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Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Good days and bad days

Today is a bad(ish) day. Not because I am missing Daisy - although I am, dreadfully. We both are.  Today is a not the best of days because I did way too much in the garden yesterday and nearly all of me aches a great deal, especially my hands which makes typing a bit tricky, and I did not sleep well.

The good days were Monday and Tuesday, both spent outside, achieving loads and having fun. Which feels bad - because of that idiotic voice which says “ought” not to be having fun. Oh hell, it’s a mental mess. But this too shall pass . . .

Early Monday morning Management nipped out to town to collect a couple of things from Sainsbugs and I went down to the greenhouse. I’d not been there a minute when my phone rang and I picked it up thinking “he’s forgotten something” but saw it was LP. Nothing unusual there, we chat every 2 or 3 months and have a good catch up. The conversation went:

me - Well, good morning
LP - hello, how are you?
me - fine thanks, just in the greenhouse
LP - I’ll walk round then
me - WHAT?

And cheerfully walking down the path was our friend who we’ve not seen for nearly two years. Turns out he was in Cumbria for a funeral, sneaky boy did not tell anyone he was coming back and had decided to drive around surprising people! Well, he certainly did that so the rest of the morning was spent talking, and drinking tea, and talking a load more, and wandering around the garden. All the work we have done was approved of, but when I suggested he roll his sleeves up and help me with first job I had planned he suddenly thought of somewhere else he needed to be!



The next Monday surprise was that I actually achieved what I wanted to, and a little more besides. The messy area next to the greenhouse has been irritating me for a couple of years so I levelled it off with paving slabs, moved the now-rotted larch slab edge, laid out the last two 8” x 2” boards and created an instant pot-standing-area.

Why two people who eat virtually no carbs need this many tubs of potatoes is anyone’s guess, but last month I was overcome with a desperate need to have fresh Jersey Royal potatoes this year. These are NOT Jersey Royals, I am not allowed to call them that unless they are grown on an island 500 miles south of here, they are International Kidney. Each pot has just one tuber so that I will only harvest a small quantity at a time . . . we shall see how his diet and my glucose levels get on!



Need to move some slate chippings around, but that’s just cosmetic.

The second surprise was succeeding in potting up four huge tubs with purchased Lavender plants and some little pansies, plus one of the hayrack baskets. Need to finish off the edge of the hayrack, haven’t quite decided how to do it. On Tuesday Management cleaned the slabs with the Karcher and I’m very happy with the little area we’ve created, now all I need is some nice weather to sit out and enjoy it.







As I drew the curtains on Tuesday morning I was greeted with the sight of some very unwelcome visitors. Again. Two ducks have found our Big Pond and seem determined to move in. Much as I like to be kind to the wildlife who visit here, I hate these two birds with a passion - they are eating the frogspawn, eating the newts if they can get them, eating newly emerging pond plants, shitting all over the place and making the Big Pond dirty and messed up. (The other ponds which they do not visit are crystal clear at present, so I know who I am blaming for the murky water.)

It was clear that I had to do something about this, rather than continue to say I needed to do something so all of Tuesday was spent tackling the much needed weeding and thinning of the margins and rigging up my own version of Himalayan Prayer Flags. I suppose I could always call it an modern art installation, ha ha, but 24 hours on there are no ducks in evidence . . . so fingers crossed because if this doesn’t work Management wants to put netting over the water and that’s going to be a right pain.



The metal grid is to protect the tadpoles from Rooks and Crows who were thinking “yo, sushi!”



M. has cleaned the black deck as well, I’ll put the furniture back when I’ve pruned the laurel and wisteria.

I’m thrilled to have done so much, but I ran out of energy before finishing and need M’s help for a final large Carex which is going to be evicted. And I really overdid the pulling new rush shoots and secateuring everything else that needed cutting back. The tendons on the back of both hands are tired and sore, very, very tired and sore. Typing today has been slow and uncomfortable.





But in truth today is not all bad, I had a surprise visit from a neighbour with her 2 year-old grand-daughter in tow, and the little child was a delight. We dumped a pile of small quilts on the floor in front of her and she amused herself for over an hour with not a single moan or whinge. And I got to chat and relax for a while which is never a bad thing.

I thought might bimble off to a garden centre this afternoon, or I might not . . .







26 comments:

  1. I will empathise with your aching today, as I had a bad fall yesterday and really went with a bang! I will need be more careful in future. It must be difficult for you to hold back when the weather is so good for gardening right now, but try not to overdo it.
    It does all look rather lovely, however, I never cease to be amazed by all your efforts. It's beautiful. X

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    1. Oh Jules, I am sorry to hear that. Are you OK - have you hurt yourself?
      Thank you for the kind words about the garden though, x

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    2. Pride mainly, haha! I really jolted my left side. Badly bruised hip, knee and arm. It was my own stupid fault but thank you for your concern. X

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    3. Awww, poor baby :-( Arnica, lots of Epsom Salts in your bath, and healing thoughts from your friends. xx

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  2. Dear Jayne
    It's hard to do things in moderation when there is so much to do and something in your brain is telling you now is the perfect time to do it. I managed to hurt my lower back when I was pruning box bushes a few years ago and now I have to be really careful. (I don't like this 'getting older' malarkey!)
    You'll get there - it may take a while, but your seating area is looking lovely.
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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    1. I know you are right Ellie, but I don't do moderation. But I have had quite a nice day just dossing about, so it's not all bad :-)

      What is this getting older thing of which you speak? {ha ha}

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  3. I can't get over how beautiful your garden looks! Your hard work is paying off for sure. I bet it's so peaceful to sit out on a summer's evening. We have a good sized garden but we're urban so we can hear traffic at all times of day.

