13 April 2014

Hard Graft in the Garden

Yesterday and today have been all about the garden. The weather is lovely, the sky is blue and the state of the patio could just not be ignored any longer. It's not just overgrown, it's actually reverted back to the wild. In fact it wouldn't surprise me if there were some previously undiscovered species roaming around in there. I kid you not .....  it's an absolute state. This mainly came about because of my horrible neighbours. When they lived next door, every time I ventured outside, they would come outside and say really nasty things in a voice loud enough for me to hear and while I tried to ignore it, eventually it got to the stage where it was just easier to stay indoors. Then, last year, around October-time, they moved out. I was thrilled. We all cheered, we were able to go outside and stand around chatting without being told to get lost in language not quite as genteel as that. We were all absolutely over the moon and I was looking forward to being able to spend some time in the garden, finally taming the jungle back into something that actually looked like a garden. Then the weather turned nasty and it rained. It rained and rained and blew a gale and then it rained some more. My garden flooded as did my field and everything was just wet and miserable and it didn't stop for weeks and weeks. All I could do was pray that the roof didn't get blown off, make sure that all the animals were safe and wait for the weather to get better. 

Anyway. In case you think I am exaggerating about the state of the patio, here is a picture I took before I started the mass deforestation. 

I know, I know, it's an absolute disgrace but it's only in the last couple of weeks that the ground has dried out enough to be able to get outside because I am, as I have confessed, in the past, a fair weather gardener. I don't mind gardening when it's not sunny but I refuse point blank to do gardening of any kind in the rain which pretty much ruled out most of the last 6 months. Anyway, yesterday the weather finally started to perk up and I was able to start pulling up the grass in between the paving slabs on the patio. It's really, really back breaking hard work. Some of it came up really easily, in a kind of big mat of roots and grass but some of it is extremely stubborn. It just won't budge no matter how hard I tug and pull and I have come to the conclusion that I need to get out what I can by just pulling and the rest I will have to strim with the petrol strimmer and then attack it with the patio knife. More back breaking work but, worth it in the end. For today, however, I have had to stop because ..... and don't laugh ...... my backside is killing me! All the bending of the knees and the bracing with the legs to yank out the grass has discovered muscles in my derriere that have not been used in a long time and they are protesting very, very loudly. My fingers hurt too!! Grabbing the grass clumps and tugging for dear life has made my fingers stiff and sore. I sound like an utter wimp but having seen the state of the patio is it really any wonder. 

Soooooo I have managed to strip about half of the patio and bearing in mind that my patio is about 35 feet wide by about 20 feet deep that is no mean feat, trust me and just to prove it, here is the after picture of the half of the patio that I have managed to do in the last couple of days. 

Note the large tussock of un-budgeable grass at the front of the picture. 

The weather forecast is for sunny weather for the next few days so I'm hoping to be able to get back out there tomorrow and carry on, assuming, that is, that my muscles have recovered enought to allow bending but for now, it's time to stop and give my gluteus maximus a rest and have some lunch. 

Yesterday I made a huge casserole using stewing beef, sweet potatoes, carrots, butternut squash, beef stock and some dumplings added about 20 minutes from the end and fortunately, there was plenty left over after I had a big bowlful for my supper. 

I'm ravenous! 
All this hard work gives me a massive appetite!!


  1. Oh wow - what a transformation. I think I'd be terribly stiff after all that hard back-breaking work. Worth it though. You've inspired me to get out and reclaim our patio - tomorrow!!! It's not quite as overgrown, but cluttered up with 'rubbish'! Your stew looks delicious. I'm going to make one of those this week too - and the dumplings! Enjoy your week.

  2. Good job on clearing that grass off your patio, or most of it anyway. How nice too that you can now use it without being verbally abused. Having rotten neighbours is absolutely no fun at all, so I can imagine your jubilation as they packed up and moved.

  3. I am with you on the fair weather front, gardening should be pleasurable. I see no joy in being cold, wet and covered in mud. I do mine as and when, I often fit in 10 minutes weeding after hanging the washing out, it all helps.

  4. That looks better. You know if that big tussock of grass was in a nice big pot it would look very stylish lol xx