Sunday, 6 November 2011

Only A Bent Blade?

Ha, Ha, Ha! There I was thinking that the lump of unseen scaffolding had only bent the mower blade, I took it to the repairers for them to assess and fix, and sure enough, a few days later they phoned to tell me that in fact it wasn't only the blade that was bent, but also the whole clutch assembly (located just above the blade), AND the engine two places!! So, instead of a £20 new blade, my beautiful red and silver mean machine mower was in fact as they put it 'beyond economical repair'.

The insurers are doing their usual 'find a loophole' thing, but it looks as though they will cough up something at least, but in the meantime I have had to shell out £950 for this latest innovation in sleekness and design. Let me introduce you to the Hayter Harrier Pro. She is lean, she is mean, she shines, she swallows up wet six inch long grass covered in leaves and all that remains are neat stripes. She is strong, light and totally seductive. And she's mine!

Meanwhile, on the gardening front, it suddenly dawned on me just how many planting schemes are looking, and how badly prepared we are to complete them, and so as the weather forecast for Friday was for heavy rain (it actually turned out quite nice), we spent the morning putting together a list of all of the plants needed for a couple of the schemes, headed of to a local garden centre for a spot of lunch, and then on to one of the wholesale shrub growers near Wimborne.

We needed 34 Pyracantha 'Orange Glow', 20 Laurels, Euphorbia Wulfenii, various Phormiums and Pink Cordylines, many different coloured Heucheras, Mahonia, Cistus, Andromedas, Convulvulus cneorum.....better stop there as the list is quite long. The trailer was empty and ready for filling.

It's a great way to spend time. Usually, wholesale growers want you to phone through an order, whereupon they put it together and you come and collect it from a holding area. As we have quite a good relationship with most growers, they let us walk around and select our own plants, and then just turn up at the office with our list for invoicing. That's me in the picture above with some of our Euphorbia Wulfenii's.

We only had a couple of these tiny trolly's to use, and so taking the shrubs from one end of the nursery to the other took a while. By the time we had finished it was starting to get dark, and so we quickly made our way to one of the gardens in Sandbanks to drop a load of the shrubs off, ready for planting on our next visit.

Saturday night.......Guy Fawkes Night!

Ever since I was a child, I have loved fireworks. My first experiences were of family gatherings in our hotel garden, and being enthralled at every single one being set off, from sparklers to rockets. During my misspent youth, along with a few mates, we would do absolutely the wrong thing and 'convert' fireworks into bigger and better ones of our own. As most of us enjoyed chemistry at school, we would even gather crude ingredients from various sources and make our own much more explosive types.

Every time a new box is opened, who can't get excited about the shapes and colours, and names such as 'Singing Fountain', 'Autumn Leaves', 'Golden Diamond' and 'Comet Tail'?
The daughters and grandkids were coming over for the display and some food, and it was starting to get dark, and so preparations had to be made. Rocket launchers were put in place, a big bag of compost was laid on a table at the end of the garden to put other fireworks in, the hosepipe was readied and the mexican oven was fired up for the evening.

Joshua had great fun with the sparklers!

And we all sat around the oven with butternut squash soup, mulled wine, spiced potato hash and beans, and talked and talked. Every time I see Claire and Rebecca I'm amazed at just how much they have changed since leaving home.

Being the guy, and it being man's work, I had the tiresome task of letting off the fireworks (tiresome?..hee hee, who am I kidding?')
I would set the fuses alight and retire to the end of 'The Shack', which you can see in the picture below.
It was a lovely evening, but alas it had to come to an end.

And one little girl was by now very tired indeed, and from the look of her mouth, had enjoyed her fill of toffee apple!


Thanks for dropping by.


  1. I think you may spend too much time mowing! :-)
    That is a lot of plants you picked up. So nice that you're getting to choose them for yourself.
    As Halloween approached this year, I remembered you and the fireworks from last year. Love that sparkler wheel in the photo.

  2. Hi Sherlock,
    As far as the mowing goes, I think you may be right lol. Although we don't do halloween, we most certainly like to celebrate Guy Fawkes night. It will probably stop once the grandkida grow up as it can be quite expensive though.

  3. How lovely, I have enjoyed sharing your Guy Fawkes Night. Bonfire night was one of my favourite events to look forward to; the whole thing, chumping, making a guy and collecting a selection of fireworks. I always kept back a 'snowstorm' firework for the winter and lit it in the orchard after a snowfall - magical!

  4. Hi Rosemary,
    I must confess to saving a 'dud' firework that night, and putting it in the mexican oven when everyone had left and Amanda was inside. I expected great things but it just fizzed a little!