Work in Progress

It’s been incredibly difficult to get someone to help in the garden and I thought I’d solved the problem when the retired gardener in the village agreed to come and sort out our jungle.

He came a few times in May and cut the grass but, despite the fact that I thought I’d expressed my views on weedkiller and Round-up in particular quite strongly, he sprayed the stuff all around and killed off the raspberry canes and devastated what was the vegetable patch. Now I wouldn’t want to eat anything that might grow there.

veg patch

All through June there was no sign of him. If I phoned he would say “I’ll come next week” but then it would rain and so I’d assume he wouldn’t come – and he didn’t. Then it was too hot to work outside especially as he has been told to take it a bit easier due to his health.

All this time I looked around for someone else to ask and finally, the physio gave me the phone number of a retired couple who do his garden. Of course, I couldn’t just take on someone else without sorting it out with the other chap first so I phoned him again and said I had visitors coming in August and I’d like the garden to look less like a jungle. I explained that I hadn’t been able to cut the grass as I had suffered the last time I mowed the ‘lawn’. It hurt my feet to walk on the uneven ground.

He agreed to come and ‘faucher’. To me, that means literally to scythe, but I assumed he meant he’d use a kind of robust strimmer.

He turned up with a pair of shears!

“But you can’t cut the grass with those!”

“Oh, I thought you meant the ‘ronces’. I found out later that that means prickly weeds.

We looked at the garden together and he muttered something about using more roundup which led to a similar conversation concerning my views and he even ventured to agree with me. I tried to give him every opportunity to back out of doing the garden on health grounds but he insisted he had cut down his clients to just three, including me, so that put me in an awkward position.

However, I wasn’t sure how seriously he took me when i said I didn’t want him to use weedkiller again so I rang him before he came to make it clear how I felt.
I tried to be as polite and diplomatic as I could in a foreign language and at last, I think I got through.

He strimmed the grass then mowed it.


dug over an overgrown patch that use to be a flower bed:


planted some raspberry cuttings after digging over another patch:


made a start on clearing the terrace;terrace

And promised to come and clear up the rubbish on Friday. He will make a bonfire so maybe we can celebrate November 5th this year!

2 Responses to “Work in Progress”

  1. Z Says:

    We finally have help in the garden one day a week, it’s made such a difference. I also have a 15-year-old boy who comes along – he isn’t great at sticking to the task, but he does take some pride once he’s completed a job, so I have hopes of him.

  2. sablonneuse Says:

    Yes, it’s good to havea bit of help, especially if you’re a useless gardenener like me.
    Unfortunately the gardener has not turned up today . . . . . . . .

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