Early winter tasks

Wait, what? Picking raspberries in December?

Isn’t it alarming and marvellous? It was never a feature for December fruit; but I’m delighted.

I had actually planned to do a thorough weeding of the raspberry patch up at the top potager. But every time I go up With Intent, I pick fruit instead.

It does need a major sorting. I have an old permaculture bed that needs building up and mulched…

But for now my spare daylight hours seem to be spent raking.

Most of it goes into a compost heap. But I have actually found a use of these leaves.

Mulberry in the courtyard, birch behind the lawn, fig in the dry garden, oak along the path to the house. I try to give the walnut leaves a miss. They just get raked and piled below the walnut trees.

This year I’m doing a major mulching of paths and future fruit tree planting holes.

I was thinking with great nostalgia for the mountains of municipal chippings I used to have access to. This winding path in the Dry Garden used to get a magnificent top up each year with the pine needle mulch.

Alas. That is no more.

Or they haven’t let on where the secret stash is now located. I must sidle up to Guillaume, our distant neighbour who now works for the council and get the address out of his smiling and silent countenance.

Maybe I could bribe his wife with bouquets?

In the meantime I make do with my own material. Laboriously raked and bagged and dragged.


And how about this for a distraction? The gorgeous trees that are planted right beside the local recycling bins.

I even volunteer to drive up to the bins en route for town just to enjoy their amazing vivid red.


I have mulched most of the raised permaculture beds with my own chippings.

But I’m waiting for my new chipper blades to do another huge pile. (On order, delayed…). When they get blunt the sticks tend to catch and slow down the manic shoving of branches into my mighty broyeur.

But all this maintenance is a distraction from the big event of autumn / early winter.

This week I get to go and collect a HUGE tree order I placed.

And in anticipation. Giddy anticipation, I have been planting holes, mulching and hammering in stakes and making deer guards.

I know I have some hare proof guards for the trunks… but I have rummaged and hunted but can’t track them down.

The wild boar will be repelled by the discreet wire around each trunk, I hope.

But that’s getting ahead of things. First the hole digging and prepping and making the labels.

A perfect indoor activity when I finally lose the light and can’t see a thing. And my fingers are so cold that I really have to accept defeat and go indoors to feed the fire and defrost.