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    1. HA! Lovely of you to say that Mrs, but it's not true. Blog photos are no better than Instagram or any other piece of falsely manufactured life. You don't see photos of rubbish and broken pots blown into corners by the wind, or weeds, or a tray of dead plants I never got into the ground, or the utter chaos behind the log store, or numerous other horrors.

      And sadly we do not have idyllic quiet evenings sitting outside - we are upwind of the A66 and hear the traffic, and on a one-in-12 slope there's barely a spot in the whole garden you can comfortably put a chair!

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    2. I've just realised my comment about nowhere flat is stupid - yes we have the patio and the pond decking, but I like to sit on the grass - very little of which is flat, and that's what I meant but did not say :-(

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  4. Can't wait to see the garden........only 4 months to go!!!! It is certainly looking lovely already & it's only early Spring. Just had a reading marathon, so only just getting around to reading blogs (Giggle) & lucky for me there was only one new post to read. Now, hopefully all the aches will subside over the next week, as long as someone takes it easy & what a surprise LP popping in. Ducks can be a nuisance & very messy. We had a heron come "once" & I'm sure he ate my frog! I'll admit that quilts make great playthings with littlies, though I do still have a small basket of toys even now that my grandies are mostly grownup, between 23 & 11. Hell, none in single figures anymore. How did that happen? Take care & huggles.

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    1. Thank you dear one, lots of email with your breakfast today, giggle!

      Hope the garden doesn't "peak too early" and there is still something to look at in August (sadly, being serious, I am rubbish at succession planting and there will not be as much in flower as in early Summer)

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  5. Is it really two years since LP worked with you? I’m another gardening victim, I’m still suffering with one of my arms after lugging empty watering can around all summer.

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    1. We're a bit stunned how fast the time has gone - he left here June/July 2017.
      Do you know what you've done to your arm?

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    2. I think I strained a tendon or something. At first I couldn’t stretch my arm above my head and now I can’t reach up my back. I once had the same problem when I was teaching due to carrying a bag full of books home to mark.

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  6. Sounds like you had a really busy couple of days with much achieved, no wonder you've been aching all over. I hope you've recovered a bit by the time you read this. That was a surprise, LP turning up out of the blue - I can't believe it's already nearly two years since he last worked with you. Tell Management if he wants to continue with the Karcher my front and back garden paths need doing! (only joking of course) :) I had to laugh at Susan's comment about a heron eating her frog - obviously not funny for the frog but it's how it's been written that made me laugh. And as for you evicting a large Carex, I'm now imagining a huge bottle of hand soap about to be thrown in the bin - yes, I have an odd imagination as well as a daft sense of humour! :) :)

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    1. We both know I did too much, which is why my hands are still sore today :-(
      We've had heron here too, very occasionally, and they love frogs (they'll eat any small thing they can catch - mice, voles, I'm sure I once saw one get a baby bunny)
      Now I've got visions of hand wash in the bin!

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  7. You've been busy... I struggle to keep on top on my relatively small garden so you put me to shame. I hope the soreness in your hands eases off quickly.

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    1. Thanks Eileen. My answer to any garden, whatever the size, is make it as easy to manage as possible - that's why there are no exotic and rare cultivars requiring micro-attention - if something isn't as tough as it comes then it doesn't survive here!

      The hand problem is overworked tendons, resting today and going out tomorrow so everything has a chance to settle down.

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  8. I lost the link to your wonderful blog some time back but accidentally found you once again. Really wish you had notifications of new posts. Anyway, I wondered if I remember this correctly or not but didn't you live in another home previously?

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    1. Hello Sally, thank you for taking the time to comment.

      I use Feedly to keep track of all the lovely blogs I like to read, every new post shows up as 'unread'. I believe Bloglovin does similar but I don't use it. Perhaps one of them will help you.

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  9. Oh what a treat to see LP again! I'm even disappointed that he couldn't be talked into diving into a project! Isn't it amazing how the wildlife just doesn't care what our wants are?

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    1. It was a lovely gossipy way to spend the morning.

      Happy to report that the pond is currently duck-free; my "Art Installation" seems to be having the desired effect and the water is slowly clearing, so it was definitely the damn birds churning it up all the time.

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  10. Jayne, I am loving the low wall around your patio, absolutely lovely. All your hard work will be worth it when the good weather comes and you can sit out and enjoy it.

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    1. Thanks Eleanor, we love the wall too :-) One day we will get a nice top on it because it's just the right height for a quick seat. A couple of years ago the builder who repaired the end section put old roofing slates on which looked great but the mortar/adhesive/whatever he used did not survive the first winter.

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  11. I hope your aches, pains and soreness have eased. The weather is too good to be indoors and your patio area looks a lovely place to sit and relax.

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    1. Sorry Eileen, I was sure I'd replied :) It's been a bit chilly to sit outside, nasty wind.

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