Friday, 24 June 2022

Turning Lemons into Lemonade - Silver Linings in the garden

I'm sure you've all heard that phrase about how, if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade. It's supposed to mean the same as the one about all clouds having a silver lining, ie that we should all take what we are given and make the best of it. 

 Not a bad philosophy for gardeners. 

Actually, I rather liked the conversation that ran thus:

A: "Oh dear, 2022 is probably going to be a terrible year, I'm dreading it: what do you think will happen? 

Me: "There will be flowers, in 2022." 

A: "Flowers? How can you be so sure?" 

Me: "Because I am planting flowers."

A deeply philosophical answer, huh?

Anyway, a while ago one of "my" gardens acquired a new fence: the old one fell down, and the uphill neighbour (whose fence it was) finally paid out and got a nice new one installed.

The guys who installed it were, er, how can I say this? "Horticulturally inept." They stomped all over the plants in our border before I could stop them, and they actually used a powered jack-hammer to make a post hole, right through the roots of "our" mature Ceanothus. Whether it survives or not, only time will tell. 

(NB Update from several months later: no, it didn't survive. It spent the following six months slowly dying...)

As you can imagine, I was pretty peeved about this, and a few other shortcomings such as leaving a mess of hardcore all over the surface of our border: tossing bucketfuls of assorted waste onto our rubbish heap (luckily they didn't spot the compost pens otherwise I'm sure it would all have gone in there) (I'm not joking: at another garden, a contractor came in to clear moss off the flat roofs and gutters, he dumped the lot - moss, dirt, grit - in a foot-deep layer on my compost pens. I was not happy); and leaving so many gaps at the foot of the fence that I had to ask my garden owner to get her own handyman in to fix it. 

However, I have managed to find a silver lining in all this. 

Where they trampled the soil on "our" side, there is now a hard-compacted strip about two foot wide, running alongside the new fence.

I am treating this is an access path, allowing me to get along the back of the asparagus bed to tackle invading bindweed, ivy, and other weeds, which are already tending to creep under the fence from next door. 

So there you go - strive to find a silver lining in every apparent problem or catastrophe, and life will become full of lemonade!

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