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Scrubber's Journal

Scrubber's Journal March 2014

Last Post 1392 days 8 hours ago

Anyone for ballet?

26 March 2014 22:03:52

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One doesn’t of course like to boast… But I am compelled to say that had my friends seen Scrubber today, engaged in the most delicate of tasks, the only adjective that would have sprung to mind would have been ‘balletic’. Yes I’m sure even Paddy T. would have granted him that today.

Scrubber had gone down to the bottom of the Scrub to stool or pollard his willows! (Depending on whether  the loppers was working well or otherwise. )Well having laid waste all about him he decided to use the lopped off limbs. There is a corner of the very bottom where cattle might get through –if they didn’t sink to their necks in the muddy depths while doing so. But how to cross the very boggy ground? Well there were branches and twigs and Scrubber collected a big pile of them and threw them on the mud and water and then holding a branch overhead that leaned out helpfully, he very gingerly advanced out on this mat and managed to stick the willows into the mud very easily. This was done with a great deal of balancing and testing of support as its very sucky mud indeed and one could go to ones waist! Thus the ‘balletic’ balancing!

But Scrubber was so chuffed to have it done successfully and next year he hopes to have a veritable thicket of bright green willow down there. He then went back to strimming-yet more of that confounded three cornered leek. He is going to see will determined strimming have any effect at all. The place reeked of garlic but he likes that smell. Then some strimming of paths and a careful handweeding of a bed and today was  very satisfactorily concluded-whenit rained he tidied the garage  a bit, it didn’t need much as the new shelves are holding lots and his working clothes are now hung on brass hooks instead of littering the floor! There’s posh! I see the magnolia is coming out. Hope we don’t get frost!

Ruthless EFFICIENCY the name of the game!

23 March 2014 22:53:16

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Eleven days?? ELEVEN DAYS??? How can it be eleven days. But then this blessed computer is so fractious that one sits gazing at it for twenty minutes before it chugs into life and downloading pictures is a lifetime’s work. I shall have to get it seen to. Then there’s the fact that there has been no wonderful changes or disruptions, no floods no storms, to get the creative juices flowing.

Snowdrops are gone but in their place host of golden daffodils serve to brighten the scrub and they seem to be more abundant than ever. I did spread a few clumps around last year and they have taken off. Also all the ‘construction’ work  and shifting of rocks is beginning to tell now that the grass is growing back and the ground settling.

Scrubber decided that EFFICIENCY was to be the key word this year. He gathered up thirty years worth of Flowerpots and brought them to the waste disposal-they are not recyclable apparently. You should have seen the car-packed so tightly that he had to use the side mirror to view behind! But the place is much the better for it-although they are beginning to pile up again-Glanbia and Flowerpower so tempting!

And of course ONE MAKES LISTS. Why Scrubber had a list of eight items last Saturday which as you know was a great day. Down to bottoms and started sawing at branches of tree that had keeled over and made some headway. Then out of the blue and invitation from kind friends to lunch! Back into the garden after a delicious and most enjoyable lunch and managed to dredge up some muck and plants from the ‘rill’ in the bottom of the scrub and hauled up lots of mucky wet leaves to allow the rill to drain and THAT was the sum total of the list done for the day! Efficiency how are ye! Two items and those only dented!

Howsanever it is a beginning and I haven’t got to make a new list for a while-Oh there’s another-stool the willows! And plant some of the cuttings and prune the hydrangea something or other-which needs march pruning…so lots to be done. Want to put up a nice album as haven’t donne so for ages but that will take time. Meanwhile sorry for not commenting on other’s journals as often as I should. Must do better!

Swallowing frogs

12 March 2014 20:37:00

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Swallowing frogs. Not literally of course we can leave that to our dear French friends who I think only eat the legs.C'est vrai, Claire et Rachel??? Well anyway, a few years ago a brilliant lady in maynooth advised us to ‘swallow our frogs’ first i.e. to do the jobs you don’t want to do before you do the ones you enjoy doing. Scrubber doesn’t like weeding when the ground is covered with scutchy dandelion -ridden, matted weeds and what not. On Monday he went at the long border and spent all his time doing that. Anna came out and helped and did a mighty job on the Stipa Gigantea.

Today though he thought he would start with a treat rather than a swallowed frog and he went down to the border inside the wall on the lower lawn. He knew if he got this bit done he could edge it and it would look well. He gave himself an hour to spend on it. Didn’t get a huge amount done but did clear about three metres and did around a tree and  the quern stone and edged what he had done. Then he went back to the long border which seems now to be an eternal one. He got about three metres done there and it was messy and tough and exasperating. He was getting a bit despondent , and was thinking how he was not at all as energetic as he used to be at thirty or even forty and gave himself a break bringing the ash bucket down to the bottoms and putting the ashes under one of the slabs on the squelchy path. A friend was passing by and we chatted.

‘Peter the garden is looking lovely’ he said. Then came one of the nicest compliments I have ever received. ‘My wife was talking about it last night and she said it was the garden of an artist’. Scrubber went a dutiful shade of pink but the phrase reverberated in his head for the rest of the evening, Even when he was shovelling utter gloop (Wet dirty mud!)from the carraig mor-as he had exposed just a little more of the stone. The fact that the lady in question has exquisite taste only added to it all. So if ,the next time you meet Scrubber and he looks a little more sparkly eyed its because somebody things he has created ‘the garden of an artist!!!’ Me an’ Monet you know!

