And the first thing they did was to help me move the giant stipa which refused to yield to my fork. Bebere made light work of the beast. It is sitting in watery slush up at the potting shed as I type.
I have a new place for it. But I have to weed the area first. I want it to stand at the bottom of the steps of the pool bank. If it survives the transplantation process.
But all thoughts of planting was quickly consumed by more mundane jobs. I was on rock duty today.
Today it is a bare expanse of granite and nothing more. It feels naked.
But I will get used to it. And try and resist the temptation to cover it with plants again.
Well, not really mess, but any soil that drops from this rock onto the newly laid courtyard will be detrimental to the overall look.
It was actually quite fun. Apart from the few moments when I barked my knuckles on the rock as I hacked away at recalcitrant weeds.
By lunchtime I’d finished. And we all downed tools to refuel.
It was absurdly warm and sunny. I took my lunch up to the potting shed to chat with Artur.
Confession time; Artur had a dreadful time. I accidently locked him into the guest house for a day. He must have climbed in the stable front door when it had been left open. And at the end of the day I just pulled it shut, not thinking that the cat would be inside.
I wondered why I saw no trace of him on Sunday when I was working in the courtyard removing irises. And then this morning I heard a yowling and a howling and realised where he was. Poor little thing.
I am forgiven.
Phew. The rest of the afternoon was spent relandscaping the east garden which had looked like a granite rockery since November.
The rocks have gone (well half a dozen remain, but they are for the courtyard) and I have my lawn back.
And it gave me a chance to gaze and gaze at the gorgeous quince trees further along the lawn. They are in flower this year unlike 2013 when it rained non stop until the last week of May.
We should have good fruit this year. If the weather stays warm for a few weeks more.
By the end of the day the first truckload of hoggin had been delivered and is starting to be stockpiled on the weedproof fabric of the newly cleared courtyard.
I had a sense of deja vu. Seven years ago I had cleared this 100 square metre courtyard of weeds and mess and laid weedproof fabric down all over the expanse. And then poured gravel in endless buckets to cover it all up. I could have done with a staff of two and a mini digger to help out that first time.
I’m going to miss the gravel. It is a very forgiving material and I do love grey.
But change is a good thing – an exciting thing. We shall see how this new paler surface and rill work out.