Sunday, 29 January 2012

Wet Week & Tea

I was going to post about my struggle with Facebook, but to be frank, the whole subject just depresses me. In short, there were too many people either using my wall for their own selfish and self absorbed causes, too many crude and thoughtless 'links' etc, no communication at all, and less and less respect for my own beliefs. Generally, 'friendships' that were going no further than to use me. As a result, I have 'unfriended' half my list, including some close family members, and some of the remaining ones are under review. I would come away from Facebook altogether, as I do believe that it is now quite a harmful medium, but there are some good and sincere friends that I have made there. We will see eh?

For the most part it's been a dull and damp week. Things aren't growing much at all yet....Yey!! Work is just a case of freshening up the soil everywhere, blowing what remains of the rubbish from earlier storms, some pruning, and starting to get some of the 'one off's' completed before March arrives and things kick off properly. We haven't done much to our own garden other than a basic tidy up, but one job that is always good fun is drying out the mexican oven, after a long winter of standing still. I don't know if it is the same elsewhere, but here in the UK it's VERY advisable to keep ANY paperwork with personal details of ANY sort to one side, and not throw it in the refuse bin. Thieves work in not so mysterious ways, and are know to seek out paperwork at rubbish tips and use it to gain access to anything from a bank account to benefits.
We put ours to one side, in a safe and secure place, and periodically have a burn up, and so I thought, kill two birds with one stone. As you can see, there was a lot of damp to get rid of!
We've had this oven for many years now, and it's hosted some amazing evenings of friendship. The picture in the sidebar of Claire and Lee was taken around it.

I think by now that you must all know how important a hot cup of tea is to a gardener. It's not so much about the tea itself, but also about the forced rest, and time to ponder during the busy day. In those five minutes one thinks about the person who has just given you the tea, and their own trials and tribulations. Also, what the lawn you are sat on needs to have done this spring, family and personal issues, holidays, how did I ever forget to crown lift that tree, or what the next garden on the list holds in waiting etc.

At this point, whilst I was sat on the grass, one of my thoughts were 'how can anyone buy plain chocolate Kit Kats??

After the initial phase of clearing away storm damage, the next job everywhere is to make sure that the grass is run over with the mower on a high setting to tip out the grass and pick up any rubbish laying on/in the grass. Most places have had this, and so next will be pruning the Hydrangeas and Roses etc, taking out any dead from the various Acers, and completing any additional planting schemes. The place in the pictures above and below has given the go ahead for a new border to wrap around the corner of the building. Not a huge job, but one that will make a big difference to the overall look of the property. I will try and remember to take before and after pictures.

Over the Christmas and New Year period, all of the soil became flattened with the rain and rubbish, and because of the spring bulbs are now starting to show their heads, a little gentle hoeing is needed to freshen things up. This day started out very promising, with glorious sunshine. However, no sooner had we got half way through the rear borders, that the clouds and rian came. And did it come!

We were offered our usual mug of tea, and took refuge on the owners balcony patio, watching the deluge that carried on for the rest of the day.

We decided to carry on in the rain, as the rest of the week was a little too full to postpone, and so having got completely soaked, we finished the task in hand, took the gear back to the van, and went home.

Not always a glamorous life this gardening!


  1. Gary I admire you and Amanda for working together as a team, even in that pouring rain. I wish you could send some of that down here as we've been putting the sprinkler on the lawn and garden all winter. Still have hopes though for some good February/March downpours. Cheers.

  2. Gary,

    Sorry to hear your experience with Facebook is less than stellar, but I don’t think you are alone in your thoughts and feelings about it. I for one don’t subscribe to Facebook. After a week of being bombarded with friend requests from “Friend Collectors” I just deleted the whole mess. Of course that is just my personal take on it.

    The chimney video on this winter morning was most wonderful, as well as, your “Tea Mug Philosophy”, hmm, sounds like a blog title to me (wink, hint), lol. – gary

  3. The hubby and I are not on facebook because of many of the problems you noted. One other thing, we have a lot of "diversity" in our families, friends and business associates. We really don't want all of them in one place at one time. Facebook has a way of linking people who should not really spend time together under your name. No thanks.

    We also need to destroy personal info if it is no longer needed. We shred. Burning would be more fun. Love your chiminea.

    BTW: all Kit Kats are good. :-)

    Gardening in the rain. Just another day!

    1. Also a Facebook refusenik here!
      We're shredders. The shreddings then go into the compost.
      Dark chocolate Kit Kats are WRONG.
      Have a good week!

  4. Sorry to hear you've had such an unfortunate experience with Facebook. I've had a nice experience with it but I can sure see how one's varied group of friends could result in some unpleasantries. I hope your un-friending is understood and that your experience is only good and meaningful from here on out.

  5. I do facebook to stay in contact with my daughter's friends, but am unsure if I will keep it up. A time waster. You two are hard workers !take care, Gina

  6. Your week sounds much like mine, including the mental (and a little physical) review of Facebook. It's great fun to have a little chat with my mom each morning, but I'm not sure there are many more benefits. Your work is beautiful from what can be seen in these photos....and it sounds like some great clients, as well! Have a great week1

  7. I'm mulling over my relationship with FB as well Gary. Glad to hear I'm not the only one. I start a new job next week so I'm sure I won't be able to keep up with it anyway.
    We use paper shredders over here but I think I prefer your method of dealing with personal papers!

  8. We shred papers here, but burning seems so much more satisfying! I have mixed feelings about facebook - don't spend too much time on it but it's kept us in touch with family and friends and that's been a good thing.

  9. Hi Sharon,
    I must admit that it's great being able to work together, although Amanda has had to scale back a bit since the 'glory' years. Sorry to hear it's so dry, hope you get some rain!

  10. Hi Gary,
    The 'friend collectors' that IS one o f the reasons I am reviewing Facebook. The oven is great fun, but then I have always enjoyed a good fire.

  11. Hi Sherlock,
    We used to shred, but those sneaky crooks have apparently become very clever (or just determined) over here, and have been know to painstakingly put info back together to get at your bank account details etc.
    Plain chocolate.......yuch! Especially on a Kit Kat.

  12. Hi Linda,
    Everything on the compost....a good idea! I think our ashes shall go on the allotment compost...when I build it that is.
    Ah, another anti-plain kitkateer!

  13. Hi Judi,
    Facebook has become really negative for me, and I rarely post anything now. The 'unfriended' people, well, I don't really care if they mind or not, and not sure why I connected with them in the first place. Take care.

  14. Hi Gina,
    I agree that facebook is useful, and sometimes seems like the only resource that encourages close family to stay in touch. Probably why I havent completely got rid of it...yet. I suppose, added to the existing and future threat to personal information, both by hackers AND facebook themselves, I am just eager to close down any possible leak as well. Take care

  15. Hi Tim,
    We are indeed very fortunate to have such lovely customers, although some of the agents that handle some of the properties can be tricky! Thanks for your kind comments about the gardens...have a good week.

  16. Hi Jean,
    Congratulations on the new job, I hope it is a good one for you. Less time on facebook...already happening with me, and feeling better already. As for always burning rubbish, well, the oven is a good excuse to get the marshmallows out lol.

  17. Hi Ginny,
    Whether you yourself shred or use facebook, loking at the pisture next to your name, I would say you pretty much have things sussed!