Opposite my bungalow on the estate where I live there is a patch of open ground. When the builder who built many of the dwellings on the estate built them he left this one patch free with an eye to eventually building a bungalow there for himself one presumes. Well that day has not arrived yet and I rather like the wildness there is there. The ground is very uneven. Here and there are patches of daffodils and snowdrops, presumably where folk have dumped garden rubbish (although I have never seen anyone do this) and there are a dozen or so silver birch which about once every three years are pollarded - each time more 'trunks' having grown. This year was the year and when I got up yesterday morning the builder's lorry and various bits of equipment were outside my property. As the morning went on neat piles of branches were piled up - presumably the builder intends to collect these and dispose of them on another day. Well all I can say is that he had better hurry up. No sooner had the chap gone than from all corners of the estate middle aged and elderly men (ie most of the owners of property round here fall into that category) arrived with saws and wheelbarrows - often wives pushing the wheelbarrows - and began sorting through, sawing off the side branches, generally removing barrows full of wood.
Our gardens are quite large - I would say that mine is big for a town garden and many are the same size as mine. I automatically thought beans sticks, sticks for persuading sweet peas upwards, sticks to build 'rustic' trellis for clematis. Like flies round a honeypot many were there off and on until sundown. When I opened the blinds at six this morning there was already one man and his wife there hard at work. And by the time I went out for my walk at eleven there were three more couples. One couple L and M I knew well so I walked across to have a chat. What were they gathering the sticks for? Clematis? Sweet peas? Climbing roses? Wrong every time. All these people have wood burners and were gathering and sawing up the wood to stack for seasoning for next winter's fuel!! A case of fortune favouring the prepared mind I suppose.
Before my carer went this morning she opened the patio doors for me and turned on the very stiff stop tap for the outside tap. After J had gone Priscilla and I went out into the back garden and using the garden hose already fixed to the tap we watered the shrubs in pots - they were desperate for a good watering. Now it is all set up and we can water once a week until we have a good rain - if we ever do. Poor Derek - either the Nature Reserve on Sheppey is almost flooded out or - more likely at the moment - too dry for anything to flourish. I suppose it is the same for all of us gardeners - the weather is never right.
It made me smile this morning on Breakfast television when the weather man said we were going to have a very warm and dry week end and the weather was going to continue dry well into next week - "all you gardeners will be pleased to hear" - a remark which made me immediately sure he was not a gardener. We are all desperate for rain.
Until tomorrow friends...