Claiming the Amendment.

That’ll be the Forth Rail Bridge Painter’s Amendment obviously. And not the one that was soften mouthed in 1980s U.S detective programmes. This one is the riposte, the antidote to the saying that – sorry to be in any way sexist here – when a man starts a job he inevitably creates seven (or is it more?) that weren’t there before. I’m sure you’ve heard it, no?

To explain:

The day after St George’s Day and Shakespeare’s 450th birthday (how, I wonder does anyone know that with any certainty?) and we had a small task to do in our own back garden today, some gentle re-pruning and training of a wall-side climbing rose and the planting of a clematis somewhere in the same vicinity. The seeds are germinated or germinating in the greenhouse, some plants being put out to harden off. A new “shrubbery” (echoes of those crazi knights in MOnty Python and the Holy Grail) taking shape in the “shade” border (two Fothergilla majors, ad Acer and a Cotinus planted).

Now, in the opposite side we needed to take up some Bear’s Britches plants that have been hogging the area in a way that is only ever truly understood by others who have had these beautiful, mysterious, vaguely heraldic monsters in their own gardens. Massive, spreading rooting (rhizome like) networks that proliferate and send up new plants. Also in the way were various wildflower plants, mainly ivy and woundwort.

Small job becoming bigger. Then the rose looks less healthy close up. Take it out. But the frame work it is climbing is also rooting away. Take it off the wall.

At this point the decorators of the Scots bridge reach for new paintbrushes and screwdrivers to lever the lids of fresh tins of paint, sighing knowledgably no doubt.

New plan. Spread bone-meal and chicken pellets across the soil, plant a couple of climbing fuchsias (from cuttings taken last year) and two clematis plants. Replace the old frame with some taken-down and moved trellis, held away from the wall by newly fixed timbers (duly sawn to size and drilled).

While all of this is underway an enormous frog makes an appearance. Disturbed by our activities no doubt and has to be captured (and very evasive this one proved to be) and let go in a safer spot. An ally this creature, helping to control slugs and pests. So treated kindly.  


By the time we had finished the area was strewn with tools, scraps of wood, escaped roots like amputated thumbs, assorted screws, spilled soil, empty pots and a trusty Black and Decker Workmate (another long-serving (long-suffering) ally).

Cup of tea then the watering in.

Phew. The work has cleared a few over-wintering pots, made a new space where the rose had, sadly perhaps, outlived its purpose and given the two of us a good stretch and work out.

Ready to start back on the other side with the red lead again tomorrow then lads?


3 responses to this post.

  1. The knights who say “Ni” take their shrubberies very seriously!


  2. So true! A garden is always a work in progress. =o)


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