Yesterday was a near-perfect summer day in Beetley. Warm verging on hot, with a refreshing breeze. Just the day to tackle those previously mentioned gardening tasks postponed from last week, when I wasn’t feeling up to much. I got going at a reasonably early hour, starting with the dreaded ground elder, an invasive weed that had decided to occupy most of the border, around and in between the shrubs. A sharp spade, and some determined effort was required. Once down in the roots, they have to be followed along, and all removed, or it is back within a week. The ground is stony at the best of times, and it is currently hard and dry as well, so I had my work cut out, digging awkwardly between the large bushes.
I did have a sense of satisfaction when it was all gone though, and enough enthusiasm to deal with the patio weeds. They came up easily enough, with the special tool that rakes between the slabs proving easy to use, and not requiring any bending. Once that was done, and all swept up tidily, it was time to rake the leaves and twigs off the lawn, ready for a cut sometime soon. This is a little thankless, to be honest. Once you have cleared an area, as soon as you start on the next section, more leaves and twigs have already descended on the bit you have just cleared. Undaunted by the teasing trees, I carried on, until it looked a lot better than when I had started. The garden wheelie bin was two-thirds full, evidence of just how much I had managed to shift.
After some weeding and trimming in the small front garden, I was ready to have a break, and a hot drink. Then it was time to get ready to take Ollie out. The hot afternoon sun had brought out crowds of small children and their parents. The bend in the river was crowded with excited youngsters, playing in the shallow water there. Beetley Meadows has not been so busy in a long time, and I set off around the riverside path with Ollie, so he could do what he likes best; looking for ducks. Despite many trips into the river at various spots, he didn’t manage to find any. No doubt they had all been scared off by the playful children.
Back home, I headed out to Tesco, for the weekly shop. The huge supermarket was the quietest I had ever seen it, with checkout staff waiting for customers, instead of the other way round. So I was soon back, fully-stocked for the week. I retrieved the batteries for my cordless hedge trimmers, and got them on charge, ready to deal with the long beech hedges at the front today. I scraped the dry grass from the lawn mower, and checked the blade, as the grass would be cut too. Tuesday was going to be a productive and busy day, I was sure of that. A pleasant evening was followed by bedtime at a reasonable hour. But I didn’t sleep well, and woke to the sound of rain, around 5 am. When I finally got up, some hours later, the sky was dark, and the rain annoyingly persistent.
The garden was covered in twigs and leaves once more. It seems that autumn has arrived early, and it is only the 18th of August. And the jobs? Like many sporting and outdoor events in this country during summer, it would appear that rain has stopped play.