Not always being at home these days has meant that I get out of the little habits that make gardening easier. Like knowing where you left your tools so that you can easily get on with the right tasks. It’s frustratingly commonplace for me to walk down the end of the garden to do some planting to then find out I’ve left the trowel / string / canes elsewhere. And to add to the complexity of detective work, with Mrs B doing much of the labour while I lounge around at school, I will have to assess where she has left items before I manage to acquire the right tools for the job. (In much the same way that simple tasks in the house are made more complex when one has to first work out how the furniture or storage areas have been rearranged in one’s absence).
But the problems are normally self-made. For example, the other day, after I had done some potting up, I simply could not find the small hand fork which I knew I had been using for weeding. I couldn’t find it anywhere and made do with whatever else I had – trowel or big fork or whatever. It wasn’t until a few days later that I found the hand fork, as I was moving the bag of compost: it was stuck in the bottom of the bag like a latterday sword in the stone . I had obviously skewered the compost when I moved it previously. I took the fork from the bag with no great ceremony and went off in search of my horitcultural Camelot.
We all have our favourite tools. My father’s favourite is the wonderful hoe which, like a wilkinson sword razor has a triple action (for a closer hoeing experience). Only it doesn’t even do a single action now. I guess the ground was a little hard, but as I was using it the other day, the blade sheared off. A sly glance over my shoulder to see if I was being watched, then a quick trip to Dave Marsh Hardware, and the situation was remedied. I am not expecting the OM to volunteer to do any hoeing soon, so no need for any awkward explanations about my hoeing technique. I guess I just don’t know my own strength. But the new hoe seems just fine and, from a distance, looks just like the old one so TOM will not be too upset.