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On the first weekend of spring it seems right to see what’s happening in the garden.

I haven’t had much time to work on this area, where we’re trying to get all the roots and runners of the viburnum hedge that was here. It’s looking rather trench-like at present. My handyman/former forester/all-round amazing fellow, Paul, has been pottering away here, and has done a massive amount of work. I managed to snag a bargain at Bunnings the other week, where I grabbed some wooden garden beds that were hugely reduced. Lucy was going to build the whole set of vegie beds and frame (to keep the wildlife out) rather than buying ready-cut/made beds. But it was too good a bargain to pass up and I’m sure we’ll figure out where to use them.

There were five of these Mediterranean cypress trees planted alongside the deck. They’re planted all up the driveway, where they look lovely and make a grand entrance to our place. But these ones have been a bit of a head-scratcher. We initially thought maybe they’d been planted as a windbreak or something, but Paul and a visiting friend both said the trees wouldn’t be any use as a windbreak because of where they are and the way the wind flows. Mum and I were a bit concerned by how close the trees are to the house and how flammable they are (extremely), and they mean the deck is completely in shade a lot of the time. Sure, in warmer months, that’s nice, but in the cold months (and there are so many more of those than warm months) we can use the sun. So we asked Paul to cut them down. He’s about halfway done.

This is where I spent most of my day today, in the back corner of the property, with thick gloves, sleeves and boots to protect against the brambles. Although the blackberry harvest and jam I made were delicious last year, this pest just takes over everything. So I’m eradicating it and going to plant less invasive berry canes eventually inside the frames we’re building, where I can control them a bit better. Probably raspberry.

Of course it’s delightful to see new growth. Little buds on everything! On the roses:

On the dwarf peach tree I bought at a nursery sale today:

The daffodils about to pop:

And there are flowers too. This is one of two camellia japonica ‘Mrs Charles Cobb’ bushes down the back, covered in buds (I know this is the cultivar because I found the tag still attached to the base of the very mature bush):

And hellebores! Well, this one hellebore that was a surprise find amongst the pine trees. Lucy has heaps in her garden so she’s going to dig some up for me to put in semi shaded areas. I hadn’t really come across them before, but I rather like them, their faded, antique colour just quietly making an end of winter garden pretty.

As well as the vegie beds I’m going to dig up some of the lawn and gradually make a circular flower garden, divided into beds, a little like a Trivial Pursuit pie. Maybe with a fire pit in the middle. This will take a few years cos I’m only going to do it a bit at a time, when I have the energy. But I’m hoping to get a bed dug soonish and I’m going to put in a whole lot of different dahlias, one of my absolute favourite flowers. They remind me of my grandparents, who used to grow them. When my granddad lived in Hornsby, that was always an incentive to go and visit, knowing I’d get to come home with an armload of gorgeous blooms.