Posts Tagged ‘Gardening business’

When the weather brings both wonder and despair

As someone who gardens for a living the past few weeks have been particularly trying; the unseasonably warm weather in March resulted in a rush to start getting on with jobs in clients’ gardens and a nice early tan but since then, due to rain of Biblical proportions, it has been difficult to get on with a number of jobs where clearing beds of weeds has been the main task.

In one instance the constant rains of April and early May turned turned the heavy clay into a claggy, gloopy mess from which it was near impossible to extricate anything successfully; stepping on the beds was possible though highly unadvisable as it resulted in rusty water oozing out from within the clay and severe compaction.  Where there has been the odd sunny interlude or dry day I have pressed on, juggling clients according to need and always hoping that tomorrow the weather will hold.

In my own garden the ground is largely saturated and in some places the water is thigh deep and requires wellys to wade through.  A clump of three large Delphinium that were looking stately and vigorous have been ravaged by a combined onslaught of slugs and snails (mainly the latter, of which there are so many this year, a consequence perhaps of not having any sustained period of cold over the winter); two have been almost entirely taken down to within a couple of inches from the ground, my only consolation being that they have had in effect an early ‘Chelsea Chop’; the remaining plant is still standing and I wake every morning hoping that it has made it through another night without suffering the same fate as its brethren.

Mutilated Delphinium

But all is not as ghastly as it sounds and indeed there is much to be enjoyed: the water that sits and glistens on the leaves of Alchemilla and Euphorbia is enchanting,

Euphorbia characias subsp. 'Wulfenii'

the vibrant and invigorating colour of the first Alliums never fails but to leave one slightly overawed and enraptured,

Allium hollandicum 'Purple Sensation'

the gentle flowers of Polemonium ‘Bressingham Purple’ are by contrast shy and timorous but none-the-less beguiling

Polemonium 'Bressingham Purple'

and the sun piercing a stormy sky fills the body and soul with an elemental energy that is drawn from myth and swirling history.

Sun following a storm

Weather infects our moods, both caresses and lashes at our senses and dictates the labour that we may or may not undertake.  It reminds us, or atleast it should do, of our fragility, mortality, and our position as caretakers rather than as masters of this world that we share with so much other life.

New tools … new start?

Now I’m not one for shopping in the sales; past experience has taught me that most of what is on offer is trash and that trying to shop in the sales is to witness human beings very possibly at their worst.  The internet, however, has changed all this and I can now find bargains whilst sitting in the comfort of my own home, looking specifically for what I want rather than through what is piled on tables and racks.

And what did I want? Tools of course! I’ve been after decent hedge shears and lopers for some time and after doing a bit of research decided on some made by Bahco.  Next was to find what I wanted at the right price.  Having looked at a few websites the best price I could get was through My Tool Shed, not a site that I’ve come across before but one that I’ll be using again I’m sure.

New tools ... new start?

And what is the new start I here you ask?  The book might give the game away, Paul Power’s ‘Start & Run a Gardening Business,’ one that I would highly recommend to anyone thinking of setting up for themselves.  I’m not yet up and running, still doing the research and planning to make sure that I start on a sound footing.

The reason for the intended move is twofold: firstly I have felt for sometime that my current career isn’t really going anywhere and that I’d like to be my own boss and to work doing something that I truly enjoy, namely gardening, and work outdoors rather than at a desk; the second thing that has encouraged me is the recent hike in the rail season ticket to London (now just short of £4,000, about 18% of my salary) coupled with a 5% pay decrease that I had to take last year.

Commuting to London to sit at a desk doing something that isn’t really going anywhere becomes senseless.  And so, readers, ‘Crafting Your Garden’ is born (the observant amongst you will have noticed the spin on my surname!) and hopefully in the coming few months we will have lift off, assuming that I don’t lose my nerve or that I’m not talked out of it.   Watch this space.

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