Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Calling Gardener's Question Time

NUMBER THREE IN AN OCCASIONAL AND RELUCTANT SERIES Anyone mildly familiar with Works Well knows I am temperamentally unsuited to gardening. Physiologically too. My pendant stomach gets trapped between my rib-cage and my thighs; I cut a poor figure among the blooms.

But to earn sight of the rugby this afternoon I was honour-bound to garden this morning. To dig out a clump of rampant marguerites I reached for the fork but I don’t know why. Forks simply bend in the face of hard toil – a bit like me. Useless. Then I remembered the narrow-blade spade I’ve already blogged about. Unlike its bigger brother it doesn’t bite off more than it can excavate. And it’s more agile when delivering the vertical thrusts that chop the subject into manageable squares.

The marguerites (I refused my wife’s first explanation of what I’d done; even by my standards digging out daisies sounds like pie’s-ball work) are now in the green bag and my heart rate is down into the low hundreds. But someone tell me – what are forks for?

PLUS A BONUS And perhaps I needn’t wait for post-mortem paradise to be rewarded for my horticultural efforts. Remember the Cote de Beaune Villages bought in the 1990s to decorate the French house? Opened a few minutes ago, it poured out light brown, had an encouraging citrousy bouquet and tasted… like burgundy! My wife who’d agreed to taste it after I’d done so (no fool she) upped her thumb too and it’s going into a daube.

9 comments:

Relucent Reader said...

Here in Dogpatch, we use 'forks to turn compost piles, for mucking out stalls,etc. It is ideal for throwing clots of tangled hay and dung.I have also used it in bush rootball removal, though a short D- handled pitchfork might be better .
I rely on the pictured d-handle spade for the clay soil here. I am not a gardener;I dig as directed. I enjoy those fatigue details.

Barrett Bonden said...

Unlike you, I succumb to fatigure details. With the exception of root-ball removal those all sound like suitable, comparatively light-duty tasks for a fork.

Ah, Dogpatch. But that must mean somewhere around there's a Joe Bftsplk. A terrifying character.

herhimnbryn said...

Turning compost and then when it is ready, digging it into the garden.

Barrett Bonden said...

So, on the whole, light work. As I suspected a fork isn't much cop for anything that requires leverage.

Occasional Speeder said...

I sold my soul for a lie in yesterday. I then had to remove 14 small but wildly thorny rose bushes. Couldn't dig them up - too "root bound". Have to kill first before removing anything underneath the surface. Resorted to sawing them at the bottom, Took over two hours. Now have trapped sciatica nerve and cannot sit for longer than an hour at a time. Next time I'll be getting up with the toddler...

Occasional Speeder said...

Forgot to add that it must have been worth it anyway as you were able to see the French "struggle" with rugby!

High Horse said...

Perhaps you can pass on your digging tips and recommended spade / fork to the French rugby team to help them dig themselves out of the mess they created yesterday!

Julia said...

I thought forks were for digging fortresses in sand before the tide comes in. Or searching for clams, if you're short and haven't graduated to a rake yet.

This post gives our window box an auror of glamour and ease. Thank you for that!

Barrett Bonden said...

OS/HH: After lengthy domination by France and Wales a breakthrough occurred in the early eighties when England beat France in Paris. I was ski-ing in Switzerland and read the account in L'Equipe. The French reporters adopted a tone worthy of Waterloo. Since then, I've treated myself to French reportage on similar occasions, seeking out the weaselly excuses - usually that the Welsh, Scottish or Australian (!) ref favoured the UK. How little they know.

But this time the L'Equipe website was quite, quite different. No excuses; everyone (writers and contributing readers) said the French had been thrashed. One player went further, confessed to having been fessé. Since I knew fesse meant buttocks I wondered whether he was admitting to sexual violation. In a way he was; spanked on the bot-bot is what he meant.

Julia: When I quahogged on Misquamicut Beach, Rhode Island, I used my toes.