Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Hard Labour

As one whose maxim when it comes to manual work around the house is “let’s get a man in” I was somewhat outside my comfort zone yesterday when I volunteered to remove a shrub in Sarah’s garden. We’re up in St Andrews for a couple of birthdays – it’s Sarah’s today and Rose’s on Saturday and when we are here we like to spend a bit of time helping out Sarah and Duncan with things that need doing.

The shrub in question looked like a hydrangea but we aren’t sure exactly what it was. Suffice to say it was pretty big. I started digging at just after noon.

By 1 o’clock I had excavated a small channel around the base.

An hour later we had decided that we were no longer going to try and replant it anywhere so I had trimmed the foliage down and managed to extend the trench to expose most of the roots.

Another hour passed and I used to a crowbar to loosen the soil between the roots and then with my back to the fencepost finally managed to use my legs to push the remains of the shrub backwards and forward until the last of the roots gave way. Throughout the three hours of digging I was accompanied by a mother and baby blackbird feasting on the worms I was turning up. If you look at this photo closely you’ll see the mother inspecting the work.

I just managed to heave out the root ball. It was the size of a small tree stump.

Finally I shovelled the mound of excavated earth back into the hole and the job was finished. I was pleased with the outcome. At about four hours of digging it’s the most manual labour I’ve done in ages but I’m not converted. Next time something like this needs doing at home I think we’ll get a man in.

Today it’s a big adventure. Duncan’s taking Sarah away for her birthday and we’re looking after Rose at the caravan. It’s Rose’s first ever night away from Sarah and Duncan and I hope that she has a great time and her mum and dad enjoy their break.