Monday 7 December 2020
And I’m back! I know I said that before, but I didn’t anticipate our boat batteries would fail and leave me without reliable laptop charging at home. So I write tonight from a flat – not too far from the canal, but with my feet firmly on solid land. It feels strange, foreign and I definitely need to get used to this. I’m going to start writing these in the morning, before I head off for work, to give myself a chance to take a breather before I pedal my way around the deadly streets of London and to order my thoughts for the day.
Today was bitterly cold. It was a harsh reminder of what winter has in store for us. I woke up to a message on my phone wishing me a ‘Good Morning’ and promptly making me curl back up into my duvet when it showed me the temperature for the day. Ideally, I wouldn’t get out of bed for anything less than 10 degrees, but living in the UK doesn’t afford me that luxury, so up I layered up to face the 0 degree cycle into work.
We spent the day clearing some herbaceous perennial beds close to the river. They are planted with evergreen plants such as Pittosporum, Carex, Rudbeckia, Anemone x hybrida, as well as a beautiful Prununs serrula (one of my favourite trees!). We worked on clearing some of the herbaceous growth. Even though the timing was not quite right, we cut back the Carex, creating little hedgehog-shaped mounds. I used shears to cut through them, after trying my hand at it with secateurs and understanding just how long it would take (probably around 400 years). I was slicing away at the Carex in no time and we managed to cut back all the Carex and rudbeckias on the first half of the bed.
Unfortunately, as soon as we started working, Laurence started sneezing – badly. He is clearly allergic to something we were working wit or around today. Poor man. By the end of the day his nose was completely blocked. As a result, I finished off the bed using a leaf blower to clear the cut grasses. It was challenging to use the machine on such a busy area, as I had to stop every few seconds to allow people to pass safely. However, as always when using the blower, the end result looked wonderful.
Tomorrow is all about clearing more care and herbaceous perennials and cultivating! We have a lovely week this week, with only two full days of work. On Wednesday we have another practical day at college, after which we will be heading to a pub (outdoors, of course) to wave goodbye to this year as a class. Then, Laurence and I have a pub quiz and are taking Thursday off to finish one of our other projects – a Christmas song! There’s a lot to be excited about.