Sunday, 7 May 2017

all in good time

We were woken up this morning by Our Ginger howling outside the bedroom door.  As I surfaced I remembered that it was Sunday, and that I was going to spend the day chopping out more bramble root in the meadow and digging through the patch of bare ground where I planned to plant primroses once I'd divided them.  Then I remembered that I'd promised that in the morning I'd check the proof of the music society's promotional bookmark.

Proof reading does not come come naturally to me.  I don't know if it does to anybody, when the whole carefully evolved point of human perception is to form meaning out of less than perfect signals, not to nitpick about the data.  If I've got to check any document or calculation then the best time to do it, or the least bad time, is first thing after breakfast.  Analytic tasks first thing, creative juices flowing later in the day, is how it works for me.

All of the music society's events are due to be held on Sundays, so I checked that all the dates on the proof were Sundays, and that they matched the dates I'd written in my diary from the flier the Chairman gave out at the last concert.  They did, except that for some reason I hadn't written the last concert down at all, nor the lecture because at that point it was tbc.  I managed to find the email from the Chairman which confirmed the lecture.  I looked at the spellings of the composers' names and thought they looked right, though I had to check on Wikipedia that Piazzolla really did have two each of z and l.  I noticed that pian0 was spelt with a final zero instead of an o.  Then I couldn't think of anything else to check, except to query whether we were really having four concerts in the church.  The chairman was grateful I'd spotted the 0, and was unnerved enough to say she would refer once again to the actual contracts with the musicians before giving the printers the go ahead.  A local business is kindly sponsoring the bookmarks, and it would be awfully embarrassing to get them wrong.

By then the Systems Administrator had announced his intention to do the vacuuming, and it seemed only decent to wash the kitchen floor and the hall, and then I thought I'd better water the conservatory and the Hamamelis pots, so by the time I got up to the meadow half the morning had already gone.  I don't know where Sandy Denny's time went, though it's a fair bet it did not go on proof reading bookmarks and watering flowerpots, but I always forget how much of mine goes on routine stuff, cleaning and little admin jobs that you don't think will take any time at all, except that they do.

In the meadow I have nearly finished digging out the gardener's garters, Phalaris arundinacea, that I planted in an unwise moment some years back.  I was going to tell you when, but failed to enter it on my spreadsheet for some reason.  No matter.  It was a bad thing to have planted, and I advise you to learn from my mistake and avoid the wretched thing.  When I planted it I was eager to fill the great bare expanses of space in the meadow and grateful to the Phalaris for its ability to cope with poor soil.  I am now grateful I put it somewhere as poor as I did, since it has spread quite enough as it is and would probably have gone much, much further given more moisture.  It is green. That is about all you can say about it.  It is green and it runs at the root.  The flower spikes are less interesting than almost any other grass you can think of and it does not sway gracefully in the wind.  I have been digging out its fat underground roots with the pick axe, and then targeting any pieces of regrowth.  The most difficult bits to extract are where it has gone close to trees or the clumps of hellebores which I want to keep.  The only consolation is that so far it does not seem to regenerate as readily from small sections of root as many other running grasses, but we shall see. Maybe when we finally get some rain it will horrify me by springing up all over the place.

Even with a new garden it is unwise to plant crude running things just because you are desperate to fill the space.  I know that now.  As the garden matures and your own tastes develop you will want that space to grow something interesting.  Far better to fill the gaps with annuals, or cheerful, fast growing but short lived species that won't outstay their welcome.

I feel a little stiff.  Probably it was just as well only to have spent three quarters of the day digging out roots.

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