The north west bed, which accounts for about 30% of the plot, should be levelled in the next week or so. I have to clear a mound of earth at the far end of the north-eastern side, chopping into it with the hoe because it's held together by those nettle roots. All the earth from that goes onto the north west bed, to get it more-or-less level. It's a case of chop into the mound with the hard-working Libyan hoe, fill a the barrow with the shovel, tip the earth on the low-lying areas, rake it level. Slowly, slowly, it's losing its hollows and wrong-facing slope.
The frogs and their baleful looks are giving me a bit of a hurry up with this job. Once it's done I can sow it with a kilo of winter field beans, which will give the frogs somewhere to hide as they go about their business of eating slugs before hibernating.
And next spring, they'll be laughing, because I'm planning a pond for them.
It'll look a bit like this in section, with a brick and paving slab structure at the bottom for hibernating, and the long slope to the left to form a beach so the froglets can find their way out. I've noticed that the water-barrels have some small aquatic life forms - wee shrimp like creatures - in them, so I'll put a few bucketfuls in from them, an auld log to float, a water lily. And a seat nearby, so I can rest from my labours and watch the frogs.