The start of the 2024 Gunnera trim

Eek! It's that time - when all the huge stalks and leaves of the Gunnera get trimmed and stashed in piles under the hedges to dry out. And the sharp spade is needed - some roots are close to blocking the water race completely. This is what Gunnera does. I know this. Oops. Naughty Gunnera. Naughty gardener...

 Time for a trim.

We've had a lot of overnight rain - very good for the garden and the paddocks. My plan (which I may or may not stick to) is to start trimming the large clumps by Middle Bridge. The vegetation and the ground here are muddy and wet, as will I be, should I go ahead with this silly plan. I will leave my woollen socks on and get into the cold water to chop into the large roots.

 On the other side of Middle Bridge.
Gunnera Ready for Trimming

Have taken some photographs of the Gunnera mess. Have made my preparations - clean, dry clothes and towels are ready in my bathroom, grubby gardening shorts and merino top are on me. Have located the loppers. So what's stopping me? Hmm... OK. I can do this! See you later.

Three hours later...

Three hours - yeay! Spent two hours on land chopping stalks and leaves, then launched self into the water. Pretty cold. Chopped lots more stuff, sliced through a couple of roots, and undammed the water race which was blocked. A bit scary freeing unseen obstructions with my hands (memories of once dislodging a bloated dead hare come to mind). But this time it was a benign blockage - just tree branches and assorted lumps of vegetation. Stayed working in the water until my feet went numb and my back started complaining.

 Visible again, and the encroaching Gunnera roots have been sliced off.
The Water Race

The perfect rewards - lovely Non-Gardening Partner (without being asked) had lit the log-burner inside for me. Also a hot cup of tea, my new slippers, a snoozing cat, and a book.

I've started early...

Just for the record, I've started the Gunners trim a little early this year. There've not been any frosts yet - these really brown off the big leaves. But I haven't been able to start my usual Autumn clean up, since we are still in a restricted bon-firing season. That joy (which believer me is not a joy) is to come.