To strim or not to strim

mighty mulberry distanceActually there’s no question really. When you have terraces of land and stone walls, you have to manage them.

Turn your back and brambles sprout.

So armed with both a strimmer and a lawn mower, and waiting for 8am, I raced down to the beautiful terraces below our house.

It’s a great view of our mighty mulberry from here.  Every year it survives is a bonus.  It is leaning at a very dangerous angle. cherries on tree

The strimmer wouldn’t start first go, so I didn’t get cross, just turned to the mower and worked away at the flatter bits.  And the bonus of the mower is you get all the mulch material. I have left it in busy piles all over the place.  It’s too hot to pick it up just now.

And then after an hour (and a pause to eat cherries off the overhanging trees) I turned to the strimmer and off it went. Well, off I went.

strimmed stone wallsIt is a joy when things go so smoothly.  I thwacked at almost head high grass, nasty brambles, walls of weeds, and the occasional verbascum.

Time just flew by, and I was conscious that it was going to get uncomfortably hot after 10am.  But I was able to sneak into the shade for some of the time.

And nothing beats looking back at these monstrous stone walls and seeing the worst of the brambles strimmed off.

I had enough petrol in the tank (after staggering up to the house for a litre of water which I necked in seconds) to go to the scary terraces just above the vineyard. vineyard terraces

Oh my.  Bracken attack.

You couldn’t even see the boulders in the middle of the terrace.  I have done a very rough cut of the first terrace (and tried not to look at the three other ones above that need the same attention).  And need to come back either with a rake, or get some help lowering the heavy lawn mower down the steep steps (boulder field) and cutting more finely.

wild rose east gardenI don’t dare show you a picture of the vineyard. It’s a sorry mess.

So instead I leave you with the alternate opinion of leaving well alone.

Up in the east garden, to the right of the guest house is a steepish terrace that I find hard to strim. So I don’t. And lo and behold, each year these wonderful wild roses appear.  I must ask the Van Oorts if they planted it. It does seem to be in a bizarre place for a planted rose.  But there are about twenty separate rose plants here between a cherry and an oak tree. wild rose detail

I love the shock of the pink. Nothing manicured about the flowers, but pleasing. And I can’t take any glory for the thing. I just forgot to strim one year and here’s the result.

Once you’ve done a day’s work before 11am the rest of the time was a bonus.

I pulled up all the pea plants in the potager. I have about 10kg to pod – oh joy – and have harvested broad beans. Lots of plants need to come up there.

peas harvestingAnd then I will plant out basil in its place and sow lots and lots and lots of dwarf French beans.

The weather isn’t letting up, so I’ll just have to plant and try and protect as best I can.