It’s the first week in December so the daylight hours are short. By 3 pm it gets harder to see what I’m doing and by 4 pm it is almost dark. My memory plays tricks though because I’m sure it didn’t used to get so dark so early a few years ago.

There is a cunning plan which could help us carry on another few years. There is an organisation called the Women’s Farm and Garden Association. The idea is to place a trainee gardener with an experienced gardener for a whole year for 2 days a week. This can suit people who are maybe a bit more mature and who want a career change. They tend to have a certain amount of knowledge already but, more importantly, a lot of enthusiasm. The trainee would learn all aspects of gardening and would also gain more information about plants/plant names/planting/transplanting and more. For me to have some regular help would be an enormous bonus and might help get more jobs done. Right now there is a tendency to ignore some areas of the garden because there’s not enough time to get everything done. Once the year is done the trainee might want to set up their own business doing garden maintenance or may prefer to work on an estate or at a National Trust property where they would need to have had a certain amount of experience. While I’m waiting patiently for the right person to turn up I am making lists of things we could do together. The lists are quite long.

There can be no denying that to make a start on a job which has needed doing for at least five years is quite a satisfying feeling. The job I’d been avoiding was to dig over a border which has/had Geranium macrorrhizum doing a very good job as ground cover except that couch grass has got itself well established and the result has been a tatty, grassy mess for far too long. I’ve done about half so far and have potted up some of the geranium to replant when I’m reasonably sure that I’ve removed all those white grass roots. The ground needs some compost on it to help break up the clay soil. I forgot to say that this area is by the entrance to the site so it causes me some offence each time I go in and out. I’ll stop now to polish my halo!

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