrees Celsius. Too cold for gardening? A bit cold for digital dexterity, that's for sure. So far the dogs and I (woolly gloved) have been outside walking briskly, taking photographs.

Dear Pebbles. Sometimes I think she isn't very bright. But when she sees me putting my camera card into my camera, the squeaking and bouncing starts. Photographs! She knows we are going outside. Dear dog.

When inside I've been doing music arrangements and reading my gardening library book (Gardens of Cornwall), where most of the photographs have been taken in spring, and are rather subdued in colour.

 Phormium, Astelia, Cordylines...
Winter Spikes

My own winter garden is subdued, too, but I think it looks really interesting. It's a tapestry (?) of greens and browns, spangles of pink and red from the Camellias, shapely spikes of Phormiums, Cordylines and Astelias everywhere. Thankfully, no white yet this winter (touch the wood sprawling in The Hump).

 Growing behind the garage.
Tinsie Camellias

Right. Enough of this. I'm going properly outside and the dogs can chase their sticks. A spot of raking up the tree mess should warm up everything nicely.

Too cold...

Oops. Too cold and too wet for 'double handling' the wet pine tree scraps. Or handling them at all, actually. But it's warmed up a degree! Woo hoo! Just dog-walking today, I think.