Sunday, 24 July 2011

Life on Pig Row - Here on Pig Row we have been thrown by the weather ...


Here on Pig Row we have been thrown by the weather. Rain and rain and more rain. We are weeks behind with the weeding, the rain has been a boon to the weeds and not to the skin of the gardener, me. Little D and his Mum have watched from the kitchen window as a trudge up the wet steps to a wetter garden coming back ninety minutes later, blackened, muddy and tired.



It would be great if these ninety minute sessions were fruitful but weeded sections quickly vanish under new weeds at this time of the year. I long for a hot day were I can hoe away, knocking off the weeds in the sun, letting them dry out. This is the best way to weed. Though surprisingly, these little gardening sessions in the evening in between the time Little D goes to bed and I and my wife sit down for our dinner, are adding up and turning the weeding corner. Areas of the garden are now relatively weed free and I can smile as I pass these and enter a new battle with weeds further down the plot.

It would be easier to do this if Pig Row had paths, at present these are still made up of hammered down earth and grass, not great to walk on or push a wheelbarrow over in the rain. You soon get bogged down and the wheelbarrow becomes a plough wedged in the sloshing soil. The big plan for spring was to lay down new paths but this has fallen short by a few hundred feet. As we garden on a hillside, it is not a question of bringing in more concrete and hardcore, we decided that we would reuse, mend and make do. This has led to a path constructed largely of brick from several demolished walls and stone dug up from the allotment. There has been a lot of stone, enough to build a dry stone wall, finished by my wife and walked on by Little D just minutes after completion. We still have a few ton of stone left over for the paths. It is a simple task, in the true cottager style, the path is dug out and the stone and brick laid down on the bare earth. Then loose earth is brushed into the cracks, we know that we will have weeds but on the plus side we would have weeds with a well laid path. Weeds always find a way in. The overall effect is rustic but serviceable, as I laid a section by the glasshouse Little D came up to inspect with my wife, pursed his lips and then went into a thorough stomping, that was reminiscent of a rain dance. My wife smiles and makes a grab for his hand as he tries to make a dash for freedom. The dancing continues interspersed with babbling and the throwing up of hands as he decides to go back into the house. Minutes later I trudge back down the steps to the house, wet and muddy. Little D waves from the kitchen window tracing the rivulets of the rain that has just started, as I come into our kitchen he is there doing his rain dance and laughing.