I spent most of the day outside today catching up with a whole lot of end of summer tidying-up. First I tackled painting the remainder of my first batch of garden stakes. Having run out of ‘Burnt Brick’ I segued on to a very deep greyed pink called ‘Zircon’. I think I’ll take a jump over to some different colours for the next batch of stakes, chartreuse perhaps. It dawns on me that getting your little forklets to paint garden stakes is possibly a good way of encouraging them to take an interest in the garden, not to mention another exciting way to get messy.The heavy rain that interrupted my stake painting spree on Tuesday also stopped me from getting around to that other boring but necessary job – the mowing. Unfortunately for us the currently dominant plant in our ‘lawn’ is paspalum going to seed, yuk. So in hope that the rain will hold off so one of us can mow tomorrow I decided to get a head start in cleaning up a whole lot of stuff loitering around the grounds of Chez Fork. Of course we only have bits of stuff lying in the long grass that will jam or break our mower. Mainly this consisted of kilometres (or so it seemed) of various diameters of irrigation pipe, the large pipe last used to drain our washing machine water on to the afore-mentioned ‘lawn’ and various pieces of one dismembered polytunnel. All the tubing has been tidied into very large wreaths of plastic hanging at the back of the shed. On the upside I uncovered a whole lot of new stakes to paint as I tidied my way around the place. Another not so happy discovery was that the snow peas I planted out the other day have been seriously munched on by something. Those planted in the Red Poles bed have had most of their leaves removed as they were sprawling across the ground rather than twining up the string. Foolishly I’d neglected to provide them with any barrier protection as I thought they were too big to need help. Some others planted nearby were eaten to the ground. I have carefully tied some fine soft weaving wool around each of the plants so what leaves they still have are no longer within easy reach of their munchers – I hope. I’ll leave you with two pictures that were accidentally left out of recent posts. The first is a photo of our saffron crocus bulbs as they currently are (previous photos were from last year). Secondly a Lambrigg leftover, a picture of the Strezlecki Apple display. You can see they have fared better this year in Gippsland than the local apple growers have in Canberra.