I’m quite decorated with green goo. So decorated in fact that I decided to keep going for a second tank of twin stroke petrol just so I wouldn’t mess up two sets of clothes.
Strimming with dense foliage and slightly damp plants makes for a thrilling morning’s work.
I started with a strim around the hedge and the potting shed and then moved down to tidy the steps to the pool. Didn’t I strim these areas just a week ago? Curse this lush rain.
And then I had to wade into the duck pond. It’s tricky as there are so many things I have to control in this area, and so many delicate plants to save. It’s not easy when you are getting into a swinging rhythm and aiming to get as much done in the most economical space of time.
There are small chestnut seedlings that have to but cut to the ground, and nettles and brambles and cherry seedlings. But I’m trying to preserve the foxfloves, the hellebores, the ferns, the cow parsley and the clover.
I can’t say I did a brilliant job. Especially as there is a lopped mulberry trunk in the way. It’s too heavy for me to shift.
But it will do for now. I call it half done. I should actually cut down more of this cow parsley as there is plenty everywhere else. But it seems such a shame to lose the lovely flowers just as they are coming into their glorious glow.
Next up was to try and make an inroad at the stables. There are small trees in here. Chestnuts that we just don’t need. They are growing right underneath the cherries; and quite frankly, we have a surfeit of chestnuts on this farm.
So in I went, strimmer whirring. The nettles don’t put up much of a fight, but there are brambles aplenty to snag one’s strimmer blade on.
And it really is only a rough pass. I don’t want to get the strimmer head too close to the rocks; this replacement is brand new after the old one met a rock and shattered in half. I ought to change the blade for the nastier scythe and hit the wall with vim, but I just didn’t have the courage.
I have reduced the nettle population, plus a few chesntut trees and an awful lot of grass so for that I am thankful.
Why, you can even walk down the steps from the pool now. Up until this morning you couldn’t see the steps for the greenery.
I didn’t have time to attack all of the bank above the orchard, but I did make some lunging forways into the thicket to cut the heads off the thistles. There are plenty that are poised to flower.
Gorgeous flowers I admit, but boy do they spread with alacrity. And if you can’t pluck out the flowers without resorting to gauntlets, then they aren’t a lot of fun to have.
That’s the challenge of keeping a lot of the garden to wildflower state. I tolerate most wildflowers but draw the line at thistles, nettles, brambles and verbascum. That does leave plenty; and my goodness it has been a great year for the red flowering clover.
I admire it as I swish past and try not to knock the heads off.
And here is some deft work to avoid strimming the poppies. They self seed in all sorts of inconvenient places. Right in the middle of the steps up to the potting shed for this one. But I didn’t knock it’s head off, despite almost losing my footing to avoid it.
I’m still working out the new stimmer head. It seems to vibrate a bit more than the old one; and it’s bigger and slightly heavier. And the strimmer wire still gets stuck every ten minutes or so. I know you are supposed to tap the head of the machine on the ground and more plastic wire miraculously feeds through.
I’m still waiting for that miracle. But I don’t mind the pauses. It gives me a chance to rest.
I filled up another tank of petrol and nipped down to a lower terrace. When you look down on the lower terraces from the house you can see a vista of green. But I see pesky bits of weed. Bramble mostly. Sticking up and ruining the view. Well, my view. It’s an obsessive thing.
I managed most of one terrace before I ran out of oomph. It was one of those late morning moments when you are just hoping it will conk out, from lack of juice. But it keeps on chugging and you keep on strimming.
The horses could trim this area easily. But they are too selective. They eat the grass, but leave the vinca, the brambles, the nettles and the verbascs. So I suggested to Jean Daniel that I leave it for a few more weeks. Time enough, I hope to get it all tamed.
And actually I do so love this first terrace with its curve, I’d hate the horses to ruin it. So a rod for my back – an hour or so of trudging up and down this huge terrace behind the mower. But I love the look when it’s done.
It’s sort of an expanse of nothingness. But the vista of a flat bit of land is so rare around here that I like to keep it neat.
Besides, I couldn’t plant flowers or crops down here as it’s a highway for deer, wild boar and the occasional fox.