Wednesday, 18 August 2010

First half of the week.

Quite a nice week so far. Although I woke up on Monday morning a little panicky about the weeks schedule that I had planned out, the fair weather has made it a joy. The quote for the big landscaping job has gone in, and I am now waiting for a response to it, hopefully it won't be "What the %**^!!&! do you call that price?" Also, I got home this afternoon to a phone message saying that I had been recommended by another client and could I come and quote for regular garden maintenance at a large retirement home in Poole. With thirty two gardens to tend already, and numerous 'one offs' already in the diary, I'm not sure that I actually want another place at this point, but business is business, and the thought of letting it go to a rival leaves a bad taste. Next year I think that a little help is going to be needed, but finding a reliable hand that isn't workshy is a rarety in this trade. Anyway, enough deep thinking for now, and a bit about what's been going on.

A regular place that I work at (although all of them are regular), is this garden. A block of very prestigious apartments in Branksome that brings a great deal of satisfaction, except in the autumn when the trees drop fifty tons of leaves and the wind is blowing in every direction. Just in front of the conifer hedge in the background you can just see a couple of apple trees that are on the edge of an orchard full of different varieties. When the dry weather was upon us over the last few months, the grass here as well as everywhere else turned straw yellow, but now with a little rain things are starting to green up nicely. The mower is at rest and I am able to take a picture or two because...............

..............Yep! I have been given my regular mug of tea, and it's time to take a break, sit back in the sun for a few minutes and take stock. The mug is one they especially give to me as it holds about a gallon of tea.

I think that I have shown this water feature before, but heck it's lovely, and making a gentle splashing sound as I sit quietly sipping on my own.

In front of me is this gorgeous majestic fir tree. After the rain, and now with the sun beaming down on everything, the greens in everything just seemed to glow. They just make you want to reach out and touch everything!

The orchard has grass all through it, and this along with the formal lawns has to be mowed. It's one of the few places that drives me mad as each time either my glasses go flying when snagged on a branch, or a branch will take a chunk out of my cheek no matter how careful I am. It's also nice on a hot day when my mouth is dry to just simply grab an apple as I pass, and munch on it when doing a straight mow line.

Don't they look delish!

Another time saw me at the dementia care home. The new garden is now complete and looking pretty good now that things have matured a little. The only real snag was that the water feature splashed a little too much at first and subsequently lost water throughout the day. After a little bending and tweeking though everything was sorted. Unfortunately, one of the residents tends to keep pulling up the plants and trying to eat them, but as time goes by all is rooting and becoming less easy to pull up.

A little picture of the central water feature, clearly showing oversplash!

And a view of the whole garden. This is one of three themed gardens at the rear of the property, and as the others mature I shall put them on here.

Of course there is the weekly visit to Eco Composting to unload my trailer load of rubbish. They have various contraptions about the site for sifting various materials. The one in the picture above has a mixture of rubble and soil (as it's dumped at the site) put in one end, and this is seperated into fine topsoil through one of the shutes and hardcore for building out of the other. It's extraordinary how much material these machines can deal with in a day.
Tuesday evening, and I went with Amanda to meet her dad at his allotment to take some rubbish away for him that he had already made, and to assess how the weed treatment that I applied a fortnight ago was doing. As it turns out, most had died nicely, but the old raspberry canes and a clump of horseradish were putting up a fight, however I am confident that they will lose as they look pretty sick.

" So, I'll tell you what Paul, I will hoe them off, and you can bag them up!"
"Gary, I think we could be here all night!"

\today it was off to the cottage estate in Mudeford, as I had some trimming to do in a small area.
Symphoricarpus, Eleagnus, Hebe, Viburnum and name it and it's in this border.

Half an hour later and all is done, and a kind couple offer me a morning coffee.....I refuse of course........Not!

All of the Rowans are berrying now, and this one was just calling to "Take a picture of me!" Aren't those berries just amazing!

Thenit was off to the small but perfectly formed garden almost next door, and Pat with her tea and biscuits (not Jammy Dodgers this time!).

The final place today was here, where jobs included mowing, edging the grass, and the tidying up of some very large Fatsias and Yuccas. Boy!......can those Yuccas hurt if you let them!
Of course, being Britain, the nice weather couldn't hold, and so off home it was and on with the windscreen wipers. The drive home is quite nice even so because it's through the countryside and then past Bournemouth Airport (on the right below), where you can always see the odd Jumbo or three.

An early night is whats needed now, and so after dinner an episode of 'The West Wing' is followed by bed as it's a very busy day tomorrow........TTFN!


  1. Dear Gary, As always I am in awe of the amount of hard work that you accomplish each day and the immaculate standard that you maintain at your regular ports of call. Your consumption of tea is also amazing and it seems to appear like magic from the shrubberies.

  2. Nice post, you may want to try x-large when you list your pictures on the blogger site. I think you are using large. Unsolicited advice from across the ocean for you, take care, Gina

  3. Hi Edith,
    Thanks for your kind comments. I must admit that when it comes to mugs of tea, that great saviour of the gardener, people are very generous indeed and I am extremely lucky.

  4. Hi Gina,
    Thanks for dropping by. The biggest I can use is large. I go for medium, but if they are a bit too small to see then I will gladly use a larger format, maybe in the next post!

  5. Hi Jack,
    Thanks, one does ones best!

  6. Hello Gary - having done the whistlestop tour of your gardening day, I'm exhausted...but what a delightful account and illustrated perfectly.


  7. Hi Laura,
    Thanks a lot for such a lovely comment, glad you like the post.