Garden maintenance

I remember reading once that 80% of gardening is the equivalent of housework…. keeping things tidy and doing the routine stuff.
In some ways this is a fair analysis: yes, the garden has to be kept tidy and ordered, the grass cutting and weeding are necessary…. but as comparisons go it’s rather incomplete.

Indoors the floor is washed and gets foot-printed again, the carpet is hoovered and gets bitty again. The toilet is cleaned and gets….. well you get the picture.

In the garden, especially at this time of the year each action brings on an even bigger reaction (sorry Newton, your law doesn’t work in the garden)

Today I have mainly been gardening. Well for three and a half hours. I got out the hoover lawn mover and did the grass, then trimmed the edges. Suddenly the garden looked sharper and more cared for. Where I didn’t cut the lawn, just where the snow drops are finishing and the crocus are boldly doing their thing the longer grass looks right: bright and strong against the colours.The bumble bees were out in force, exploring the flowers and getting covered in pollen.

Then I started on the borders, accompanied for a while by radio four and ‘Gardeners question Time.’ (My wind-up / solar-powered radio is my gardening companion.)

I cleared away all last season’s growth which had died back during the winter. And as I cleared new tips of growth were pushing up through the warmed soil giving me that feeling of hope that comes each Spring.

Of course time ran out before the jobs were finished. I had to come in to have a bath, scrub behind my fingers nails and assemble a fish pie before trotting back into Oxford for a poetry reading which was very entertaining and inspirational.

And I returned from the poetry reading to the rest of the fish pie and a glass of wine. Pretty perfick. Oh… and a slice of collapsed banoffee pie! (Not bad, with the topping scraped off.)

And in the morning  when I look out of the window I shall have a huge feeling of accomplishment which I NEVER get from housework.


Parents’ evening

Tonight’s early evening sky had a wash of palest blue, with a flush in places of rose pink, all overlaid with smudges of windswept charcoal.  I watched it change, and as we travelled the blue deepened until it was truly dark.

I noticed this on the way to Scout’s parents ‘student review evening’  just after we had squeezed around the roundabout, avoiding the turning where the ambulance and police cars were acting as an effective road block. By the time we reached school is was completely dark. We commented on how the evenings are really drawing out now.

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