• 3 Responses to Long weekend

    1. 28/05/2010 at 4:29 pm

      Thank you!

      You too: have a wonderful long weekend dear Rhoda!

    2. 28/05/2010 at 10:43 pm
    3. 17/06/2010 at 9:29 am

      I love your early June garden pictures. I wish I could do that. And I hope you enjoyed your bank holiday break.

      I have to confess that I leave most of the gardening to my wife, Liz. In fact I am prohibited to apply my horticultural ‘skills’ to any flowers, shrubs or lawns unless under strict supervision.

      There is good reason for this.

      About 25 years ago, I had promised, after much adverse comment, to clear the rather large vegetable patch in our garden. We lived just outside Woodstock in Oxfordshire. The garden was a pretty place, apart from my patch.

      It was quite a large area I decided to apply some (male) lateral thinking. It was a Sunday and after Liz had left for church I swung into action!

      On her return she found me dashing around with a bucket of water, attempting to stem the progress of a healthy fire in her beloved box hedge. This hedge extended the length of one side of the garden (about 250 feet) and the fire seemed intent on consuming the lot.

      I had deliberately started a fire (but not this one), using the novel approach of applying petrol to the nettles, brambles etc. and applying a lighted match to it.

      Unfortunately, between the time of applying the petrol and the act of lighting it, the vapour had made it’s way beyond the patch and lay in wait under the hedge.

      I noted with alarm the speed with which the flame darted towards the hedge. The folly of my act dawned upon me and a momentary vision of the inevitable retribution didn’t help either.

      I dashed to the shed to fetch a hose. Attaching it securely to the outside tap I turned on the water and raced out with one end towards the growing conflagration.

      The next thing I noted was that, once alight, a hedge burns in two directions at once. Not a lot of people know this. An interesting challenge, I thought to myself.

      As I approached, I discovered that the hose stopped some twenty feet short of the target. All attempts to douse each set of flames with the hose alone were doomed. This added a second challenge.

      There were now approximately ten feet of hedge missing.

      I returned to the house to fetch a bucket. This took a while as I wasn’t sure where Liz had put it. I finally discovered it under the stairs and returned to the site of what had become a minor disaster.

      During my absence, well the well burnt and blackened gap had increased to over thirty feet.

      When the fires were eventually quenched, about fifty feet of Liz’s beautiful hedge weren’t looking quite so pristine as once they had.

      As we both stood, looking at the smouldering remains I expressed an opinion which, with hindsight, I should have kept to myself. I suggested that, looking on the bright side, we had gained a wonderful fresh view of the farmland beyond.

      I am still married to Liz (nearly 40 years now).

      I have recently been allowed to return to grow vegetables (potatoes and beans). I am not allowed to blast the slugs with fire nor am I allowed any where near flowers, shrubs or the lawns with anything other than a cup of coffee or glass of wine.

      Things seem to have worked out pretty well then, leaving me to design images for ceramics, fabrics and wallpaper (www.geosymm.com) and enjoying the garden at my leisure.

      By the way, Clun is a fabulous little Shropshire village and our Open Gardens event is held on the weekend of June 26-7.

      Ours is not on the list but it could be.

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