log surfingI’m a lumberjack and I’m okay. Well, I am if the cat doesn’t get on the end of the log and want to do a spot of cat surfing.

I started the day dragging logs out of the forest to help build up my terrace beds.  Artur came all the way up with me to pester and supervise.

Mostly pester if I must be frank. And I’m such a softy that I tend to stop what I’m doing to pat him. But I drew the line at log perching when the beasts are so heavy and cumbersome.

It’s a good thing I only had to drag them downhill.  Uphill would have finished me off. terrace bank logs

They are destined for the beds already in situ on the steep slope of the terrace bank.  I need to do a bit more jigsaw work to try and get the best fit for the existing logs.

But once I move the plants that are already here, build up the soil and hammer some stakes in place to stop the top log falling off, I should have a better place to grow some good perennials.

And I think I need Andrew to come and look at some design ideas. Right now I have lots of verbena bonariensis, gaura, sedums and centranthus ruber in the beds. But the light is so glary and the area so parched they seem to disappear in summer sun.  Maybe I need to plant things in blocks just so you can see them better.  I had to wait until later in the afternoon just to take the picture.

building terrace bankAnd to be frank, they look better from a distance and masked by foliage. In fact I was thinking that I might have to plant some floppy ground cover like nepeta at the edge of the logs to make it look less rickety.

I think it will be a later autumn job after the builders need less of my attention. And I get the energy to go up and get more logs.

Naturally after such a hefty start I needed something more genteel for the rest of the morning. So I found my favourite secateurs and a soft kneeling pad and went to attack the lavenders.  lavender pruning

They need cutting back now and again in spring. But only when they are in flower can you look at them and think, ‘hmm, handsome shrub’.  They look so diminished once their flower stalks have been removed.

eragrostisBut things do look tidy. I love the autumn light on the grasses all over the garden. Well I don’t dare look at the steep bank above the pool. If I did that I might be forced to do some serious weeding.  But the barn garden grasses look fetching.

And you have to admire them as they are going to be shifted in the spring.  They are growing too close to the gravel path. Which is not a problem most of the year. But after last weekend’s rain I was positively drenched just trying to edge my way past them.

And I need all the eragrostis grasses I can lay my hands on for the mass planting of the pool bank in spring.

I worked my way all the way down the barn garden lavenders – short back and sides. And cutting out some dying bits of santolina as I passed. And I even took the opportunity to shoe horn a few more stachys plants in the gaps. They had to come out of the top hedge where they were plonked as a sort of overflow nursery last year.  Leslie was so generous in her quantities that I had way too many for the barn.  barn garden cut back

But now that I am going for the utterly crammed look, they seem to work. And besides, I want the hornbeam hedge to thrive up on the bank. No competition at all, even from small plants.

And then I plodded to the lavender bank to continue my pruning. Just 44 plants there, so I took my time and enjoyed the lovely scent as I pruned.

There are plenty of flowers still on the shrubs, but after Alice’s heroic work this weekend, I think I have enough flowers for my lavender bags.

A happy and productive day.