Bend it...

 All the old bark has fallen off.
One of the Gum Trees

Eek! The gum trees are shedding strips of bark - all over the gardens and lawns. And another eek! for good measure. It's time to start trimming the Lychnis, which has suddenly become spectacularly messy.


And one does so much bending over when cleaning up such garden mess. Well, I do. Picking up this and that, pulling out stray weeds, trimming. Gardens are multi-layered - not much sits comfortably at head height.

A delicate arabesque can be useful when wearing the wrong footwear and needing to stay out of the dirt. But there's nothing like a decisive bend to remove a weed. Aha! I see you, sneaky little weed. Gotcha! And there's that rule I made up for myself. See it once : wander past and ignore it. See it twice : wander past and ignore it. See it for the third time : stop, bend, and pull it out.

Picking up gum tree bark...

Today I've been removing gum bark debris from the house lawns. In order to not get too bored (or hip-sore) I've also been trimming Euphorbias and dead-heading roses. I timed myself - one full load of mixed rubbish takes me nearly an hour to collect and dump. Blimey! What a slowcoach! I've also been watering the new Pond Paddock plantings. Hopefully they take this rather good start I'm giving them to heart, thank me from the bottom of their roots, and settle in quickly.

What about kneeling?

During a break in bending I did a spot of kneeling. Read an article in Fine Gardening which reckons that real (AKA professional) gardeners don't kneel. OK, so I'm a non-professional - I knew that! I'm not really a kneeler, though. UNleass I've been sensible ebough to place my padded kneeling accessory just so.

 After ten minutes of driveway raking
Pile of Bark in Driveway

The article says nothing about bending over. But bending can't be a bad form of exercise - surely it strengthens something? Don't people do bendy things in gyms? They might like to come and help me...

 Black Fred.
Fred in the Gum Bark

The lawn mess is never-ending, thank to the wind. I clean some up, then more floats gently down. My gum trees are huge, and have beautiful bark, strips of which they shed in the slightest puff of wind. I've wondered about some long handled claws to pick up the pieces. Sensible? Or yet another tool to leave lying around and lose? Or (worse) be 'discovered' by the lawn mower and wreck the shear pins...

 The lawns get so messy.
Collecting the Gum Bark

Rake up the lawn mess into piles? Sometimes I try this. But gum bark is tough and brittle, and doesn't easily accept the notion being heaped into a pile. So my usual style is to bob around in circles like a fairy picking daisies, using two hands, filling the wheelbarrow. Bending the knees! Bending the knees!

A deep love-hate relationship

Gum trees = Australian Eucalyptus trees, beautiful trees, trees with which I've formed a deep love-hate relationship.