Monday, 24 September 2012

Homeless


"A really long day of weeding is a restful experience, and quite changes the current thought. For some people it is more efficient than a rest cure. It is pleasantest to take a nine - hour day of such work when the earth is wet, or even in rain, because weeds come up more easily, root and branch, from wet earth. I never want an hour at noon for dinner like the hired man, but would prefer to lunch like horses from a nosebag. It would save time, and especially the necessity of cleaning oneself. After such a day my fingers are bleeding, knees tottering, back bent, dress muddy and soaking, and shoes an offence to my tidy maid : but I have attained the most profound inward peace, and the blessed belief of having uprooted my enemies." ~ Anna Lea Merritt, 1884 - 1930

I celebrated the arrival of the autumn equinox with a marathon weeding session at the allotment, prompted by the not welcome news that my plot failed a recent allotment inspection. Although the weather was glorious, I could not quite manage nine hours of graft and did not wear a dress for the occasion. The knees and back certainly felt it but I was still fortunately mobile enough to return yesterday for another stint.


One of the problem areas were my overcrowded and overcrowded strawberry beds which had become plagued with couch grass and horsetail. The strawberry plants had reached optimum production, so I had already planned to empty the beds later this year. However there is now more urgency so after himself had nobly cleared one bed, I made clearing the other a priority this weekend. In doing so I upset the little chappie above by removing his ready made sun canopy. Those eyes stared at me most reproachfully and I am still feeling guilty.

Today's relentless rain has temporarily stopped play. I did consider spending some time researching strawberry varieties as possible replacements but thought that this might be rather premature. Please keep your fingers crossed that all the hard labour results in my plot being up to scratch when it is reviewed early next month.

The extract at the top of the post is from the chapter entitled 'Weeders and Diggers' in 'The Virago Book of Women Gardeners' edited by Deborah Kellaway. A prefect book for dipping in and out of especially on days such as this.

10 comments:

  1. What a pig, failing the inspection. I'm sure all your hard work will impress them next time though. That book looks good, and I'm sure Mr frog will have found somewhere else to hide :-)

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    1. Thanks for the sympathy Su. Hopefully Mr Frog has found shelter elsewhere but I have drastically reduced his hiding places.

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  2. Well, the cheek of it. I'm sure most of the plots on our site would fail an inspection after the year we've just had. My next door plot neighbour usually has a wonderfully productive patch, yet this year it's been a plot full of weeds. He gave up at the start of the year and we haven't seen him since, though someone has cut all the weeds down within the last week or so, probably worried that he won't pass the yearly inspection too. Don't work too hard, Anna. There's a file line between getting the plot up to scratch and doing yourself in.

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    1. I think that I gave up when my third lot of French beans disappeared Jo. At least I'm in good company as there are a number of other plot holders in the same situation. A yearly inspection is quite light - we have at least three a year!

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  3. Ooo! Looks like it was the weekend for frogs - I've got one over on my blog at the mo. Maybe we should get them together for a play date? That extract is just lovely btw.

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    1. "A frog he would a-wooing go,
      Heigh ho! says Rowley"

      Will have to hop over to your blog later for a peek :)

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  4. I would think most vegetable beds are looking pretty messy at this time of year, I know mine are. Next time the allotment police come round I'm sure they will swoon with delight at all your efforts, but don't do too much, don't want you laid low with a bad back! Mr Frog will soon find a new home, so thats one less thing for you to worry about.

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    1. Yes I hope that the allotment police will notice some improvement Pauline. Serious rain has stopped all play this week so I am having a welcome rest from physical toil :)

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  5. I love that quote, and the idea of a nosebag, but can't imagine wearing a dress to weed in! Times have changed... Hope the allotment passes inspection next time.:D

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    1. Thanks Cathy. A nosebag would certainly save on dish washing :)

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All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at : thegreentapestry@gmail.com

Namasté

- Anna.