The hedge hasn’t lost its leaves yet and is in fact still green. You’d hardly believe it’s December. Except that the sun is so low that even at midday it doesn’t even clear the neighbours’ house.

There’s a brief time window in the morning – maybe 5 or 10 minutes – when we get sunlight in the living room, and another in the afternoon around half past one when the sun sneaks in between the neighbours’ house and a pine tree. And a short while later, when the sun gets to the other side of that pine, the edge of the garden gets a moment of slanting sunlight.

The weather is cold but the ground is not yet frozen so I can still make some progress on the trench for the hedge. I’m most unlikely to be able to finish it before winter, but every bit I dig now is one less bit to dig in the spring.

Today’s digging was particularly frustrating because of this ugly chunk of concrete that was lurking just under the surface. I don’t understand what the guys building the wall can possibly have been thinking when they buried it here. “Nobody will ever find it, it’s buried under 10 cm of earth?” “Surely everyone wants a giant lump of concrete in their garden?”

Cherry tree in autumn colours.

Summer is over and most of the tomatoes in the garden are still green. But the ones that are ripe taste delicious.

My trench-digging project (for the hedge-planting project) is not going too well. All of June was lost to crises and panics at work. I hoped to catch up in September but now I’ve been sick with sinusitis and not doing much digging. Looks like I may have to postpone the planting until spring.

And in the meantime, the weeds are back. I cleared them out in May and promised myself to not underestimate their growing power again. Did I learn from that experience? Apparently not very much. Because now they have invaded again.

Evening light on a fern.

The staghorn sumac that I thought was dead (after it was badly mauled by wildlife, probably deer) has put out new shoots. I’m glad I haven’t had time to dig it up and throw it out yet.

I really, really want to finish the hedges this season, and I’m starting to feel a bit of time pressure. I intend to get the digging done by end of September, so I can plant in October.

This third and last section of the hedge has the hardest soil of them all. The first 20 centimetres is soft and light, partly because of the digging that was done last year for the wall. Below that, it’s all heavy clay. It’s slow going. Some parts feel like concrete, especially where it’s really dry. I aim to dig for about an hour every evening. This corner has been so hard that I’ve barely made any progress in the first days.

Almost every evening, Adrian is there to keep me company. Digging in this hard soil is no fun for him, so instead he just plays nearby. Currently he is building a small army from some plastic flowerpots. Each size is a different creature, strongly inspired by Kingdom Rush. There are goblins, and orcs, and some other thing… it may have been trolls; I forget the details. Some monster or other, in any case.

They all climb around on the wall and the mounds of earth and occasionally chase or attack each other. But their fighting appears to be good-natured: when a goblin fell off the bridge into the ravine, an orc quickly came to the rescue.

A quick trip to Ulriksdal garden centre to buy some plants. There are some gaps in the border in front of the house that I want to fill in. And the Bergenias at the top of the border, nearest the entry porch, were just not doing their job at all. When we came home and replaced them, I discovered that they hadn’t rooted themselves at all: I could almost lift out the original square clumps of soil from the surrounding earth.

We also took a walk in their self-pick fields and came home with a mixed bouquet of flowers. It was also nice to simply walk around in fields of beautiful flowers.

We got a delivery of two cubic metres of fresh earth for the hedge. Adrian and I had great fun spreading it out.

When we moved here, some gardening tools became ours together with the house. (Others we bought ourselves.) One of them was a small spade which has now become Adrian’s. It’s smaller and shorter than standard spades, but it’s a real tool that can be used real work, unlike the plastic toys that are sold under the label of children’s tools in garden centres. Those are way too short and too flimsy – they might work for some pretend gardening for a three-year-old, but Adrian has outgrown that age.

In reality, though, he spent not so much time shovelling and more time climbing, sliding, crawling and rolling around in the soil.

When he tired, he used the spades to make catapults instead.