Weeding for miles

One of the main reasons I went and found myself a Handy Helper is the garden had got away on me.  I had been managing the garden and my projects, but it was a very fine balance.  It just took me losing my balance and falling down and twisting my ankle to lose my grip on the garden maintenance.  And it went south in so many areas that fixing it is taking a long time – also hindered by the projects that demanded priority and the increasingly dodgy autumn weather.

Weedy Path
If you walked through my garden gate and looked to the right this is what would face you…. a big weedy mess.

With my lovely Handy Helper, the first priority was to sort out the actual beds so that the weeds within them were removed, the lingering crops were tended to, and the cover crops were started for the beds that needed it.  Everything else just had to wait.

self seeded comos
I have to confess that some of the delay in getting to this part of the garden, other than pressing priorities elsewhere, was the cosmos had self seeded and looked so lovely I didn’t have the heart to remove them. But after suffering a couple of storms they looked a mess and it was easy to to rip them out with no recriminations.

However, one of the worst areas, that just got worse by the week, was the paths around the edges, but as a non-productive area it wasn’t a priority in the early stages of the restoring order process…. Until today.  It was driving me nuts.  It was unsightly and the first thing you saw as you walked into the garden and looked around.  It was not only a problem making the garden look more unruly than it was, but the kikuyu grass was creeping in from under the fence and left to its own devices could eventually invade the garden beds.

After weeding
After no time at all the path was cleared exposing the tips of next seasons daffodils. It looks so lovely and clean. And now it will be easy enough to keep it that way with the swipe of a hoe… so long as we don’t fall in love with self seeded flowers.

So today my Handy Helper showed up, although it was touch and go as in the morning the weather was howling a hoolie again.  Although this time it had come from the north.  I don’t mind a Northern storm as the sting is softened by the hills around us and the wind isn’t laden with salt.   But it wasn’t gardening weather.  Not by a long shot.  But we took a chance and the wind graciously dropped, the rain stopped, and the sun came out. We started out bundled up for the worst of the weather and ended up hot and exhausted working in tee-shirts!

After weeding
After making it across the front, with time still on our hands we turned the corner and weed up the side of the garden. We didn’t get to the end and probably have another 5 metres to go, but we’ll have that sorted in no time next week.

The aim was to tackle the perimeter weeds.  We didn’t get all the way around but made a jolly good dent in it.   I have been thinking about how best to use the time my Handy Helper gives me, and there will be times when I will have to point to a task and send her off on her own, but for the most part it makes sense to turn the 3 hours she spends with me into 6 hours of progress by working alongside her.  And it is amazing what we can get done together.  Today we weeded 23 metres of unruliness and we are both a bit stuffed, there is a real sense of achievement in what we managed to do.   I feel so much more confident that the garden will be back to the place I need it to be and then from there it is just easy maintenance and fun projects.

home made sea salt
Home made sea salt is super cool and surprisingly enough it tastes just like salt!

And before I sign off to go and find the Deep Heat for sore muscles, I just have to tell you about what happened on the weekend.  I made the most delish soup with garden produce and popped it into some thermos bottles, and we headed on down to the beach.  The weather was supposed to be wild and with winter knocking on the door it should have been cold – the perfect kind of cold that having soup on the beach would be a welcome treat.  The soup on the beach was great, but the storm was late, and the temperature was mild.  So, we had a pleasant walk in pleasant conditions.  But what we did do is grab some sea water.  Hubby the Un-Gardener waded out quite a way to make sure it was nice and clean.  Once we got home, I popped it in a pot on the stove and boiled it away.   I ended up with about 50g of salt from 1L of sea water, which was really cool.  I think next time we should grab even more water, so we never need to buy salt again!

Come again soon – tomorrow I’m off to visit somewhere else.

Sarah the Gardener  : o)

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