Friday, 30 August 2013

My last week at Kew (Week 21, Tuesday to Friday)

I started the week thinking I would not manage to tackle the last bed any further than I had already done. It was supposed to rain and - because of the Summer Bank Holiday - the week was only four days long anyway, one of which was team day. My plan was therefore to concentrate on completing the stock-checking of all the rest, leaving any extra time I could find for the last bed.

Then, the first good news. I was allowed to carry on with my stock-checking on team day. It was the perfect, not-too-wet and quiet day, and I managed to sort all of the self-standing trees in the area.

And it did not rain, rather we had fantastic sunny days, so on Wednesday I asked for a skip and threw myself into the Cotoneaster. Literally. I did not manage to finish it all by Friday, but I did manage to complete what I had set out to achieve on Wednesday. There is now breathing space for all the plants in the bed, even though some of the mat-forming Cotoneaster was too tangled for me to take on.

My pacing was kept up by the lovely David, who supplied me with 3 skips a day on Wednesday and Thursday, and one more on Friday: I filled them all, and did not manage to finish until 2pm on my last day, and with hands slightly shaky. But then it was done.

When I started, this is how it looked.

Front of the bed (click to enlarge)

Back of the bed (click to enlarge)
By the end, this was it.

Front of the bed (click to enlarge)
Back of the bed (click to enlarge)
Two lovely Canadian visitors stopped to ask me what I was doing, and for suggestions on where to go in the gardens. I explained it was my last day and was giving the plants breathing space. Then talked to them about the IncrEdibles festival and the Palm House, the woodland glade with the Hydrangea in flower and the lake. They said I had been very helpful, they thought me really suited for this job and wished me luck...

... just in time for me to hear the engine of David's tractor, coming to take the last of my skips.

I felt such a sense of accomplishment: I think that might just come through in the picture I got posing with my last skip!

Everybody was great with me on my last day (which I had started feeling sad and tired): I got offered coffee and cookies, nice compliments all round, and even a pint!

Yes, because we all turned up at the pub - The Botanist that is - the regular Friday haunt, at the end of the day.

What a lovely lovely time I spent at Kew...

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