King of Excellent (according to Scaryduck)

Thursday, March 31

On "Digit a la Verde"

I'm disturbed. Yes, I know it's a shock to most of you, but it's true. I have found that I enjoy gardening. When I left the old old house back in 2003, I was thoroughly fed up of gardening. This was because a) the garden was huge, dwarfing most London parks (may contain lie) and b) it was on the edge of a marsh, and broke every lawnmower, scarifier and strimmer we could throw at it. Moving to the old house meant that we still had a garden, but it was like mowing a postage stamp after the previous effort, and would take me a couple of hours with a cheapo flymo mower, strimmer and hedge trimmers to give it a complete manicure. Then I moved here. Being a few weeks of decent weather, and being given TDT's Dad's old petrol mower, I have taken on what were two slightly dangerous, slightly overgrown gardens.
The back garden grass now looks like a slightly yellow billiard table. The front garden grass is slightly longer (I haven't given it the close treatment yet), and along the back of the back wall is all clear. Ah yes, the back wall.
Sunday morning saw me going out the tackle the back wall of the garden. We have a fence joining onto what we call a field, but has recently been covered over with stone. The back wall was growing well, and unfortunately none of it was 'nice' plants. Brambles, nettles, thick chunky grass that takes over everything. So I decided to clear it all, so at least we can see the back fence. The wall is only a couple of feet high, and is lined along the front by big rocks. You then have a ledge about 4 foot wide going to the back fence, and it was this ledge that was the problem. I started logically enough, on one end. The end has a large tree of unknown nature, but it's very low and very branch-y. I cleared the ground underneath it first, and that's where my first mishap happened. Underneath all the brambles and grass was a dead tree, rotting away quietly. It was in the way of the clear land, so I decided to break off the branches. It was rotten, how difficult can it be? The short answer is very. I grabbed a branch, pulling it up from it's place of slumber, and put all my not insignificant weight behind it. Something had to give, and it did. The branch let out a loud crack without warning, and came off in my hand. Unfortunately, I was still stood at a stupendous angle, and went arse over tit into the neighbour's wall, bounced, and fell the two feet off the ledge. I have the bruising and grazes to prove it. Stop laughing. It hurt, I mean really really hurt. I thought I'd broken my right arm at first, but it was just badly hit and I was ok. So, regaining my composure (and looking round to see if anyone had seen and was pissing themselves laughing) I returned to my quest. I decided to leave the dead tree until later, when things were a bit clearer. So, I started to cut back the lower branches of the unknown tree above my head. With a set of branch cutters akin to sharpened bolt cutters, I started to cut away hefty branches. One branch swung down, with sharpened spines along it's length, and into my left hand. It pierced a large vein on the back of my hand, and blood poured (literally poured) from a tiny hole in the back of my hand. I swore. Stop laughing. I went in to see TDT, who was horrified at the blood and the fact I was licking the wound. It was either that or piss the claret all over the carpet. But as quickly as it started bleeding, it stopped. So I returned to the garden with an engineer's plaster (kitchen roll and gaffer tape).
For the next two hours I fought with brambles and grass. At one point I even found an old door. "Do you know that there was an old door up there?" I asked TDT. "Yes. We got rid of it years ago" she replied. Obviously not that well. That went over the fence. Eventually I had the bulk of the work licked. I looked like a pin cushion, I felt like a pin cushion, and I'm sure when I walked I whistled.
You'd think I'd learned my lesson. So what did I do yesterday? I volunteered to do her Mum's garden as well. I am not mad.