Wednesday, 20 May 2009


More hassles with the garden - gradually more earth is showing as the ground elder disappears BUT she who is doing it will not confine herself within her competence .... grrrrrr! We now have (yet more) unsuitable compost! Partly my fault, because I told her of the stuff in Sainsburys. At which she got not the one bag (to try) but two (why, as we already have masses of ordinary compost from her last trip?) and then decided it was no more suitable than the other. She then appeared with two large 'drawers' made of plastic covered wire mesh, into which she proposed putting earth, which she thought would bring the level of the earth up to that of the ramp, thinking I could then lean over to water the plants more easily. I can water the plants quite well enough already: what is stopping me is not the level of the garden but the lack of both garden tap and hose, which need attending to. The mesh baskets will, anyway, look completely out of place: my garden is designed with gently curved spaces, and they are square. Besides which, plastic covered wire mesh looks manky after a short while, as the plastic breaks apart and falls off (which will cause far more bother than watering the plants, as it will, somehow, have to be removed). But no, raised beds are what I should have and therefore she is determined to put them there. I allowed her to put lettuces in one, as she has got some seedlings which need transplanting, and I can remove that one once the season is over. She also has carrots in a planter (same plan as lettuces). However, we still have the other basket to 'negotiate'! So I will have to think of an idea for that one, fast! Eventually they may well come in much more useful to protect young plants from the birds (or the weather, with something draped over them). And still my little seedlings are drowned in water .... I know they need a fair amount when they are young, but ....

The garden does need a fundamental rethink so that I can get to the things that need attention, and so that where I can't get to is arranged for minimum attention, but I need an experienced person to do that, not someone who muddles along on the strength of once having been taught less than I already know (or so it seems!).

Fundamentally, I am trying to confine her activities to what I can easily reverse: I think those baskets are small enough for a bloke to be able to move them elsewhere, and as I haven't got a veg patch organised it's fair enough to put the lettuce in there where I can reach to pick it. I will have to have stern words with her in due course, to disabuse her of the idea that she is 'designing' my garden. When she originally proposed working on it she was planning to do a course and thought it might be a suitable project for a practical. I should have refused then, but the garden did need attention, and I thought something might be achieved under suitable supervison (though I did wonder whether I would pretty soon be on the phone to her tutor to discuss the way she was working ... ). Without experience behind her and some input to rein in what she does not think through properly in her enthusiasm (sense should surely have told her to get one bag of compost at a time, given it was one we had not used before) there is no way this will work long-term.

Added to which she flounced into the house, in a huff for some reason, saying; "Well, I'd better get on with my washing so that I don't have a completely wasted journey!", and promptly proceeded to put her washing in my machine, only stopping to ask if I had anything in there already!!! (I had actually been planning to put my own load in ... ). I thought that should not go unquestioned, so once she had done the washing I asked her why she had seen fit to do it here rather than in her own place. Her answer was that it was cheaper than the launderette!!

Even allowing for the fact that she might consider herself a friend as well as an employee, that is a bit of a cheek!! All in all, she is too much in the habit of taking liberties, whether with my garden or anything else ...... and I share the family tendency to give someone the benefit of the doubt and avoid confrontation. I would very much like to lose my temper and have some real fireworks!! Only then would I say what I really think (which I think is not unreasonable) and if she then flounced off so much the better. I must first see if I can find someone else to take over, as the garden does need looking after. I think it is not unreasonable to point out that what I may have thought possible under supervision is not possible now that is not the case. And still there is plenty of ground elder which she could turn her mind to getting out: that she can do.

If your patience has not been so sorely tried that you have given up reading long since, you will be wondering where the respite comes in: she has gone to Edinburgh for three days. HURRAH!!


Sue said...

OMG I am expecting great things once the garden is done - hope it all works out


Hazel said...

Is there going to be a little place to sit when I come and visit? x

annmarie said...

I have two possible designers - real ones, and one man who does gardening to dig. Which combination of design and dig I choose will have to be carefully thought out, so I get the best outcome without treading on people's toes. (Madam is both as thick skinned as a rhino, and terribly touchy and prone to going off in a huff: if I tread on her toes I'm sure they will recover in due course ... )

Hazel: I had the fig tree cut back last year, and am planning a place to sit under the trees down there - not quite so scorching as near the house! I did have grass, but paving would be better, as grass doesn't grow well under the trees. (How come the ground elder doesn't die, too???)