Today was an interesting Saturday. This morning we had a sudden mad visitation from three spotty pink pigs! I saw them flash past the window and into my recently planted Maple Bed. Nooo!!! I yelled at The Husband, “Pigs! Quick! Get the pigs out!” I would have rushed out there myself but I didn’t want the neighbours to see me running around in my choice of night ware. As The Husband ran towards the pigs they raced into the vege garden. “NOT THE VEGE GARDEN!” Scenes of the vege garden’s death flashed before my eyes. The Husband gets top points for effort but his herding skills need a little work. Fortunately the pigs got the message that they weren’t wanted and took off down the side of the house towards the gate, which was promptly shut behind them. And that was our introduction to our opposite neighbours’ new set of pigs.

The Father and The Mother came around a bit later for a visit and to help out with some things. As we sat at the table eating lunch and recounting the tale of the the pigs, The Father just about gave me a heart attack when he suddenly yelled, “AHHH! Pigs!” The spotty pink pigs were back, running down the side of the house. This time I was clothed and ready. Thou shalt not eat of my garden, pigs! The Husband and I chased them back out the gate, which they were small enough to slip through. Alright, we really need to chicken wire that gate now. Thankfully, we had no further piggy visitations. Apart from that bacon we had for dinner…

It rained most of the day, which was just what I wanted for the garden after so many hot, dry days. The Father was determined to put himself to work despite the rain and, after the wind had settled down, began hacking one of the unwanted stumps in the ‘Herb Garden’ with his axe. The Husband joined him with an array of tools including a sledgehammer, a wrecking bar and a spade. The Father was not appropriately attired for the wet weather but he didn’t care and he soldiered on in the rain with The Husband, who at least had a jacket on.

The tools of home stump removal and one of their targets
The Husband and The Father at work. Photo courtesy of The Mother.

I needed to plant some grasses that The Parents had dug up and rubbish-bagged for me so I put on my waterproof pants and jacket like a sane gardener (no big red emergency switch needed outside) and headed round the front to plant them while The Mother did a great job dusting and vacuuming inside. The two Festuca novae-zelandiae grasses were originally given to The Parents by me but outgrew their garden spot and thus were returned to me as giants. They are tough natives of the dry plains and ranges of Canterbury and Otago but can obviously thrive in the lush Waikato! The biggest grass I divided into six decent-sized plants, which required the use of a saw. The second one I just plonked in temporarily and will divide and plant it out later. There’s the small matter of a camellia stump being in the way in that garden bed too…

The Festuca novae-zelandiae grasses that I divided and planted, plus the ‘plonked’ one at the front. I had started planting a Dodonaea viscosa ‘Purpurea’ (Purple Akeake) hedge around the fence and thought the buff colour of the festucas would contrast with them nicely.
I want to plant some more festucas along this part of the fence, but, alas, there is another stump!

When I returned, The Father and The Husband had dug out the two biggest stumps from the Herb Garden. Success! They were saturated and dirty and I am most grateful for their grand effort. There is still one biggish stump and a smaller one in there to get rid of but I think the worst is past and hopefully it won’t be long before I can plant my fruit trees and herbs in there. And just look at the beautiful, dark soil! All in all, it has been a rather successful rainy day in the Twiglet Homestead.

Big stump…
Big hole. And look, my grapevine is flourishing after its severe pruning. I just need to get in there and sort it out. After someone else removes the scary bit of ivy…
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