Saturday, 11 December 2021

Why you should never start a job...

 ...unless you are sure that you can finish it.

Or: Oh dear, I've out-clevered myself again!

This morning, in early December, I arrived at work to find that the Passion Flower (Passiflora caerulea) had finally finished flowering, which means that it was time to cut it right back, and pull all the upper growth down from the wall.

This particular one is on the south-facing aspect of a house, and in consequence, it grows like the proverbial Topsy (I have no idea who Topsy was, but my Grandmother in London always used to talk about me "growing like Topsy" and all my, er,  senior Clients seem to understand what it means...), so I cut it back to about head height every year, at some point over the winter.

In mild winters, it can stay green-leaved and lush all the way through: in other years, the leaves die off and fall: generally speaking, I prefer to cut this climber right back every year, mild or not, because otherwise it gets too big and too strong to easily pull down.

Also, the owners had asked me to clear it off of the house before Christmas, this year, because they were getting the builders in, early in the New Year.

So there I was, looking at a green and lush climber, but knowing that there were good reasons to cut it down a bit earlier than strictly necessary, horticulturally speaking.  

And for some reason, even though I had planned in my mind to do it next week, I started merrily cutting it down.

All went well, the bulk of it came down with no problem, but...


.. yes, there were a couple of strands which were hooked up on the support wires.

Now, this is nothing new: it happens every year, and I have exactly the same issue with the Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus qinquefolia) on the west-facing wall of the same house.

Most of it peels off, but there always a few stubborn bits which cling to the tiles and have to pulled down individually, using one of my long tools.

And guess what? I don't take my long-handled tools to work, unless I know that I am going to need them, because they are somewhat cumbersome in the car. On account of being "long-handled".

Which means that I wasn't able to quickly and easily lift down those last few strands.

Oh bother.

(which is, of course, exactly what I said to myself, when I realised what I'd done.)

This means that I have had to leave this annoying tangle of greenery, to hang there for a whole week, until I am back - with the correct tool  - to finish the job.

Thus, the moral of this story: You ("one") should never start a job, if you don't have the specialist tools which you know you are going to need to complete it!


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