Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Most Productive Day, Sunday 24.8.08

Today it has mostly been dry. OK, so I'm obsessed by the weather, but when you love working outside, it's important! Jim wanted to tackle one of our meadow paths. It has become sadly overgrown and the brambles have travelled across it into the meadow proper, which is not allowed. We thought we'd better put Buster in his pen as Jim would be strimming and he's so curious he might get his nose strimmed. I duly gave him some treats, put blankets in his kennel and we headed up the meadow. He howled! We ignored him.

The path had almost disappeared and the first job was to cut back the brambles:

Above is the 'before' photo.

Buster seemed to have quietened down so we carried on fighting the brambles and loading them into Jim's tractor trailer. Jim checked on Buster and he had vanished from his pen! Houdini Buster.

After a while he heard the strimmer and found us. I was able to keep an eye on him while Jim strimmed so it worked out ok. Of course he loved the fact that we were clearing blackberries and proceeded to eat his way through far too many of them.

Sandy came to investigate, not wanting to be left out. This is the path adjacent to the scruffy one:

The idea of the meadow paths is to divide it up a bit into meadow beds. There are 3 and a half acres of meadow, so a lot to manage and although we like it natural, we are trying to encourage biodiversity and not let it become overrun by brambles and blackthorn.

You can see the difference between the 2 paths!

Here's Jim ready to start work:

Note the big thorn proof gloves!

I brought up a flask of coffee and some biscuits.

Coffee time

Buster decided he'd like to drive the tractor:

He didn't quite get it together though.

We cut and pulled and received many scratches and thorns, but eventually Jim was able to strim the whole of the path. It doesn't look as neat as the other ones yet, but that's because it needs mowing. After a couple of mowings, it'll look just as good.

The After photos

There was a tiny Ginkgo Biloba tree hidden among the weeds and brambles. I think we'll have to move it:

I've always called these trees Rocky Bilboas!

Jim had to make several trips down to the bonfire site with the rubbish. Off he goes:

When we'd finished the path, Jim headed back to the cottage but I decided to carry on working in that area. To the left of the path we used to be able to get through and into a covered wooded area. That had also become overgrown with brambles and blackthorn.

I had cleared some of the way through by the time I took this photo. The pole is a telegraph pole. The wires straddle our meadow.

Buster and Sandy both stayed with me until I came in at about 7.30pm. It was way past their meal time but they were happy sleeping near 'Mum'.

You can just see Sandy curled up in front of the telegraph pole!

And here's Buster curled up on my sweater! You can just see the cottage through the trees.

I have this lot to get through next

All of a sudden my body decided it had had enough. My legs went all weak and my right arm ached like mad. I have tennis elbow in that one. I gathered up the tools, called the animals and staggered down to the cottage. My right arm is really throbbing now.

A good job achieved though. Very satisfying.

Salmon steak, home grown beans, potatoes and courgettes and parsley sauce for dinner. Lovely. Plus the left over apple and blackberry crumble.

I am off to the UK to visit my daughter, DK, Rachel (leatherdyke) and Luisa from Friday until Monday. It's K's birthday on the 30th and Luisa's shortly afterwards, plus mine on the 6th Sept, so we're going to celebrate! Did I mention I'll be 60? That's a pensioner in the UK.

Just for fun, here's a photo of me aged 3. I had blond curly hair, but it went dark shortly afterwards. It's still just as curly though. The dress was made by my mother, the top had beautiful smocking. 57 years ago.


Arija said...

Sorry I have not been here for so long, these skywatch Fridays take up too much of my time.
Love your meadow paths. Gods half acre does take some tending though.
When I had finally got our 3 acre,150+ yr old garden licked back into shape, hedges(about half a mile of them) trimmed,garden beds and gravel yard and paths weeded, trees and bushes trimmed and thinned, grass on pathe and orchard mown, visitors would go for an admiring walk and so often exclaim "oh what a lovely easy-care garden". I am still amazed at myself that I neglected to throttle at least a few of them!

Now that you are about to reach your majority, and how lovely it is that you can do so with your daughters, it is time to rationalize your gardening a little and not over do it too much.Your body needs a little longer to recover from over exertion. What a stupid thing to say, I've never seen a gardener yet who culd follow such sage advice..just this little bit here..just to the corner..ah I'd better go in now..I'll just pull up these two weeds, that's not much..
as you drop back to your knees until the last light fades... Ah well I did try to warn you. Do as I say, not as I do.