The rest of the evening passed quickly and jobs got done! Was sitting having tea and cake when I got a brill idea re the lovely conifer Anne gave me that I had in a trough. It was transported immediately to Marion's bed-place of highest honour and in years to come will be a beautiful bonzai beside the lantern of light! Amazing what a kind word does! Daffs are out all about and more to come. 

Tiresome, tasking, but rewarding!

03 March 2014 21:00:33

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Scrubber was the teenshiest bit disgruntled today. Perhaps it was because the magnificence of the snowdrops was just beginning to fade and he was wishing it would go on and on  and wondering how the garden could live up to that first magnificent show over the next few months. I know Rober Herrick wrote ‘Fair Daffodils we weep to see/ you haste away so soon’ but Scrubber does so miss the snowdrops!

Also he was occupied today with ‘umble tasks’, ie weeding. You see if it’s a rock there’s a lot of commotion and  heaving  and moving and then there’s a striking result-but weeding is painstaking step by step, no glamour, no theatre.

He began on the rockery and got a bit done-very tangley places, rockeries! The little done took ages so as a treat he thought he’d put in the Crocosmias-Sorry Paddy but they were fine in their plastic bag until now. Mary’s plants were in a lot earlier. He went out to Eileen’s bed and began dutifully clearing patches among the overgrowth (my new word for weeds!). Then a brilliant idea –a better site for remaining crocosmias! He toddled off down to Elizabeths corner which has become more open due to loss of branch and put in the rest of the crocosmias there on various levels so that hopefully  later this year there will be a bold show of red all over the corner-one that will improve year after year!

Things felt better and then a strange experience-He actually felt the warmth of the sun on his back as he weeded a bit more! It was only for a few minutes but it was there and a bumble bee in the heather near him gave an inkling of sunny days to come. Then as he lugged the load of weeded detritus (Always wanted to get that word in!) he met two young men on the river bank and they reminisced on all the fun they had had years ago-the mothers would allow the lads to go swimming if Scrubber was there! and the day one of them actually fell off the bridge into the river! (Scrubber was not there but he came out safely!). Then as the last bit of tidying was done two ladies admired the Scrub and were invited in to view the snowdrops before they had faded completely (The snowdrops not the ladies) and they were very happy to view and so Scrubber was also happy.

So a pleasant end to what began as a tiresome tasking sort of day—and there are some nice freshly weeded beds to boot!

Ill put up some snowdrop pictures as soon as i transfer them.

A bit of sympathy!

01 March 2014 22:12:08

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‘’I felt a bit sorry for you today Mr. Scrubber’’. ‘Did you, Cherub Cymbals? That was very kind of you. Was there a particular reason? (Lately Cherub Cymbals has become quite chatty. He usually waits until late evening when I am coming up from the scrub and even then it’s in a very quiet voice almost as if he doesn’t want Cherub Lute to overhear him.)

‘ Mr Scrubber, you lost that big branch and then that had to be cut up and you had your sore wrist and then you had to tidy up all the branches and there was a lot.’ Cherub Lute’s vice chimed in-a little sardonically perhaps? ‘And then you had to go to the Snowdrop Gala in Mrs Jupes, and down to Mr. Paddy’s talk and also all the way up to Burtown House’ ‘Yes ‘ continued Cherub Lute earnestly-not realising that Cherub Lute was being ironic ‘And you didn’t get out to garden because of the rain and the floods’. ‘And then when you did, Mr. Scrubber you weren’t gardening like say Mrs Rachel or Mrs Myrtle or Mrs Elizabeth or Mr. Fran or Mr. Rhody or Mr. Peter. You were shifting rocks and raking leaves’ this last again from Cherub Lute!

‘Well Cherub Cymbals thank you again but Jim helped me with the tree. --‘alot’ added Cherub Lute. ‘Yes’, I continued ‘and we were able to add a lovely edging to the path. And I was able to clear all the branches away quite easily. Also you may remember Jim cut down two old thorn trees for me and then that helped make a nice vista. (Snort from Cherub Lute, which was ignored). And I did fail to shift that huge rock in the path-had to refill the hole- but found another that could be shifted and it had a wonderful flat base which fitted the wall in Marian’s bed and put another large one at the end of the vista walk (fixing a strong gaze at Cherub Lute all the while). Remember we transplanted a few snowdrops in there to soften the edge. And then I was lucky enough to get some lovely large primula at a very good price in the Arboretum-and they filled the buxus boxes in the front and a few more down in the Scrub,so I suppose that would be proper gardening as Mrs Hazel does.’ Yes, Mr. Scrubber , but you had to spend nearly all day today putting those plastic flower pots into sacks!’ ‘Yes Cherub but now the place is clean and tidy and we wont have any of Mrs Elizabeth’s ‘squirrels’ around and since there are now only a few pots left something might get sown in them’ AND, I remembered ‘I did get quite a large section of the long border and eileen’s bed weeded’ .’So reallyCherub Cymbals there’s really no need to feel sorry for Mr. Scrubber. ‘Well what about your wrist then?’-Cherub Lute again. ‘Elastic bandage, tightly wrapped, worked wonders, wrist fine!’ ‘But it was nice of you both to ask.’

I didn’t mention the new quartz rock that my son in law kindly loaded into the car yesterday or the lovely demi -standard pink roses that found their way into the boot of my car when it was parked at  Glanbia. I had reassured Cherub Cymbals that although there was a lot of ‘housekeeping ’done over the past few weeks it hadn’t dulled my pleasure. And of course, every day there was the miracle of the snowdrops. So there really  was no need to feel sorry for Scrubber- though it did show a very thoughtful side to Cherub Cymbals!


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