It's been raining constantly for the last two days, and silly me has been worrying about Speckles the stray cat. Would he have the sense to leave his wee nest in the paddock grass and seek shelter? Silly, silly me. Of course he did! He popped out from underneath the cottage this morning for breakfast, totally dry. I need to remember that he's got through (at least) one winter without any help from me.
Part of Water Race Cleared
Rain, drizzle, and damp lawns. So, for some strange reason known only to gardeners, I'm thinking it's time I sloshed down the water race and did some trimming. The water and the vegetation will be super-cold. And wet!
Not such a bargain!
But my new bargain (ha ha) waders already have a leak in one of the feet. So I will have to be super-strong, mentally. I'm now lighting the log-burner first thing in the mornings, when it's still cold and a bit dark. So I can retreat to the house and warm up after gardening, yes? It's just the thought of that one cold wet foot that puts me off!
Yeay for my sharp bread-knives (for Phormium and fern root trimming) and my stamina (which seems to have survived a dose of Covid). My resolve? A bit luke-warm (ha ha). My woollen socks? A little bit worn out. But I look at it this way. I have hot water for a shower afterwards and a warm log fire for a pretty cushy recovery.
Right. A pledge. Before the end of the day I will have made a start. It's still mildly drizzling, but wet is wet.
I did it! Over two hours of sloshing and slashing in a length of the water race with no Gunnera. BOTH feet of my bargain waders are now leaking. Some bargain, yes? But I kept going until water started dripping from my fringe down my face.
Water Race Mess
Didn't clean up the mess (there's lots) - pulled the 'Recovering from Covid' card and plodded inside to the shower. Rewards : warm clothes, feet in dry socks and sheepskin lined Ugg boots, a sweet fizzy drink, and a semi-snooze in front of the log-burner while the evening meal gurgles quietly in the slow-cooker.
Tuesday 17th May
Good morning! There's sunshine, no drizzle, but the garden is exceedingly drippy. My leaky waders are lying all scrunched up at the back door. But they are about to go back on. I'm off for session number two of my great water race clean-up.
Aha! Took me two hours to make my way downstream to the variegated Arundo, by which time bits of me were just getting too cold. Have trimmed some mighty large Phormiums, dug out lot of ferns, trimmed squillions of Shasta daisies, and - oops - found four unwanted self-sown Gunnera plants.
Three were just toddlers, ever so cute. They came out easily with the breadknife, but the fourth was a teenager, too big - how did I miss it last year? Am going to have to re-immerse self and get it out with the spade. Have a Gunnera rule restricting their growth to one side only of the water race.
Sitting inside now with dry socks and warm feet I do not feel like going back into the water. So to appeal to my vanity have arranged a photo-shoot with Non-Gardening Partner. Intrepid gardener works on in leaky waders - that sort of thing. Hope to reach Middle Bridge.
Late afternoon - yeay! Almost got there. Left the two large Phormiums on either side of the bridge for another day. Found another teenage Gunnera, naughty thing, got it out with the spade. Cleaned up clumps of grasses from the middle of the Arundo. Wondered how to weed the dog-path between this and the big red flax. Poked at it a bit - not sure. But yippee for my breadknife! Brilliant gardening accessory.