Gardener’s world: Man and brown bin in perfect harmony
In the battle of man versus weeds, it’s a non contest. I’m currently a distant second in two-horse race.
I pull ‘em out, they grow back again twice as fast and even more entrenched.
Some of the critters wrap themselves around jaggy bushes to ensure I emerge with some cuts and scratches as well as a sore back from twisting and turning.Others seem to have roots so deep there’s a fair chance I’ll start howking for coal.
But here’s the thing - I genuinely like it.
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I’ve become a bit of a gardening bore as I channel my inner Alan Titchmarsh and talk with a degree of knowledge that covers up the fact I genuinely have no idea what I’m doing.
This is our first summer tackling the garden.
It was a dawdle last autumn when we moved in. Nothing much grew. I looked out the window and everything seemed tickety-boo.
Then we went away for a week and came back to a scene which could have seen David Attenborough filming for rare species amid grass high enough to have the neighbours tuttlng with disappointment.
The lawn was also home to dandelions which took on the dimensions of triffids.
Who the ‘eck planted them in the middle of the grass and, more importantly, how do you get rid of them without creating craters?
Meanwhile, bushes which had been dull green exploded into more colours than Joseph sported on his dreamcoat.
There were dazzling red red things in the back garden, some orange tipped plants round the wall, and the wee boring looking round green shrub dazzled with its yellow flowers.
I wish I knew what they were.
Gardens don’t come with manuals. Only last week a friend told me there was an app which could help you identify your plants.
I’m kinda hoping there’s also an app that roots out the weeds growing in the driveway which seem immune to regular drownings in weedkiller.
I’m genuinely in awe of friends and family who pop round and say oh, that’s such and such with a Latin name consisting of enough consonants and vowels to fill an entire episode of Countdown.
I’m at the rookie pointing stage and asking “so, what’s that then?”
My other half has started a braw wee herb garden.
It was thriving - well, it was until I figured those daisies needed to come out. Turns out they were sage. Or possibly dill
‘Enthusiastic but hopeless’ probably sums up my efforts at becoming a gardener after 25 years living in flats.
But I’ve started to love it - man and brown bin in perfect harmony
I find myself checking the weather forecast, and grumbling when it rains on a day I was planning to cut the grass.
I wander round the garden pulling up weeds as I spot them, even although I know they’ll be back, twice as big, within weeks.
If I’ve learned anything about gardening it’s that Mother Nature will always have the last say.
You can spend an entire weekend, de-weeding driveways, turning over flower beds, and dead heading plants, and she will simply un-do all your work with a click of her fingers.
My brown bin will never be empty come collection day…