It took me a long time, but a few years ago I finally realised that I love gardens but really don't like gardening. Low maintenance but pretty is my idea of a good garden. Until I can afford a gardener, however, I do have to do some care and maintenance in the garden if I want it to look nice each summer.
This morning, with the snow melted and the temperatures reasonable again, I stood in the garden and wondered where to begin. It was very tempting to go back inside and curl up on the sofa with a pot of coffee, but I asked myself 'what would Michael do?' and I decided that he would definitely start by tackling the monstrous ivy and jasmine hedge that runs the full length of one side of the garden.
Ivy and jasmine both seem to thrive on neglect - perfect for our garden. But this means they need
hacking back keeping in check on a regular basis. For the first ten years we lived here, we trimmed the hedge painfully and laboriously with a bluntish pair of secaturs. Last summer, our kind neighbours could stand it no longer. They leant us their hedge trimmer - what a revelation! The whole hedge took a couple of hours to trim and clear up, rather than the two weekends it used to. After we had finished, we bought a hedge trimmer of our own and stowed it carefully away in the loft.
This morning, I got it out and laid waste to the hedge. The hedge trimmer is a very malevolent looking piece of kit.
I filled our big garden waste wheelie bin with all the trimmings, and gave a little private cheer for our local council, who are very good indeed at recycling and composting.