Wednesday 1 May 2013

Two thirds of a day (Week 4, Wednesday)

This morning I woke up with a headache... so not a great start and one that would not put you in a good mood, then I went out and all was frosty, including the car windscreen: back to winter?

Luckily, gardening usually alleviates all my ailments and annoyances, so I headed into work rather full of hope. Learning to drive a Gator first thing was a good beginning of the work day: it's not a tractor yet, but at least now I am not always waiting for someone to carry me around, and I can help out when needed.

Then, we weeded Smyrnium: as I mentioned yesterday, that is going to be a regular feature of our days until it's gone. 

Thanks to the availability of a colleague, during our morning break, I had the opportunity to see a legendary plant at Kew, Ramosmania rodriguesii: only one plant was left in the wild, when a few cuttings were taken to Kew... and, after years of trying to propagate new plants from them our colleague Carlos succeeded and send some back to Rodrigues Island. You can read the whole fascinating story on Carlos' blog.

The rest of the morning we moved to the Japanese gateway (which incidentally looked gorgeous in the sun and with the red azaleas all in flower at the front, as you can see in the picture) to mow the lawn again.

My nature is rather impatient and frustration started to mount when my stripes were not straight, due to the rather uneven surface of the area combined with my still limited skills. It was noticeable - and in fact I was asked could I make them straighter? Of course, I would try: mowing had sorted my headache, so I pressed on and I think I managed a decent enough finish in the end, even though the stripes were definitely not perfectly straight.
That's a picture of how it came out.

Incidentally, while going to and fro I noticed that daisies did not get damaged by the mower much. It is pretty impressive how they manage to sense what is the mowing level, and to grow and flower just below it. Do they rely on the height of the lawn around them, maybe its shade?

How plants adapt to environmental factors is something we have been discussing this week, and I am interested to know more. Will have to research this a bit, but I am still adjusting to my new life and its patterns, and time and energy are not allocated in the most efficient way yet.

That was the end of my day, as I had the afternoon off to go and visit a nursery with a friend. A great experience, will talk about that separately.

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