A race against the clouds

One of the good things about living on a mountain top is the fact you can see the weather you will have in an hour, half an hour and in ten minutes. If it’s stormy and windy in Albon on the horizon, it’s time to prepare for a rain squall here too.

So this morning it’s going to be a race against the storm. I can see boiling clouds in the distance.  But I want to strim. And that doesn’t happen if it’s tipping down.  So no dilly dallying. Off I go.


lower terrace workAnd with a change of clothes, a large mug of tea and in front of a blazing fire (end of May!) I can happily say the job is done.

It was drizzle rather than rain, so I was able to ignore most of it as I worked.

I actually thought it was just grass goo hitting my visor until I noticed the rain drops sliding down.

Luckily the terrace I needed to attack was only knee high with lush weeds and grass, so it fell easily.  It’s the raking that is the hard part. Just beyond tedious and uncomfortable.

But if I don’t rake I’ll have dead grass lying about being unpleasing to the eye and the start of tussock creation underneath.

And what this farm does not need is more hiding places for verbascums. They love tussocks.

With a glance skyward, still only light drizzle, I launched into the pernicious weeds on the third terrace. Sorry it’s so unpicturesque.  But that’s strimming and raking for you. Dull, dull, dull.  third terrrace strimmed

Of the five large terraces I am determined to make part of the ‘garden’ I have tamed one utterly – that’s the mown first one with elegant curves. I have strimmed two more so they look less ratty and have fewer brambles and verbascums. And two are a stunning success. No brambles, no verbascums, few thistles and full of wildflowers.

The bees are content and so am I as I don’t have to intefere with them until autumn when they get their annual haircut. After the thyme has flowered and gone over.

And with the weather still damp, I am going to repair to the potting shed to prick out gaura seedlings and verbena bonariensis,  tidy up and try and ignore Artur. He is in heaven on my outdoor fleece and purrs when he sees me.  But as my hand is still smarting from the deep claw marks he made yesterday.

potting onI was grabbing at a verbascum weed near him and he thought I was attacking him. As if I would do such a thing. But some wild cats are instinctual and my hand was in the way.  Ouch. He was contrite and came back to head butt me later but the puncture wounds are quite deep.

If this were a crime novel I’d be dead in mysterious circs in two weeks time and no one would know who the culprit is.  Can one die from cat claws? Hope not. I haven’t finished weeding the east garden yet.