Great big gobs of greasy grimy

duck pond strimGophers guts. Or in my case, green goo from the strimmer in the duck pond garden.

Goodness it was wet and mucky work today.  I started with the strimmer as it was not rainy and I was raring to go.

So with a bit of work on Alice’s path and down the back steps I launched myself at the duck pond garden.

This is one enormous area of green weed. About 100 square metres of cow parsley, self sown chesnut trees (which I do not permit to prosper), nettles, ferns, grass, cleavers and random mysterious green bits which went under the whipping plastic of my strimmer. duck pond strimming

At one stage I copped a bit of green sludge through my helmet and grill and it landed directly on my nose.   Yech.  But no other casualties. Unless you count my clothes.

My moleskins are standing up on their own, and are now prettily green. They started yesterday cream.

strimmer at workAnd the only other pesky thing is my mobile phone is somewhere out in this wilderness. I suspect it fell out when I pulled out my camera to take a photo.

So tomorrow I’m going to borrow Elodie’s phone and go for a wander and call it and hope for the best. It does have a trick of falling to bits when I drop it, but it would have been a soft landing.

I did go up to one other place I went today – retracing my steps – and that was not even on our farm.

Jean Daniel’s stallion Ulysse was hollering today. He is up above our neighbour’s house on the terraces and at first I thought he was injured. He whinnied like mad. ulysse in terrace

So I downed tools and went up to see if he was trapped in an electric fence or worse. But he was just lonely.

I actually thought he had already escaped because he didn’t come to my call.

So I climbed under the electric fence above the house and plodded up.

And I made a tremendous discovery: the cemetry.

cemetryI knew Jean Daniel had a cemetry for Protestants on his property but I never knew it was as substantial a structure. You can always spot them by the spires of cypresses growing inside the perimeter, but I was gobsmacked by the other plants.

A huge hawthorn in bloom, and a lilac. And better than my fey white lilac, a proper one.

So forgetting all about the travails of the horse, I raced up to have a closer look.

Amazing.  There are no gravestones; well you couldn’t see anything for the huge hawthorn flowering like mad. But I spied some roses under here too.  And of course the lilacs.

Now as my friend Sarah knows, lilacs are best when looted.  I loved going on a hunting expedition for lilacs in her home town of Minneapolis. And I thought of her as I reached up and plucked some lilacs growing around the perimeter of the little cemetry.  (Grave robbing!) Ulysse and cemetry

Ulysse suddenly popped out of the bushes – scaring me to death – and showed a very happy disposition. No injuries at all.  So placating him with an apple I tried to get my huge armful of flowers down the steep hillside without being trampled by a tonne of horse.

He thought it great sport to eat the hawthorn blossoms as I walked – snapping at the flowers behind me as I trotted down the track.

may flowersI don’t think he actually liked the flavour, but he is such a curious animal, anything would have thrilled him.

Maybe he grabbed my phone out of my pocket as I walked. I went back up to check and this time Ulysse was in wait. I had no apple and he was very crestfallen. Anthropomorphic I know, but he is a character.

But still no phone.

I downed the strimmer after a few hours.  One cannot strim all day without resorting to strong pain killers and clean clothes. So I swapped the helmet for the ear muffs and hat and headed off towards the mower.

It was a noisy day. finished first terrace

I was determined to finish the first terrace below the road. And glory be, it had dried out enough for me to do two passes.

Heaps and heaps of grass cuttings for the mulch around the soft fruit orchard.  And a sward. At long, long last.

I am pleased.

barn garden from lawnBut the view of the day for me was actually the barn garden from below.

I wanted to get the lawn mown, but it’s still too wet. But the view, the view.

You can see the mounds of the santolina and lavender in among the trees. There is an evergreen oak and a walnut above, and the forest in the far distance. A borrowed landscape.