|Arlo waits patiently in the bog garden, ready to pounce on any passing prey|
|Django's more wily - he knows they barn's the place to be|
|None of their sedentary slouching around on sofas here!|
To a certain extent it's the same with us too. A quick walk round the garden before dusk was all it took to steel my resolve to get out there first thing and try to tame the jungle. I'm not one for lawns - they gobble up too many of the world's dwindling resources in fertilisers, weeding and mowing for my liking - I prefer low maintenance hard landscaped terraces, saving the grass for the wilder areas where it doesn't matter if it acquires a sprinkling of clover, nettles or cow parsley, the more diverse the better.
|Grass is reserved for the wild bits like outside the barn|
First things first though, there were a few trees that needed prompt attention - Victoria plum and two damsons, which were shedding their heavy load in the afore-mentioned long grass!
So ladders were brought and fruit harvested, but now, on top of all the gardening, there's nature's bounty to be dealt with. Plums will be going in the freezer, then tonight I'll be making damson jam, my all-time fave.
But before then we still had to make some inroads in the garden, so after a strong cup of coffee, we both threw ourselves into the task - P does the strimming and I do what I think of as the machete work, cutting back the shrubs, opening up vistas, trimmng hedges, pruning roses, weeding flower beds etc etc. Give me a pair of secateurs and I'm as happy as a sandgirl. Near instant gratification - I'm always amazed yet delighted at how quickly the garden responds to a relatively small amount of tlc. And there was a surprise in store by the apple mint...butterflies are usually thin on the ground at this time of year.
|Red admirals love the apple mint|
|Singing sedums contrasting the blue slate on a dry stone wall|
It wouldn't be Wales without the ubiquitous hydrangeas and fuchsias, both in full swing now...
...accompanied at times by giant bears breeches, which seem to have gone mad this year.
|Bonfire outside the barn|
At the end of the day we had a big bonfire to burn the detritis. Unfortunately, as the wood was wet, there was too much smoke to sit around and we had to quickly retreat to the back terrace where we cracked open a bottle of cold white, put our weary feet up and enjoyed the new view. The swallows came out, dodging and diving in the sky getting their evening fill of insects - a lovely bonus as we hadn't seen any during the day and thought they'd headed off to Africa already.
Hey ho, off for some more hacking - come back soon!