After an overcast and initially wet morning the afternoon turned out quite pleasant with long sunny spells.
All my garden work today has been round the back of the house. At first I just intended to cut back the long brambles that were reaching down into the stream but naturally one job lead to another. As well as hacking away at the brambles I trimmed down the level of the hedge cutting back the hawthorn, beech, cob nut and ash trees that were starting to get out of hand. Then down by the bog garden the long handled loppers were useful for cutting back the branches of the mature trees that were covering the far side of the stream which is sort of wild, ie no brambles or nettles but any other wild plants and unwanted garden plants. By the time all that was done I was being hounded by a cloud of flies so I escaped inside for a while.
Then came the not so pleasant but much needed task of cleaning out the back gutters. The gutters at the back of the house are a few feet lower than the ones at the front so I don't mind (too much) going up and down the ladders and reaching over my head to clear out the fallen leaves. The roof ladders are set up so that with the aid of a long pole, once a rake, I can get to most of the gutter. I still have to move one of the ladders a couple of times to get the whole thing done but with the bees still in residence I didn't go around the corner to clear the gutter above their new home. The gutters were especially bad because I haven't done them for a long time and not only were they filled with leaf debris and gunk but plants were growing all the way along as well. The worst thing is when, despite wearing a zipped up old coat bits of stuff fall down my sleeves or my neck. I feel a certain sense of satisfaction knowing the job is done and I timed it so that I did my cycling straight away followed by a shower.
An alternative view.