Hope you have a wonderful birthday and a long,long and happy gardening life ahead of you.

DK Green said...

Lovely pictures of your day and all your hard work! :-)

Thrilled we're going to be seeing you in just a few short days! ~bounce bounce~

Love you momma xxx

willow said...

Oh, this is such a lovely little picture of you!! My hair was blond at the beginning, too and turned dark from age 3 on.

We have a huge old ginko tree and it is fairly rare for Ohio!

Your pix are always so much fun. I enjoy them immensely.

aims said...

Gosh Gina. You seem to like to overdo everything don't you.

You need to not work quite so hard. Not quite.

I bet the girls are all delighted that you're coming to visit! What fun it all sounds like to me. Do enjoy yourself. As if you wouldn't huh?

Ces said...

There's an award for you ate my blog. Please drop by. Thank you.

Leatherdykeuk said...

What a lot of work you managed. The results are fantastic, though.

DK Green said...

wow - an award!!

mansuetude said...

well, i had to visit a Virgo (noticed in comment on Gwen's post) and loved my visit. That Buster sure is handsome. He looks like he has one white sock up and one half fallen down. He is a beagle, isn't he? I have one named Dublin who would love to drive a tractor--as long as it wasn't turned on, then he would run into your coat pocket quivering like a little baby bird. Happy Birthday! Many more lovely years to you. : )

mansuetude said...

ps. .. forgot to say, you are so adorable... those curls!

happyone said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and taking the time to leave a comment.
I've enjoyed reading some of your blog. I will be back. :-)

You live in a beautiful country. I had the pleasure a couple of years ago to take a walking vacatation around the Ring of Kerry.


BT said...

arija, I loved your comments! You obviously know me too well already. Jim threatened to get some football field type lighting for me so that I could garden all night! I always want to do just that bit more, you are so right!

I only have one daughter, the other 2 are her partners, but I love them all. I am just staying there until next Monday, back to Ireland for a day then back to the UK on the Wednesday. On my actual birthday, Jim's son is getting married, as is my brother, so it's a popular day!

Thanks for your wonderful good wishes, don't stay away so long next time!

Glad you liked it K, xxx.

willow, glad you like the photo, it's one of my favourites. I'm jealous of your huge ginko tree. There's a huge one in Kew Gardens. I have a photo somewhere of Jim standing under it.

Aims, I will most certainly enjoy myself, don't you worry. They always make sure I do.

Ces, thanks again for the lovely award. I'm so thrilled with it but don't know how to move it!! DK, HELP!!!

Thanks, Rach, you must come back soon and see our work.

Mansuetude, thanks so much for dropping by. Dublin is a great name for a dog. We struggled with names until we hit upon Buster. A judge at our local show thinks he is an English Foxhound. Having looked them up, I think he's probably right, but as we found him, we'll never know! He beys like a hound, that's for sure!

Thanks for your good wishes for my big day!

Hi happyone, what a wonderful name! I loved your blog and thanks for visiting mine. Glad you enjoyed yourself. I like to take lots of photos, as you can see. Not intellectual, but I hope, fun.

I love the Kerry area. We visited there late last year. Fabulous scenery.

Takes a bow after receiving my AWARD! Did I mention I got an award!!!!!

DK Green said...

~blows fingertips, Clint Eastwood style~ I good, or am I good?
Et voila your award is in place.
Clever mummy!

Olga/Maddie said...

Isn't it interesting the things you find when you go out and work on the yard? *BG*

The photos and the description all are wonderful. And I so enjoyed both seeing and reading them. *big smile*

Let's hope that Buster doesn't figure out how to work that tractor, huh? *VBG*

I do hope that you, DK, Rachel, Luisa, and the rest of the family have a great time celebrating all of your birthdays. *big big smile*

Lastly, you were a beauty when you were young. And you still are, my dear. *GG*

Hope that you and yours are doing all right, that things are going okay, and that the rest of the day goes all right for you all.

God bless and take care. :).

BT said...

Thanks for your visit Olga and for your kind comments. I was a pretty child, wasn't I? Pity time marches on so relentlessly!!!

Maddie said...

You are most welcome, my dear. *big smile*

And advance congratulations to Jim's son and his fiancee on their upcoming wedding. *big big smile*

Hope that you and yours are doing all right, that things are going okay, and that today goes all right for you all.

God bless and take care. :).