Brace yourselves folks: today I worked in my own garden. But there is more shocking news: I worked in my own garden in the morning and in the afternoon. I have been worrying about getting up early when my sabbatical ends next week; “less action, more sleep” has been my catch phrase throughout this extremely short month. It might be tricky getting back into my old routine. There may be a few wardrobe malfunctions and dramatic wheel spins out of the drive. No need to worry, there was help at hand. Very kindly next door’s builders began knocking out mortar just below the bedroom window at 8.00am this morning. Luckily the incessant banging could be heard all through the house, so no lolling about in my PJ’s, outside was the only escape. Remind me to thank them. They could have chosen a better day, it was grim and grey and blustery. Safely thermalled up, I ventured forth into the wilderness we call “garden”.
At a vague point in the dim and distant past, we were somewhere I can’t recall where someone equally as mysterious had used corks to dress their pots. And I can’t remember quite why they had done this. Was it snail deterrent, a weed suppressant, a bin? Anyway, we thought it brilliant. Again, quite why I’m not sure. Unfortunately this meant that we had to increase our wine consumption in order to replicate their ingenious idea. Sometimes it is necessary to suffer for the cause. Just a minute, that might have been the reason we thought it was so great. Today, however, it didn’t seem so clever. One of my, self-allocated, jobs was to give the pots a late winter MOT. As you may have gathered we have a lot of pots. What we lack in garden space we make up for in container ambition. We are not quite as potty as some, but still we have plenty to be getting on with. So in turn the four acers, liquidambar, callistemon, Forest Pansy, two oleander, three bamboos (1 golden, 2 black), sophora, brugmansia and magnolia “Heaven Scent” underwent the following treatment. They were weeded, pruned where necessary, the first couple of centimetres of compost scraped off, a handful of pelleted chicken manure scattered and fresh compost applied. But of course before this could be done the dratted corks had to be removed, then when all was done those darned things had to be returned. To ring the changes I thought I would amend the previously random design to a sunburst affect. I was rather pleased with the result.
Later, as the southerly wind got into her stride, OH said to me “did a cork just fly past the window?”. Oh well, that is the transient nature of art. Mine anyway.