Mulch work

I thought he had died.

arturshadesunRight in the shade garden near the potting shed.

For a heart stopping moment I really thought his heart had stopped. His limbs were a bit akimbo, it looked very uncomfortable…

But then I saw his breathing and I started breathing too.

Yep, poor Artur is a very old bag of bones.  And since my return I have been anxious for him. He isn’t grooming himself as much as normal. He’s seriously famélique – scrawny.

So I’m just warning you all now.

Usually he will trot about the garden supervising my work. But this week he hasn’t staggered far.

branchesforchippingWhich is a shame as I had a lot of staggering to do myself; and I could have done with the feline company.

I have a forest of sticks and branches that need to be chipped.  Nicolas had left me pretty piles all over the back of the farm near the duck pond.

I hauled, I dragged, I skewered myself on rose branches.rosepruned2016

There were heaps of those from the massive radical prune of the New Dawn rose that grows along the wall of the herb garden.

Have I shown you that? I’m never brave enough to cut back this hard. You can barely see the branches that are left.

newdawnhorizBut it will be great. Roses grow on new year’s growth, so there will be more roses.  But I almost dare not wish for that.

1rosenewdawnThe ones for the past two years were so heavy they snapped the wires.

Still, who’s complaining?

But I did complain when I realized that to get these huge piles of brambles into some sort of order and then try to chip them was a big mistake.

The chipping machine whined. I whined.  And I gave up.  The brambles were dragged to a convenient hidden stone wall and shoved out of sight.  And I went back to my usual chipping material of good honest branches.

And the wisteria. wisteriachipped That has all been tidied away.

Two days. I have spent two days at the job.  But the brilliant news is that it’s done.

I have mulched the entire orchard bank at long, long last.

orchardmulchfinalIt may not look that impressive from my camera shot. And it’s all a bit pale.  But the soil is entirely covered. Pleased with that.