Bloomin ‘eck

November rosesA rose in late November? Goodness whatever next. I didn’t notice it until today as it was hidden by a builder’s wheelbarrow. The scent first alerted me. A springtime treat in the almost winter sunshine.

The rest of the gardening day was spent grubbing about in the dirt. I have scraped and hacked and now a large portion of the rocks are clear of soil and weeds.   They look ghastly right now; but if it rains tomorrow (as promised) then it might look a little less stark.

cleared rocks close upI could keep going but I have decided to keep the track that is almost level above the rocks as it’s a useful little shortcut from the barn to the potting shed. Well, useful when I actually keep it strimmed.

And speaking of strimmed. I had a visit from the pompiers today. They are doing their annual whip round for funds. They sell this tremendous colour calendar of the fire brigade’s favourite car crashes and local disasters they have attended with a photographer this year and think you might actually put it up on your kitchen wall.Cleared rocks

Bless. But they did offer good advice about fire control. We were worried that the cherry trees were too close to the house but were reassured that it’s only pine trees that are the problem. Nothing like exploding hand grenades of hot fir cones to keep a fire flowing nicely up hill.

But they have exhorted and rather sternly reminded me that houses need to be well cleared of anything combustible next summer.   We had two fires in the region in August (one started by lightning, the other by an arson or an idiot, they haven’t decided which) and don’t want any repeats.   Madame will be out with her strimmer in force next year. So this bank of cleared rock may be a blessing when my back is aching and I have vibration white finger syndrome from holding the throttle for hours on end.

Right, end of gardening day. Time for a spot of door painting. If I can get the undercoat down tonight it will mean a zippy day of top coat layers tomorrow.