Some friends of ours have a Rosa banksiae, or Lady Banks Rose. As many 'into' their roses will know, it's somewhat prolific. In fact, there is one in Tombstone, Arizona that was planted in 1885, and now covers 8000 square feet of a restaurant roof, and has a trunk circumference of twelve feet.
Our friends planted theirs to go around the front door of their house, and apart from the occasional tie in, have pretty much let it do it's own thing. It had got to the point where access to the house was getting tricky, and so something had to be done. It's flowering at the moment, and so nothing major with the secateurs at this point. They can take a good pruning if needed after they have flowered, but as this one must remain around the door, later we will take it down from the wall, lay it across the lawn, and remove any remaining dead and spindly wood, and spur back pretty much everything else to twelve to fifteen good long stems, before tying everything back in place.
For now though, a climb up the steps to do a little snipping and tying, to gain access to the bulk of it, and the long ladder was set up to tie the rest of it in more neatly. It's a thornless rose, so a fairly painless process. In the end, although looking a little trussed up, it did have some shape to it, and the front door and window were free once more. The cost?........two cups of really good tea.....perfect!
As well as mice in the garden and sheds, we have a couple of house mice. Very rarely seen, they live in a hole in the wall behind the fridge freezer in the kitchen. Usually their presence is only remembered because of Hobie, ever watchful, getting agitated as he glares under a sofa, bookcase, or kitchen cupboard. Occasionally he catches one of the poor garden mice and brings it inside for it's final minutes, and although natural, my anger does get the better of me, and he is banished to the outside for a while as I give the little fellow he has killed an appropriate send off. But he's never smart, or quick enough for the house mice. Or so I thought.
It's no secret among my family, indeed, it's often the subject of laughter, that on the occasions that I have thought that I have heard an intruder in the house or garden at night, I am to be found launching myself downstairs, hockey stick at the ready, in readiness to 'lay into' the offender.....naked, as like many others it's my preference to sleep this way. I don't see the need to don clothes when pummelling an intruder, it would just allow him to get away anyway.
It was four in the morning, Sunday, and I was laying awake in bed, when an almighty crashing and banging noise came from downstairs. I hadn't heard the catflap go, and so no intruder cat from a neighbouring house. I flicked instantly into 'burglar alert' mode. The trusty hockey was grabbed from under the bed, and a raced downstairs to defend my castle.
I was met in the dim hall light by two shadows, a tiny one doing fast circular moves going one way, and a cat shaped one trying to decide whether to chase it, or run from the man with the bat. He had caught the house mouse! Hobie was quickly locked in the kitchen, as I scabbled on hands and knees trying to catch the mouse to check it over. I heard Amanda on the stairs behind, laughing out loud at my predicament. Naked man grovelling on floor after mouse...at four in the morning. The mouse survived, with no punctures to it's body. I let it out the back door, and it headed straight for it's own little house entrance to once again take up residence behind the fridge freezer. Hobie?.......he's still in my 'bad books'.