pork sausages cooking on the bbq

Enjoying the garden…

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There used to be an ad on TV about something or other to do with banking or insurance featuring a husband and wife, the husband wanting to spend his retirement ‘enjoying the garden’ and the wife wanting to sod the garden buy a big yacht and sail round the world.
Pretty much sums up my sentiments.
Its not that I dont like my garden or indeed dont like gardening, its just that I have a ‘photographers’ garden. Generally speaking when the weather is good Im out working, making hay while the sun shines as it were so other things get neglected and other than family and friends the garden is the next big hit.
I decided to address this a couple of years ago and got the whole garden, front and back redone. The patio area at the back was relaid, the grass was dug up, weedkiller put down, tonnes of topsoil dumped from the back of a huge truck, spread out then grass seed sewn etc etc. Needless to say none of this was done by me. Far too much effort.
The design buzzword was ‘low maintenance’.

petrol lawnmower in long grass

I of course now realise how stupid I was, as even if I had concreted the lot, I’d still have to power hose it once a year. Theres no such thing as ‘low maintenance’ in gardening, well certainly not in my definition of the terms.
Low maintenance to me was the odd bit of weeding, odd bit of grass cutting and then picking the strawberries, raspberries and blackberries, putting them in a bowl with cream and eating them. Job done.
home grown raspberries

I also forgot to include the living on the side of a mountain in Ireland aspect of it. Where it rained so much last ‘summer’ that my freshly sewn lawn as it was 2 years ago, now does resemble wild kingdom.
I remember what it looked like when it first grew, I quite liked the lush green grass, in fact I took photos of it, now it just looks like wild kingdom and the rest of the garden looked like it had been left to grow for a scene in ‘I Am Legend’. It isnt all my fault, we did recently have a ‘summer’ which did involve all that lovely topsoil I bought being washed down the mountain along with a lot of the garden by summer floods. I thought I was badly off but the neighbours had just laid a new turf lawn, the water ran underneath it washing out all the sand and substrate. There was a couple of tonnes of that washed away, with a fair whack of it coating my driveway.
summer flooding in ireland

So nothing for it, 3 days of cutting grass, raking out the dead stuff, spraying weeds, powerhosing the patio and driveway, killing slugs, killing ants (which is a new development), laying new grass, putting down fertilizer and countless number of things.
Im all for recycling as well but the local council havent really factored in my laziness. They empty my brown vegetation bin every two weeks and to be honest it could be emptied every 2 years and it wouldnt make the slightest difference. Of course the only time it is ever put into action it could be filled 3 times over and I’m left with 4 bags of rotting vegetation for the next 6 weeks or so as they dont take extra bags and I have to wait for it to be emptied before refilling. Sigh. I do have a compost bin which I could use but its at the back of the garden behind the trees and to be perfectly honest if it was the middle ages, that part of the garden would be labelled ‘here be dragons’.
spraying weedkiller on weeds

Despite writing blog entries its now one of the busiest times of the summer so the garden work really had to be done or it would have been pour petrol on it, set it on fire and wait 2 weeks before starting all over again. A necessary task and it was good to get out and get my neck sunburnt in this country. Although there is something about working with powertools that makes men feel like they belong in the garden.
power hosing the patio

I have to say though the ability to go outside this morning with coffee and just sit and read emails on the laptop in the fresh air is definitely one of those things that money couldnt buy.
This country, if the sun shines has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth. Of course the if in the previous sentence should really be in 72 point text as it should be a really big if. Having said that though there were a few days last weekend that it really was BBQ weather.
organic sausages cooking on the BBQ

Theres still a bit to go, theres the fencing I bought 3 years ago for behind the tree line which is still behind the tree line, just leaning up against the tree line, theres the chain saw I bought last year to cut up the wood Id previously cut down and left to ‘season’. Well thats been well seasoned and the chainsaw still doesnt have any petrol in it.
But all that is for another day, in the meantime I have the option of enjoying the bits of the garden that arent hidden by trees….
…but I went out and bought a boat instead.
more gardening photos here

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