As previously discussed in these pages, my husband’s approach to gardening is that of a toddler on a sugar rush – excited and rampant destruction. The delicate task of weeding is ‘boring’ and often leads to entire beds just being turned over. He is more than willing to put in back breaking labour as long as he doesn’t have to make decisions (such as which plant is a weed and which is not!) but his favourite type of ‘gardening’ is done with power tools. This is why he is currently banned from using a chainsaw in the garden without express permission... there was a tree-cutting-down incident…
Our latest gardening plans can’t really be called gardening – it is more landscaping. We have decided to remove the huge turning circle in front of the house – we don’t have many friends dropped off by their driver, after all, and make the stoned area much larger. Hopefully this will discourage delivery drivers from driving on the grass edges, but we will see. Now, I am fully prepared to admit that this is a job for a machine – NOT hand digging. However, the last 6 months have consisted of my husband desperately trying convince me that it would be sound financial sense to purchase a mini digger, rather than hire one. As we have hired one over the bank holiday, it is safe to say I have won this particular argument, although no doubt there will be another piece of heavy machinery that we ‘need’ any day now.
This has meant, even with the digger and tractor/trailer, a weekend of exhausting and backbreaking work, moving many a ton of soil and huge root balls ready for the hardcore and stone to be laid later on. We have tried to sift through the soil mounds to save as many of the iris and daffodil bulbs as we can – we are on three buckets and counting. But already it feels like it is worth it. It might feel slightly counter-intuitive to talk about bringing in a load more stone to make a garden feel more pleasant, but currently our garden makes no sense, aesthetically. There is nowhere to sit in the two acres, no patio area. There is a big divide of trees cutting the land in two, so from the house it looks like we only have a turning circle and line of trees. Any plants I have bought for the borders soon get completely lost in the overwhelming mess of plants and shrubbery. It is definitely one of those times when the adage ‘less is more’ works.
The real trouble we will have is trying to choose what to save – we have some beautiful trees and shrubs planted, and my main task over the next landscaping weekend will be to save them from my husband’s chainsaw massacre. Wish me (and the trees) luck!