Sunday, 21 October 2012

Rest in peace, dear friend

I was digging and splitting a huge Leucanthemum for my neighbour this afternoon. The whole thing must have been a good 4ft in diameter, and had been in for some time. The fact is that it did not want to move.

I didn't want to have to walk back to my van and get my heavy drain cutting spade and I thought I'd be OK using a combination of fork, spade and hard graft to get the monstrous thing out... until I heard a loud crack.

So my good trusty garden fork has fallen to the mighty Leucanthemum. I know that wooden handles are not the best for heavy work, but I will admit that I much prefer the feel of them, so I will replace this fork with another of the same type, but bearing in mind that the next one will also not be indestructible.

However all is not lost- I found that the metal end of the fork makes an excellent extra large hand fork for loosening soil under weeds, so at least there is a new life to come for my trusty border fork!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Great Expectations

I work in a nursery in fairly rural location... picture the scene; I get a call to help a lady with an enquiry. The lady is looking for a climber for a north facing wall. Already the lady has found the evergreen climbing Hydrangea seemanii (which would be one of my suggestions) so this looks straightforward. It is then that the customer announces that the north wall is on a house 800m above sea level in the south west of France!

Initially I was quite taken aback- why ask for this kind of advice in a small nursery in a different country?! After a few seconds contemplation the realisation kicked in that this customer was waiting for an answer.

Somehow I managed not to look flustered at this unusual enquiry, and quite rightly so as this enquiry was actually no different from any other that I might answer during the course of the day. Every garden is different, and the growing conditions can vary even on opposite sides of a wall or fence, so asking questions is an important part of making sure that the advice you give to customers is the best possible. There are, however, difficulties when a gardener doesn't actually know what their conditions are... especially when the garden is in a different country! Still, advice was given, and the customer left happy.

All in a day's work.