By whatever definition you choose to use, it is now officially Spring. Even though it may not feel like it.
But there has been some progress in the garden. In the company of my feathered friends last weekend I finished clearing up the terraces below the house. We are on a significant slope and currently this is about the only ‘flat’ bit of garden there is.
A couple of weeks ago it looked like this, so it is an improvement!
The most noticeable change, perhaps, is the removal of the large hydrangea, bottom right. Boy, was it was big. Almost taller than me. Last year we’d moved its mate, so knew what we were in for. Or so we thought. At first things seemed to be going quite well. Mike attached a rope to the hydrangea and a winch to the nearest tree. As I pumped the winch, he forked around the roots until we had it free of the soil. But could we then shift it? Not a chance. With the winch reattached we manage to haul it as far as the steps..
..drop it part way into a wheelbarrow
..the barrow has started to tip
..just my foot stopping it from careering down the hill
..tempers are getting frayed
..and with some inevitability, my foot gives way.
The barrow skids down the concrete path and collapses in a heap at the bottom. Its wheel has assumed a jaunty angle and the axle appears to have sheared. It’s not looking good. The hydrangea was supposed to be going UP the hill. Up onto the bank behind the house. Not 12 feet further down. Mike is surveying the large heap of twigs now at rest in the middle of the lawn: “Has the thing got any chance of surviving?” I too am on the point of giving up.
But we’ll have one more try. To lighten the load Mike hacks more soil off what is left of the roots. I chop the top hamper back by half. Between us, somehow, we get it into the spare wheelbarrow..
..back up the steps
..along the path in front of the house
..Mike pulls, I push
..on up the steep drive (two rest breaks along the way).
At the appointed place, all energy spent, gravity comes into play. The plant is tipped out unceremoniously and rolls down the slope. With a final heave it plops straight into the hole.
If this one survives it really WILL be a miracle.