Friday, 24 April 2020

The difference between workmen and gardeners....

... well, I imagine there are many differences, but one in particular came to my attention last week.

My Client's handymen had been in, to lay some concrete slab paths and to install some really sturdy posts and wires for the new raspberry bed, and for the soft fruit bed.

When they came to price up the job, the lead man said "after we lay the paths, we'll rotovate that raspberry bed for you, save you digging it" which was a very kind thought. Normally, when workmen of any sort have been in a garden, you are left with heavily trampled areas which then take a lot of digging to restore to a nice working tilth. So I thought, oh goody, when I go there next time, all I have to do is quickly plant the new rasps, excellent!

*sigh* Best laid plans....

On arrival, it looked like this:

"Nice!" I thought.

(incidentally, look at the soil to the right - a week earlier, that had all been dug over ready for use. See what I mean about trampling workmen?)

But, being a bit cautious (for which read, "experienced") I thought I'd just quickly dig it over myself, just to make sure.

So I dug it over again, and this is the result:

A quarter bucket of rocks, broken glass, crockery and stones.

An a third of a tub-trug of roots, and weeds.

Now, this is not meant as a criticism of the workmen: well, yes it is, but not in a bad way.

We all expect certain things from our workers, and "one" would never expect a handyman to realise that it's kind of important to get all the weeds out before you put in permanent planting such as fruit bushes, trees, shrubs etc.

And this is precisely why I chose to dig it over again, even though it looked lovely: I'm the one that will be keeping the new rasps weed-free and productive, so it's very much in my interest to get the bed very thoroughly dug over and cleared of perennial weeds before we start.

And that level of experience and devotion to detail, dear reader, is what my Clients pay me for! ("so modest...")

Here's the final thing: rasp section dug, manure added and dug in, rasps planted, and the main veg area dug over (again!) ready for planting.


What a lovely sight!


  1. The builders creed:
    Bulldoze any rubble to the garden area and compact it down by driving over it with heavy machinery. A few bulk sacks of topsoil to cover and hey presto - your garden!

    1. Oh Mal, you are such a cynic! But when it comes to new builds - *sigh* so true, so true.


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