Or so TS Eliot said*, and it seems likely he was thinking of me sorting out our garden today.
Having at last got the gites flood free and re-decorated in time for the first arrivals on Saturday it is time to turn our attention to the garden. I say ‘our’ although Mrs B has sneaked off east for a few days so really it’s just me…
Unfortunately after a year or so of sunshine and drought the last week or two down here in SW France have been very wet and miserable – and still are. So I have just spent the last three hours kneeling in the drizzle weeding a gravel terrace.
Gardeners seem to have a special ability to kneel for hours poking at the soil with no particular discomfort. I am not a gardener and have no such special ability. And no way of knowing what is plant and what is weed.
I was neither / Living nor dead and I knew nothing … in a cold blast I hear / The rattle of the bones
After 30 minutes my back seized up completely – happily in a bent over position so I could carry on with the weeding, although I now have to sit curled up to use the computer keyboard, which is a slight disadvantage – and my fingers were bleeding from the roses I kept accidentally grabbing in an effort to pull out dandelions.
Note for future: a gravel terrace seemed like a good idea at the time, and looks very nice, but a great big slab of concrete would have kept the weeds down rather more effectively.
What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow / Out of this stony rubbish?
Anyway this afternoon I have another rainy day challenge – a leylandii hedge we planted a few years ago to give extra privacy and protection from northerly winds to the little gite has, as you might guess, grown rather fast and will soon cast the whole cottage into darkness.
Very pleasant if you like to holiday in Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. Less so if you want to enjoy the sunshine and look over the sunflowers.
So this afternoon you can cheer yourself up while you are inside in the warm sipping your hot chocolate – just think of me, up a ladder in the pouring rain, trying to prune back the undergrowth while the rain runs down the back of my neck.
*The Waste Land, TS Eliot, starts…April is the cruellest month, breeding / Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing / Memory and desire, stirring / Dull roots with spring rain. Other quotes in italics above are from the same poem.