rampaging ivy and a squelchy lawn have combined to make
autumn a particularly trying season for gardening beginner
Although we haven't
been flooded, our lawn
has seen more than its fair share of rain in the past
month. Actually 'lawn' is an exaggeration, I prefer
to call that patch of our garden a quagmire. The drainage
is appalling. There are never puddles, and nothing like
mud since there's not enough depth to the grass to make
it muddy. No, it's just squelchy and slippery. In fact,
since we've been here it's never dried out. Apparently
that's because it's clay, or so my mother tells me.
The trouble is, there's really not much grass left.
And now, with all that water, it's looking distinctly
unhealthy. Alex, our two-year-old, potters out there
occasionally; but the main problem is the cats. In all
this rain we've had a constant procession of muddy paws
through the house. How is it that they can come through
the cat flap, walk through the house, up the stairs,
and jump on us in the middle of the night and STILL
have muddy paws? Their prints are all over the floor,
shelves, bed linen - I've virtually given up trying
to keep the house clean.
Richard and I have
definitely decided to returf the garden next year, and
thought we'd try to do it ourselves, much to the astonishment
of some of our so-called friends. Just wait, is all
I can say to that. But for now it looks like we're going
to have to live with our soggy, patchy, uneven, so-called
lawn, and its crooked, broken-up path.
Still, it's not all
doom and gloom in the Household household. Although
the weather hasn't been great, from the window I can
see the pyracantha,
which has just kept going and going, and looks brilliant
with its orange berries. The spiky cordyline
(thanks Mother!) is also looking good. We've had a lot
of fallen leaves, which we've just left, to be honest.
And luckily the apples have finished. They were a bit
of a pain, falling off and rotting the moment they hit
- or splatted on to - the ground.
We did manage an
afternoon of tidying up with the help of my dad, cutting
back bushes, binning apples and hacking at the rampant
ivy that completely covers our left-hand fence. I got
a bit carried away with my secateurs
and found it oddly satisfying and therapeutic... We
ended up with six bin bags full of ivy, and there's
still a lot of it left. What we've realized is that
it's holding up the fence, not vice versa. The roots
are as thick as my wrist and all twisted, so it's there
to stay and we'll just have to keep hacking it back.
I don't want to get rid of the ivy anyway.
The thing I find
most soul destroying is that the garden looked brilliant
after all that work, then by the end of the following
weekend it was a mess. Just like housework I suppose.
reprinted with premission from Greenfingers.com