Autumn landscaping

Brrr. I must say that as soon as you lose the sun your fingers really freeze.

Nothing like starting on a mad landscaping project early in the day and insisting on achieving the whole thing by the time the sun starts to set. And your trousers set into a stiff shape from all the knee-encrusted dirt.

But it’s done and I am dead pleased.

Dead exhausted too, but that’s landscaping for you.

Or as Creature would call it – playing in the dirt. She so rarely gets to play in bare earth here in this garden.

It all started when I thought I might start digging up the invasive irises down in the orchard and shift them elsewhere.

I am editing this part of the garden.

Which is code for yanking out self seeded euphorbia and removing all the irises that don’t form an orderly line in front of the bed.

It’s marvellous fun now that the soil is so soft after our long week of rain.

But as soon as I thought I would transplant them to the narrow bed above the pool bank that I came up with a more ambitious plan.

What a neglected eye sore. Time to attend to this entire long narrow path I named after my dear friend Alice.

She would not be proud of how overrun it is with weeds.

So Alice’s Path needed a whole lot more love than just a narrow row of iris.

Up came the weeds.

And I had a merry old time shifting the cat who kept sitting on the backs of my legs as I worked, kneeling with the trowel.

I did that usual trick of ‘accidentally’ leaving my warmest jumper on a piece of cleared soil and she pounced. And then proceeded to guard it for the rest of the day.

I was able to move faster after that and even ventured to the steps below Alice’s Path.

I dug out masses of mess from weeds on the path and steps to the curious excess soil I ended up with.

Thank you moles or mole rats for making your tunnels right where we all need to put our feet.

No, it’s not you. They do lean to the right.

And before you could say three shortbread biscuits and two cups of tea, leftover risotto and a brief pause for lunch, I had landscaped the lot.

I am building up the paths below the steps and on this tricky terrace beyond the potting shed by placing long logs in front of the downward slope.

That way you can shove all the weeded matter in first and then add buckets and buckets of soil over the top and stamp it down.

In spring it will have rotted down enough for me to add more irises to the edges.

And if I am very very diligent I will mulch thickly with my clippings.

Or else give in and sow grass seeds.

I have discovered the clover trick did not work.

It grew too lustily and too high and then when cut back with a strimmer, it looked scalped and suffered and didn’t grow back.

It is growing back a bit now. But it’s too patchy and I don’t want a repeat.

What I really want is to find a municipal dump of chippings like the old days and thickly cover all these paths….

Here’s some of those ‘old days’.

Sigh. Gad I miss the free mulch. I can make my own of course. It’s on my list.

On page two. Way below the urgent jobs and the pretty effete shift iris jobs…