Possibly because I’ve been doing a little bit more each clement day, but I was able to make a big push late yesterday morning and into the late afternoon, finally to finish off the last sections of our 50m of hedgerows. These hedgerows form small rooms around the garden, and when their ungainly tall shoots from last year waved about in the breeze, it all felt like an abandoned project, rather.
But now it’s trim and tidy. No fossil fuel has been consumed in this exercise, and I’m fitter already too. All the little birds chattered in some agitation as I pushed my way to the top, but they settled down when they realised that the feeders were freshly filled. Soon it will be nesting time, and we won’t want to disturb the hedgerows then. As my friend in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania says, it will very soon be a bird hotel!
And I shall move on to other heavy gardening jobs. There’s all of Plough’s poos to collect from the front field, to be mulched and spread over the new potato patch before inserting the new seed potatoes. There’s the polytunnel to clear of last year’s debris. Quite a lot of effort, and if I hadn’t got the hedges trimmed by today, I was going to be off schedule. But now I’m ready to move forward: the heavy jobs beckon, and I’m feeling better about a more sustained effort now.
I’m happy to feel good about this effort, because I know it’s honest and true. But while so much despair is pervading all of the news, any personal delight also feels smug somehow. I don’t know how best to help in the Ukraine crisis, but perhaps from this vantage point the thing that can make the most difference is on the financial front. The British Red Cross has set up an emergency Ukraine fund which is actively seeking donations.
After all, what point tidy hedges when the world is burning? And yet, at the moment here, life does go on.