I've seen well kept gardens on the television and on LiveLeak folks will upload something that has become known as a 'Gardensay' where they show off the fruits of their green fingered labours for the enjoyment of all (well, all who enjoy gardening I guess). I don't watch them personally because my ideal garden would be concrete slabs as far as the eye can see, perhaps with the odd dandelion growing through the gaps here and there for eye candy.
The thing is, we now live in our small house in the suburbs which has, for want of a better phrase, a garden which is apparently ideal for Junior. Thing is, the garden was looking a bit the worse for wear on account of whoever lived here before us had a penchant for stamping around in size 43 boots smothered in some kind of grass killer. That's how it appeared to me anyway. And what lawn was left was fast approaching jungle status and was down to about ten percent grass with a strong nettle component. Mrs Hewitt decided it was time something was done, for some unknown reason she gave me the task.
Now, I don't have anything against gardening as such but the last time I pushed a lawn mower I was eight years old and it was my grandfathers push along rotary mower. Even that ended in disaster when I ran through a large cat shit that was hiding in the grass. Needless to say that thirty four years later I'm still as outdoorsy as a chintz sofa and this was looking complicated.
My adventure began at the mecca of all incredibly dull people, B&Q. The DIY superstore is stocked to the rafter with 1000's of objects I have absolutely no interest in such as spanners and bits of wood. Surely this would be the place to buy the tools which would help tranform our small patch of land into something like Kew Gardens. After ten minutes I realised this was a huge error, not only did I find myself struggling to concentrate given my lack of interest I was being bothered by some odd chap in an apron who decided the best way to encourage me would be to actually talk about lawn mowers. It took half an hour for the wife to rouse me from the coma he induced and he was still talking. I caught vague phrases about cutting heights and the like but mostly I couldn't quite take it in, his voice becoming a nasal drone in the background. At some point I wondered off, I should think he's still talking.
Seeing as the serious DIY shop was clearly a bust I headed to Argos and bought a mower and a strimmer without so much as a grunt of acknowledgment from the undereducated pimple farm on the till, this was more like it! I still had my leaf blower / hoover thing from months back which I decided would be safe now as the turd I'd hoovered up and mulched successfully would doubtless be dry by now so, in my mind, I was all set. Back home with my purchases I was ready to be the man of the house. The garden would be a picture of green striped perfection and I would gaze on its magnificence, brew in hand, with pride in my eyes much to the acclaim of my family.
Okay, it didn't pan out like that. After four hours of grotesque manual labour I was left in our kitchen covered from head to toe in some kind of fine green mist and bits of
stinging nettle. The fence surrounding our modest garden looked like it had been in a fight with an angry lawn shark due to my rather enthusiastic use of a strimmer and the lawn looked akin to someone with an unfortunate case of alopecia. In short, it wasn't quite the success the images on the boxes my new tools came in promised. The wife isn't terribly impressed but Junior was most overjoyed at being able to ride his little electric trike round in circles collecting grass and debris on the wheels.
In short, gardening is not for me. I'm hearing rumours I will have to repeat this process in a couple of weeks but I'm doing my utmost to ignore them.