Orchard maintenance

Moonlight. I was gardening by the aid of moonlight.  I just didn’t want to finish my work today.  And 615pm came and went and I was still forking out weeds.

But I was missing vital bits, so I really had to stop; woe betide this part of the garden if there is couch grass still lingering.

orchardtoweedBut oh the frustration of losing the light.  I just had too much to do today.  There were shrubs to plant, sage to cut back, cuttings to strike. Artur to placate. Horses to feed.

A round trip to Valence train station. And a departure to prepare.

Yes, I have to leave all my chores for ten days to do other chores in London.

I can stalk about and be pleased with what I have achieved this trip. But I would dearly love to finish weeding this last ten metre bank so I can landscape the entire orchard at last.


Part of me thinks it has been like this for a year, a few more months can’t hurt.  But all gardeners in Europe and North America know that it’s soon spring. And the growing season will begin.


These benign, easy to remove weeds will soon be replaced by fresh growth of the blighters and I will be way too busy with sowing seeds and potager work to spare any time on fripperies like landscaping.

I’ve learned my lesson about the rocks and stones I unearth. I’m no longer flinging them down to the flat part of the orchard. Now I’m stacking them up on the middle of the bank. They will need to be put to use creating terraces once I’ve done the weeding and the raking and the shaping.

And I’m happier to cart them about the steep slope rather than drag them up into position from the huge pile on the flat.

I often have my little helper surfing on the backs of my legs anyway. So it’s never easy getting about.

He is much improved since my return. Coat now shiny; a bit more flesh on the bones. He’s as batty as before. But still great fun. Even if he is pesky when I have any buckets hanging about.

He knocked over two full buckets of water which had soaking hornbeam shrubs today.  I shouldn’t have placed them on a slope of course. But he does love his water to play with. And who am I to deny him?  I’ll abandon him for the next ten days, so I felt like he needed a treat.