Saturday, 5 February 2011

That Was The Week That Was

All too often, work seems a little humdrum, and I have to remind myself that if it was fun, I'd be paying them. But this week's had variety, achievement and even a little learning. Not bad for February. The Powers That Be agreed to replace the door between the orchard and the walled garden with a wrought iron gate and the Future Jobs Scheme lads have made a lovely job of it. The public enjoy getting a glimpse of the garden and sometimes stop for a chat and a bit of advice, which is nice. It also allows us to see out and so feels less hemmed in.
Tuesday was a lovely day, the lull before the storm, and having seen the forecast I cracked the whip and we spent the day doing all the digging that should have been done in December. So good to have the ground prepared at last. Then I had a day out and about, inspecting the flower beds in the far-flung parts of our empire. Some are small in proportion to the spaces they're in and frankly, look ridiculous, so they're the ones we'll cut next year. We're also going to create wildflower meadows where at present there are boring big stretches of grass. I've wanted to do this for years and now it's an idea whose time has come. The public will, I hope, understand the argument for increased bio-diversity and the managers will see the savings.
Then I had a day doing Health and Safety training. I was dreading it, but we have a new trainer who was such an improvement on the previous death-by-power-point guy that it was enjoyable, informative and motivating. So next week I'm going to take a good hard look around and sort whatever I've let slip over the years.  Did you know, in outdoor work, most fatalities are caused by people falling from heights, and most of those are from heights of less than two metres? So next time you clamber on a wobbly chair, or even up a steady ladder, make sure there's someone else there, then you won't end up like the chap who fell on to spiked railings and bled to death. Be careful out there.

12 comments:

Britta said...

Dear Is the Wiz,
you did a lot last week! I love wildflower meadows, beautiful & practical, and giving food to so many different animals. For years now they allow poppies and cornflowers and corn-cockles to grow at the borders of fields again - love that too. The late wife of Old-Federal Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, Loki Schmidt, cared all her life about wildflowers and so drew attention to them.

Damo said...

I'm going to avoid clearing out the guttering for a while longer after reading that!!

Mal's Allotment said...

Wow! Powerpoint boredom, biodiversity and death by impalment all in one post. Glad you're getting out to the colonies - and posting.

The birds are singing, the snowdrops are up ...Spring?

Is the Wiz said...

Dear Britta, Germany has led the way in many areas of Parks , and it's nice to know a woman was in there AND being listened to!
Damo, that's no excuse, just make sure the Missus is holding the ladder so someone's there to call an ambulance when you fall. Seriously, the advice is - don't over-reach and always keep three limbs on the ladder.
Mal, Thanks for the encouragement. I know there's still a lot of fowl weather to come, but it really does feel like Spring's here. The birds were singing at 1/2 seven when I start work.

Rosie said...

Thank you for advice. I will be watching out for spikes. i also like those primula if that's what they are. Spring is coming.

Edith Hope said...

Dearest Isobel, A week of adventure, fun and cracking of the whip....spring must be in the air!!

I love the sound of the wildflower meadows and am sure, as you say, that the time is right for such a departure from the old ways. I always think, though, that such meadows look easy to create but are, in fact fiendishly difficult to establish. However, I am certain that in your capable hands, they will look marvellous and everyone will be saying that it should have been done years ago.

And, what a splendid idea to have a gate which just gives a glimpse of the gardens to the public...perfect!!

I trust that your job concerns have not materialised and do so hope that it will be a fulfilling year for you...keep cracking that whip and staying off wobbly ladders!!

Is the Wiz said...

Dear Rosie, Thank you. The flowers are Primula veris, the wild cowslip. They're very easily raised from seed but have become quite rare in the wild, so please try them.
Dear Edith, I'm happy to say that we've had a stay of execution, at least for a year or two. The Scottish Parliament is up for re-election this Spring, so steered clear of unpopular cuts. I know what you mean about wildflower meadows though.

Kyna said...

'Death by power-point' LOL!! :D I'm glad this week was a decent one for ya :)

Is the Wiz said...

Cheers Kyna!

Paul C said...

I, too, enjoy wildflower gardens, cultivated to look natural.

Is the Wiz said...

Dear Paul, as a kid I had to watch the field near my house change from a fascinating place to a sterile monoculture when the council took it over and turned it into "amenity grassland". So Gerard Manley Hopkins struck a chord with me - "Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet."(Inversnaid)

Britta said...

Dear Isobel,
today just a few greetings to a gardner who at the moment will be very active in the garden, I think? Love, Britta