It's Monday morning and raining again. It's becoming a pain in the backside, as the whole work schedule is getting hard to maintain. I only had a big hedge cutting job for a lovely elderly couple today, but petrol engine powered cutting gear and wet ladders don't go well together, as my left hand can confirm from past experience. The weekend was quiet and fun, but a bit about that mid week I think. So, a longish one today about last Thursday and Fridays work.
On Thursday morning, the rain had eased, but the wind was still very strong indeed, and so the grass here had at least dried on the surface, making things just a little easier. If the blades of grass are holding a lot of water, then the mower clogs up every few feet, and needs the gunge pulled out by hand. What with having to turn the mower off for safety each time, this can make for a frustrating and painfully slow day, especially on such large places as this one.
So, in this window of opportunity, I strapped myself into the BR600 knapsack blower, cleared all of the leaves from the drives and borders, and then blew what remained out onto the grass for mowing up. The blowing took about an hour, but the mowing usually takes about three.
I like to get all of the smaller grass areas cleaned up first, and save this monster until last. It sort of gives me hope and pleasure being able to see the end of the whole job getting closer with each stripe. As usual, the mower is set high, so that it basically just nips off the tips of the grass, stripes it, and clears any leaves.
Of course, it had started raining by now, and I was not a happy bunny. It was cold, windy and wet, and I was fed up!
But the last few stripes came, and I was able to call it a day. That had been a long one, and I was glad to get home to a warm shower and some food. But that would have to wait just a little longer, as I had to make the two hour round trip to Eco Composting, to dump the trailer load of rubbish I had.
Things were grim there. At one end is a vast concrete pit that takes all of the harmful liquid and rainwater run-off, but in the sort of heavy rain that we are getting, this fills, even though it's the size of an olympic swimming pool. It's just behind the large pile on the right in the photo.
Even though I had donned waterproofs, a hard hat and hi-vis jacket, the rain had by now soaked me so much that it had reached that point where it's running down your back and into your underpants anyway, and so by the time I had off loaded the rubbish, I was by then Mr. Tired and Angry man.
Thank goodness I did actually get home.
The following day sounded more promising weatherwise. Dry in the morning, with light showers in the afternoon. I even set off to the cottage estate in Mudeford with some hope for the day ahead in my heart. Pretty much all of the pruning and trimming is up to scratch here. It's another big place, with all manner of gardening related tasks to make sure are not forgotten. Today, it was the usual, blowing leaves and striping the grass, with a little weedkilling thrown in for good measure.
The residents are all so kind here, with cups of tea and biscuits being offered all over the place.
Forty houses in all, and all with differently styled small front gardens, and the communal areas being laid out to shrubs and grass etc.
That Rowan needs a stake, and so I had better attend to that in December, when the trees get a little legging up and tidying.
All of the grass gets an edging as I go. The Stihl FS90 R is my weapon of choice for this, as it's powerful, light, and can easily be twisted for either horizontal cutting under trees etc, of vertically for edging, whether it be borders or paths. Machinery is something I never stint on cost wise. If you buy cheap tools, they will give you cheap performance, and in this line of work one needs reliability.
Through the gate to another area.
Originally, this whole estate area was a farm house and fields. Just here, the house itself was a couple of hundred yards to the right, and everyhting else that you can see were the fields, with the large line of trees dividing two of them.. All buildings now, and quite scary how man can change the look of things in so short a space of time. We took over this whole place as it was being built some sixteen years ago.
Now up that path......turn right at the end.....
And we are here, looking back down through the central area.
Phew....four hours later, and all is done, and so I head back to Bournemouth to this place. Yep, by now the rain had come, and NOT light showers either. Are the weather men better at forecasting the weather in the USA can you tell me?
There was shrub trimmimg and pruning to be done here, as well as some storm damage to clear up. The rain was so hard that I didn't want to risk getting the camera out.
And then right out onto Sandbanks peninsula for the final place. It's built at the bottom of some converging hills, and so floods very easily if the drains aren't kept clear, which given that the whole place is covered with Scots Pine trees is an arduous task. Before anything else, I had to remove all of the rows of drain covers and bury my arms up to the elbow in the gelatinous slop. Bucket loads later, and things were good to go, and so was I, as once again I was wet through to my underwear.
That evening we actually did something with the succulents that have been sat in the kitchen all of this time. We don't like curtains, and instead use either blinds or plants to create privacy.
Through the summer, we have had a row of Geraniums in the bathroom window, and these are now going to be replaced with these. Not such a good screen as the Geraniums, but at least the glass in the window isn't clear.
That's all for now folks, TTFN!