This week, we are mostly weeding. It became imperative. As usual, I’d been concentrating on the vegetable garden, but even that needed some attention. Then, we finally had time to look at the flower beds and just about caught them before the weeds topped the intended plants.
I’ve always been pretty easy-going with weeds, if I like them. I’ve got lots of forget-me-nots in the kitchen garden, for example, which I don’t root out because they’re pretty and not too invasive. I like having daisies, coltsfoot, clover, plantain, buttercups and so on in the lawn. I can admire a perfect lawn but there’s not a lot to love. But when choking the flowers, they’re less welcome.
I walked across the front field yesterday evening, to change the padlock on the gate. I bought two new ones; one for the new gate and one for the other – identical, because the same farmer will use both and it’s simpler if they both have the same combination. A couple of years ago, I bought one with a five-figure combination but those seem to be thin on the ground now, so I got two identical four-figure ones instead. Anyway, walking over the field, I kept an eye out for ragwort, that poisonous weed that is so dangerous in hay – it’s bitter-tasting so grazing animals avoid it, but dried into hay or in haylage, they eat it before they realise. There isn’t much ragwort and I now know where to go and fork it out before the hay crop is cut. I also noted the range of grass varieties – I don’t know as much as I’d like to about grass, My friend A told me that he wrote his university dissertation on grasses and – not that I told him, though I’m sure I sounded impressed – I was totally wowed. On my way back across the field (back to last night, darlings, I digressed a bit and I hope you’re keeping up) I looked at the house and the trees and thought how lovely it all is. I took a few photos, just because. It’s the same every spring, I’m so sentimental about it. I look about for the signs of each tree or hedgerow plant coming into leaf or flower and take such a keen enjoyment. And now it’s all in full leaf and we’ve come through another year.
But I was talking about weeding. We’re actually nearly there, which is remarkable. I’ve not been so up together for years – possibly ever, because I’ve more flower beds than we ever used to have. I’m not sure if proud is the word – not, probably – but I do feel satisfied with the result of our work.
I had another music lesson this evening. LT never knows what time to expect me home as my teacher is also a friend from way back and we enjoy a chat. I’ve decided that the time has come to give my old clarinet, that was my grandfather’s, an honourable retirement and to buy a better one. It’s a decent one – a Boosey and Hawkes Regent from the early 1950s, it has a very good barrel but the keys are past their best and I would like something that rewards the work I put in, if that doesn’t sound too pretentious. Or if it does. Easier to play, if you like. Anyway, that’s next on the list for ways to spend the kids’ inheritance.