Gardening Journal – Entry 16

Monday 11 January 2021

This week got off to a bit of crappy start – and I don’t mean I overslept or had an altercation on the cycle in. Today, I shovelled about 5kg of faeces before 9:30am, and it was completely fine. Sure, I almost threw up and laughed at Laurence almost throwing up until I cried, but I felt accomplished. We don’t call our litter rounds litter rounds; we call them ‘cleansing’, and we certainly cleansed the dark corner of that gloomy church today!

Aside from the dirty protest, we spent the day tidying up one of our sites. It was amazing to manage our tasks independently, work together to get the job done and look back on our work at the end of the day.

We started by clearing a herbacous perennial bed of weeds. There was a lot of Cardamine hirsuta with a touch of Stellaria media mixed in. Now that we have the opportunity to work at our own pace and independently, we also have the chance to use every task as revision. In this case, we tried to name every weed we pulled out. Aside from a couple of Bellis perennis here or there, we were lucky to be working with only annual weeds. This meant that the job was a little quicker, as we only had to tear off the growth above ground and needed our trowels every now and then for a stubborn root system.

After clearing the border of weeds, cutting back the Anemone x hybrida and giving it a quick rake, we cultivated it lightly. There was a little soil capping, due to the rainfall in recent weeks so after the little scratch we gave it, the beautiful purples and limes of the Heucheras popped against the dark, rich soil and made the border feel more like a feature and less of a bed of decay.

I created a clear divide between the border and the lawn by cutting the edge with edging shears. I later did this all the way around the lawn and the difference was amazing. I am more convinced every day that a little cultivation and a nice, sharp edge can make even the most neglected gardens look well-loved again.

We finished off by clearing the fern and grass beds of fallen leaves from the deciduous trees and then cultivated the soil before sweeping up. Then we loaded the wheelbarrow with our tools and went off to shovel another poo into another bag. It’s always good to start your day as you mean to go on.

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