Thursday, 19th May, 2022

[Day 794]

Today dawned bright and fair, which was a relief for me as I have several outdoor jobs lined up to get done today. First, though, having got up a little early I got to my local supermarket at just before 8.00am and was the first to get through the doors as they opened. Then it was a fairly routine shop-up followed by my collecting my newspaper as I was in the area. Then it was home for a quick breakfast and an unpacking of the shopping. Whilst I was waiting for Meg to get herself ready, I had a stroke of good fortune. Since I have had our patio cleaned up so that it looks like new, I am anxious to keep it that way but I know that this is threatened by fairly large clumps of moss that have accumulated on the bottom edge of some of our roofing tiles. I have as part of my gardening equipment, an exceptionally long bamboo cane constructed by lashing three long bamboo canes together with cable ties. At the end, I have a little wire hook arrangement shaped a bit like a curvy ‘L’. When I constructed this tool several years ago, I had used it to ensure that a climbing clematis that I had could make some progress through some of our bordering holly trees. This tool worked very well for the purposes for which it was constructed. Rather than getting rid of it, I had stored it down the side of the house (on the mid-wall brackets holding the drain pipes where it was well out of the way) Anyway, as a type of experiment, I wondered how far up the (dormer) roof I could reach with my home made device. I was delighted to say that the moss only needed a little tickle to detach from the tile and fall either into the gutter or over the side onto the patio. I immediately swept up the fallen moss with a very soft long handled little brush that I have and the net result was that I had cleared about three quarters of the side of the house that was worst affected for only about 20 minutes of effort. This means that if we have we have the anticipated heavy downpours in the next day, the amount of moss that will will tumble down will be minimal and easily dealt with.

After this (and in fairly high spirits) we set off for the park for our daily walk. Sitting on the park bench, we had several chats with some of the park regulars where we know each by sight even if we are not on first name terms. Then it was case of a gentle walk home for lunch which was to use up a small portion of gammon and some spring greens that needed using up. This turned out to be surprising tasty even though it was just using up ‘odds and ends’. I had a little project for the afternoon which was to finish off weeding the ‘other’ side of the communal roadway. This sound to be s simple task but in practice it was complicated. This is because of the type of weed growing on the gravel was generally quite a flat and spreading type of weed that had established long roots as the plant burrowed through the gravel searching for moisture and nutriment. So it was not just a case of pulling the head and and leaving the rest of the root system to regenerate but rather giving the gravel rake with a weeder and then hunting for a tap root so that I could pull out the weed roots and all. In order to prevent me having a bad back on what could be a backbreaking task, I adopted a technique of lying on my side with my hip on a foam kneeler and then attacking the errant weeds that way. At the end of the day, I am pleased to have a good ‘root-and-branch’ job done and in the next day or so, I shall use some ‘Pathclear‘ on this gravel to keep things OK for the rest of the season. My next door neighbour returned home from work and gave me words of support and encouragement – when they return from holiday we are going to tackle an overgrown ‘Elaeagnus‘ shrub which is overhanging one of the corners in the roadway serving our houses. My weeding task completed, it was then a case of washing down the rest of the garden furniture residing temporarily on the lawn and putting it back into position on the patio. Several bits of gardening ‘clobber’ which is in constant use and I tend to store around the sides of the house have now been relocated to some decking much further down the garden where they are ‘out of sight, out of mind’ with the overall intention of keeping the patio area clutter-free and easy to maintain (by clearing away moss, leaves and the like)