Chips ahoy

the chipping beforeNow I am being disingenuous: the chipping has taken two days, not one. And I still haven’t finished. My poor chipping machine gave a cough and splutter after many hours toil this afternoon and finally stopped.   A sure sign that I ought to as well.

So I have packed it away in the cellar and shall attend to the very last teensy eensy bit of sticks left behind next week. Or the week after. If the chipper needs to go down to town for a service it may be a while before I attack the last sticks.  chipping after

And that can’t be too soon. There’s such an element of what if when you chip: what if the sticks fling themselves back out at me? what if they jam?   Actually I have perfected the art of standing beside it rather than in front and in the firing line, and feeding large then small in a sequence that seems to work. Well, until it stopped. But enough of brown sticks. Here’s a spot of green to cheer up the blog. left overs

I have done a mighty mow. Everything is at that bursting out stage of the garden, and I want to keep the lawn bits neat before the prairie takes over everywhere.

orchard aprilAnd I felt I could do with a long walk. And believe me, after mowing all the bits I like to keep green and lush it was eight o’clock at night before I finished. Doing the whole thing takes half a day.   But luckily I didn’t have the lower terraces to plunge into; the horses had done their work in that part of the farm.

I start with the orchard as it’s the closest to where the lawnmower lives (in the stables – a suitable place for a mighty beast), and then make my way up the track below the pool and end up at the area we call the piano.   It’s just the lawn beside the pool.   But if you stand up above it you get a perfect picture of the grand piano shape that it has become. piano april

track aprilI’m dying to do a bit more landscaping in the area just beyond that – the place we call the duck pond. But I need to move all the wood first. And I just didn’t fancy hauling loads of wood this weekend.   Alice did her heroic bit last weekend.   Talk about putting your houseguests to work.   So I really should have done my share.   But I do have in mind the same trick we did with all the stones last month: drive up to the edge of the pool and load up the boot.

daffodil thalia aprilFrom the track it was back to the house; pausing en route to admire the wonderful daffodils that have finally come out. Thalia. Wnderful delicate white doubles.

And then the olive orchard bit of lawn that swings up past the potager and leads on to the main lawn. Quite a stride of grass indeed.   But it looks lovely, and it was so great to be out in such strong spring sunshine and listening to the din of birds in all the trees. Cuckoos, woodpeckers, don’t ask me name the rest. My brain is too addled to think.main lawn april

And then when I had filled the grass catcher with all the lawn clippings, I emptied them out over the area where the tomatoes are to grow in the vegetable bed.   It should make a good mulch to keep down the weeds a bit.   It’s just a shame that it doesn’t stay this vivid, vibrant green. mulched tomatoes april