A Grass and a Half

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A Grass and a Half

It's that time of year as the old cliché goes, when our thoughts turn to gardening and how can we get out of it by hiding in the shed with a can of beer? But enough about how the women handle it – get out your lawn mowers, it's grass cutting season!

My method as we have trees and bushes skirting the borders, is to sweep the mower round the edges, until I have straight edges on all four sides (or near enough), then trim the rest in horizontal and vertical strips. I tend to cut enough vertical lines at the side first of all, so that I can turn the lawnmower at each sweep, without having to avoid protruding branches from the Kilmarnock willows. I then follow this up by running the mower in horizontal lines, holding the cord in one hand like the traces of a horse drawn plough (I learnt early on not to put a pencil in a horse's hoof as they are not very good at drawing). I don't have a petrol or battery mower but sometimes wish I had. Twice I have run over the cable because I failed to check where it was and whip it to one side. The first time, I stormed out of the garden and went for a long walk, throwing a tantrum which I could never find again (lost in the bushes I assume, too afraid to come out again),

I sometimes I trim the edges first, depending upon the length of the grass. If most can be reached by the mower, I tend to go round after with a pair of scissors, repeating 'Anything for the weekend, sir?' I protect new plants or delicate older ones, with the Sandy patent plant cage (okay I couldn't afford the patent but it sounds better than a homemade wire fence). We live on the edge of farmland and four-inch-square sheep wire is abandoned everywhere, or that is what I told the judge. Finders keepers, losers imprisoned for three months.

We have four hydrangeas, two of which mostly do well and two that don't. The ones that flourish are protected from the vicissitudes of the vicious Scottish weather and the other two are not. They sit at the end of fridge alley. If you have unwanted cats in your garden, you can try Silent Roar, which worked for us. It is composed of decomposing lion's droppings.

Well that just about wraps it up. Time for tea and biscuits and my faithful companion by my side, to pat on the head (the dog, not the wife). So au revoir till next time. Any gardening tips? Don't send them to me – it's the missus that does all that, despite all the lies I tell here. A pair of binoculars and a notepad can easily give the wrong impression. Put your back into it, woman!

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