I don’t watch gardening shows and I don’t like spending time in DIY superstores. I can’t think of anything worse than spending my weekend gardening or doing DIY. So with that in mind I decided to spend some of Saturday doing some gardening. What was I thinking?
I’ve mentioned my garden before and it’s been a bone of contention for a while. Just to recap: it’s an area of about 9m2, was covered in a little grass and a lot of weeds, and all my neighbours gardens looked straight out of a magazine. In other words, my garden was letting the neighbourhood down. I decided to put down some strong chemicals to kill off all life, then put stones down and be done with it. I made this decision about a year ago and I finally got around to doing the first bit (with sodium phosphate or whatever it was) a month or so ago. It killed the grass all right, but left the weeds… Now you’re up to date.
So, with Saturday being a sunny day, I elected to do some digging. My plan didn’t stretch any further than digging up the top soil and when I had done half of it I realised I had a problem. I now had a very large pile of earth that I had to get rid of (along with some pottery – why do I always dig up pottery?). My initial thought was to fill up a wheelie-bin and just leave it to be collected, so I moved it behind my garden and filled it up. Of course, had I been thinking straight (which I wasn’t, as you’ll discover) I’d have realised that a full wheelie-bin of earth probably weighs 500Kg and the bin men would never collect it. This became clear when I was completely unable to move the bin out from behind my house (the path between the wall and the fence is about a wheelie-bin wide). So I tried to retreat but I couldn’t move the bin (remember?) to dump the earth. So I decided to just dismantle my fence, tip the bin over and shovel the dirt out again. Which I did.
I stopped then to take stock. I could dig the other half of the garden, but then I’d have even more dirt to get rid of, and no place to put it. My hands were a bit blistered from digging so I decided on the easy option: to stop gardening for the day and deal with it later (which is pretty much my general approach to gardening anyway). After a bit of consultation with my long-suffering girlfriend (who knows about gardening) I realised I’d need to hire a mini-skip to dump the dirt in, and I can use the wheelie bin to transport the dirt (a wheelbarrow won’t fit along my path). I can get the stones delivered and again use the wheelie bin to shift the stones to my garden. And it was just as well I dismantled the fence as I’ll need the space to work with. So it all turned out all right in the end.
Although I still have to do the actual work. The weather’s supposed to be nice this week so I guess I’ve got no excuses. I’m on holiday the following week (more to follow) so I’d better get it done before I go, otherwise I’ll come back to see obscenities painted on my house. But that’ll be the last time I do any damned gardening for a while. I wouldn’t mind if I had a large garden to work with and I owned the house (I rent) because I could have something I’m proud of. But a tiny plot of low-quality grass is a waste of effort. If they’d put tarmac down in the first place it’d have been much more useful (and pleasing to the eye).
Anyway, that’s why I shouldn’t host a gardening show. In fact if there is such a thing as hell and I find myself there, I can bet I’ll end up stuck for eternity talking about water features and rock gardens. On a lighter note, I went mountain biking on Sunday near Hebden Bridge, which was nice. We had all manner of weather including sunshine, clouds, rain, hail and a kicking thunderstorm directly overhead. The lightning strikes were within 500m of where we were at one point. Shame I didn’t bring my camera…