Christmas is coming and, as usual, things have gotten busy. Well, more busy than usual. There are lots of things to go to, things I have to say, “No” to and heaps of things that need to be done around the house and outside. “Everything’s going to be just fine”, I hear myself telling myself. But I don’t think myself is listening. If only time grew on trees. Especially if they were Christmas trees. “I’ll take one Christmas time tree, please. No, make it three! Oh, all right. Ten then.”

I haven’t made much of a dent in the cleanup of the wood and rubbish dumped in the second chicken pen area yet., but I have started chipping away at it. The pruning mountain is still looming nearby like a great brown shadow. The Husband started to burn some of it in the metal drum we moved from behind the garage but the drum is in pretty poor condition, crumbling at the bottom, so we are in a stalemate. I’m keeping my eye out for a non-munted metal drum that we can burn stuff in. Hiring a mulcher to chop up the pruning mountain was not going to be very cost-effective.

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The Maple Garden is the beauty before the mess. The pruning mountain is still looming in the corner and the metal drum for burning is falling apart.

We have gotten some important bits and pieces done. The Husband replaced the two metal gates we had across the driveway with one of the big, heavy wooden ones. The latch on the metal ones had broken and the gates weren’t opening and closing well. The Husband attached a wheel to the wooden gate and, although heavy, it is easier to move than the metal gates, it’s more secure and it was already covered with chicken wire so as to stop all manner of creatures from getting in and out. Yes, things can currently get through the fence but one day my hedge will be thick enough to have thwarting properties. And one day I’ll get around to painting the gate (and the fence) and I’ll move the chicken wire to the inside of the gate so it looks nicer from the road.

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The new wooden gate is very sturdy. Some day I’ll paint it and the fence a more appealing colour.

The Husband has also removed the rusty rain barrel in the compost area that was collecting rainwater from the potting shed guttering. This was long overdue, as the jolly thing was literally falling apart. Never, EVER use metal drums for collecting rainwater! It was replaced by the black plastic drum we had standing by. Now we have to get rid of what is left of the horrible rusty rain barrel. It looks like there’s going to be another trip to the dump. There is plenty of useless wood from the woodshed cleanup and The Place of Eternal Toil that needs to be gotten rid of anyway.

While we’re talking about how useful The Husband is, he has also cleaned the gutters on one side of the house. This was another long overdue task. By the looks of things I don’t think it had been done for years. There was a great hydroponic grass- and moss-growing system going on up there. Fortunately, The Husband disconnected the downpipe first so the icky water and goop didn’t go into our water tank. There’s just one side of the house left to do. And the back porch. And the garage. And the potting shed. But not the rear carport, as that is going to come down one day…

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The Husband is not tending the hydroponic grass system, he is removing the gutter guard to clean out the gutters.

Amidst the busyness of family time, Christmas preparations, getting a small child immunised, handling the chicks most evenings and inducing a chicken to vomit for multiple days in a row, gardening time has been scarce. I dug the blueberry out of the vege garden area and transplanted it next to the plum trees, so now the next stage of The Great Vege Garden Expansion Plan can move forward. Well, after I move the weedpost pile to some as yet unknown place out of the way and encourage The Husband to dig out the last concreted fence post. I have done a bit more work on the Plum Tree Garden and have done what I can for now in The Herb Garden in terms of planting and inserting stepping stones. There is one stump left to remove in there. I have even finished planting The Herb Garden border with native sedges by dividing the bigger ones. The sedge I have used is Carex albula, or white sedge. It is a native sedge that isn’t particularly well-known but it is a great choice for a small, buff-coloured grass effect. I have been squishing in weeding time here and there, trying to get things looking tidy before Christmas and reminding the weeds that they’re not going to win the war.

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The blueberry bush has been moved from the vege garden area…
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… to the Plum Tree Garden. It is on the right beside the stump. I need to move the blackcurrant planter, but I kind of need to plant the blackcurrants, which means I kind of need to get the blackcurrant bed built by the garage. Which means I kind of need to move the weedpost pile and make that last fence post disappear.

 

 

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Things are growing in the vege garden. Imagine that! I need to add ‘mound potatoes’ to my to-do list.
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The Maple Garden is a swathe of interesting colours. Most of the grasses and sedges are flowering at the moment, giving a soft, frothy look.

I don’t like it when I don’t get much gardening time. It makes me feel like I’m missing an arm or something. But it is just the nature of this time of year. Things will get done eventually. I make sure I calm my thoughts every now and then and think about what I am grateful for: the peaceful evenings breathing in the country air, the sounds of mooing cows down the road, the invigorating smell of the lemon thyme I am trimming into balls, the feel of soft chicks in my hands, watching the fur child race around the garden like a nutcase and the taste of a trio of salad greens from the garden, even though I’m having a lettuce fail: rocket, watercress and sorrel. These moments are precious and I am so happy that we get to live in the country and raise our wee boy out here. And at least I don’t have a time-sensitive Christmas knitting project this year, right? Ha. Haha. Hahaha oops. Wasn’t I supposed to be knitting The Little Fulla a Christmas stocking? Erm, yes. That notion may have gotten lost until recently in the maze that is my mind, but lo, it has begun. I just need to stop going outside in the evening, sit still and knit. It’s just that ‘sit’ and ‘still’ are two words that don’t seem to want to go together…

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