In this modern age of gardening with every conceivable gadget available it is nice to remember that a large part of any good garden maintenance is pottering.
At Pig Row I potter, due not to my disability, though that does make you lean towards pottering but because we garden on a slope. There is roughly a ten foot drop from the top of the garden to the bottom which precludes the use of heavy machinery. It would be laughable to bring a rotovator on to our site, it would simply till its way down the hill and fall into the cloister in a mangled mess. Therefore, today I have pottered to the shed and in my own way, which involved throwing things out of the shed and then stacking them again, I have pottered my shed clean.
There is nothing more satisfying than an organised shed. A well organised shed is rather anal and means you will never have the delight of finding those secateurs you thought you'd lost and then went out and bought a new pair only to discover the old pair. No gardener can have too many secateurs. I know, even after tidying up the shed, that I am still missing a pair that will one day surface once more, and I will be delighted to see them. We do have two power tools on Pig Row, a petrol strimmer for the orchard and petrol hedge trimmer. These are jobs you can still potter in but only whilst holding a petrol powered tool. After clearing the shed, the skies turned blue and it seemed a good time to potter off and do some weeding. The new berry bed by the utility shed has been over run by grass. It was time to clear, tie in the growth and revel in how these wonderful plants from the independent nursery, RV Roger, have grown well in their first year.
What a difference thirty minutes of pottering makes. The beds are clear and the Himalayan Giant Blackberry and Japanese Wineberry are tied in. The Japanese Wineberry we saw at Heligan and fell in love with the size of it, we asked the gardener there where they had purchased it and this is where we learnt of RV Roger in Pickering. Never has a nursery been so helpful. This rampant berry gives heavy crops but it is its stems that are breathtaking, a blood red thrown into relief against the acid green of the foliage.
This berry over the coming years will romp across this fence and the Utility Shed.
Pottering is infectious, and we have been joined by our new journey gardener, Jenny. One evening of pottering between potatoes and weeds made her muddy and happy.
Get out in your garden and potter. If you want to see what good pottering can do to a garden, watch this video of the late Christopher Lloyd and his garden at Great Dixter.