Six on Saturday – Urgente Opus Prioritas

1st August 2020.

My Six on Saturday this Saturday features six tasks that need doing. All were in my garden yesterday, they’re there today too, and all will need doing soon. There’s too much for just one day. Matter of fact, chun an fhírinne a rá, some have been there as ugly eyesores for the past thirty-something years. I now create this numerically ordered alphabetical to-do list and will revisit it shortly to prioritise the six items, most likely non-alphabetically.

Alphabetical Ugly Eyesores:

  1. Climbers to be secured to the unvarnished fence (different from 4 below).
  2. Gable end to be planted up.
  3. Fence behind glasshouse to be completed as soon as I get myself into size 38 trousers.
  4. Oiltank to be camouflaged.
  5. Tree-stump to be removed, once certification is in place.
  6. Wall behind rhubarb to be upgraded to “less annoying”.

Here are my six this week, in no particular order:

Hiding the ugly plastic oil tank will be my number one priority if it rises to the top of the prioritisation process, as I feel it will. I know exactly the way I intend to do it and when it’s finished, the ugly plastic oiltank will be hidden from view. That’s the whole point. It’s on the way to being a top priority.

The gable end of the shed is just crying out for some climbing plants. I’ll somehow need to attach something to it that will enable plants to climb. Of course, additionally, I’ll need to plant a plant or two, preferably climbers. Instructions will be added to their DNA to stop growing as soon as they reach shed height. It’s an unusual form of genetic modification which is purely cosmetic, called SWSHIR. (As Gaeilge: SNASBAB).

We completed 20 metres of new fencing last month to hide the ugly wall, and there now remains but a very short ugly section behind the glasshouse. The plan is for me to lose lots of inches from my waist in order to get at it. This project is urgent, yet it may be put on the long finger until completion of all other projects has depleted me sufficiently.

The rhubarb is growing wildly, but the bare wall is beyond annoying. Both are unconnected. After thirty-two years, it’s time to put the wall on a project list. I’m hoping this little job beag will be completed along with hide-the-oil-tank, at which point I intend to move the rhubarb back to its base.

The stump of Meabh’s beech tree remains. Recently, I thought of trying to make a little seat of it, but I’m doing an online lumberjack certification course, so I hope to demolish it completely, right down to ground level. Items required, according to my online tutor: sledgehammer, metal wedge and some Saxa salt.

This unvarnished fence gives us great privacy and there are a few climbers on it. However, they hang precariously on thin wire. A more secure method of securing them would bring me great relief. I would welcome suggestions. This item may sink to the bottom of the list until such time as sufficient suggestions are received and evaluated. I ndáiríre, it might never happen.

That’s my story this week. Sin mó scéal. If you would like to read garden updates from other Six On Saturday participants, you may do so over at JP’s garden. The stories, unlike this one, are generally about lovely flowers and favourite plants written by lovely people.

Urgente Opus Prioritas

“It’s in Latin.”
“So? What does it say?”
“I don’t read Latin!”
“You’re kidding. I thought all geniuses read Latin. Isn’t that the international language for smart people?

Rachel Caine, Glass Houses (The Morganville Vampires)

It’s a Bank Holiday weekend here in Ireland. This article was pre- prepared and scheduled to auto-post, because I figured that I’d have a small bank-holiday hangover be on my annual retreat. After many months of lockdown, we had hoped to have friends over for some wine and a chinwag, together with liberal lashings of hand-sanitiser. Instead, Thursday’s events meant that plans got knocked on the head! Anyways, ar aon nós, wherever you are I do hope you have a joyful and fulfilling weekend, and to bring you more joy, here among my Six Ugly Eyesores, is my lovely sister’s mallow.

If you are hesitant to comment on any of the above ugly eyesores or the pretty mallow, here are some prompts you may find helpful:

  • What’s your favourite holiday weekend?
  • Have you completed your lumberjack course? No? What about other practical ones?
  • I’d be honoured to attempt a reply to a non-English-language comment. Oui, certainment! No Latin please.

This Six on Saturday was largely composed in hospital after a heavy bang to the head yesterday. Apparently, no kitchen tiles were damaged and, although I was tempted to show my consultant a final draft of this as some proof that upstairs was still functioning, I waited for official discharge on purely medical grounds. I’m back gardening today, and spending some time reading other lovely garden Sixes.

Pádraig,

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  1. Chris Mousseau

    I think your head’s connection to your kitchen floor may have been a good thing. I’m so happy you (and your doctor) don’t think any serious damage was done, but it’s obviously sharpened your wit while at the same time knocking some sense into you: garden chores should ALWAYS come before garden beauty. Lumberjacking, oil tank and ugly wall camouflage, garden carpentry….ALL are So Much More urgent than humongous dahlia foliage, trays and trays of nasturtium, timidly unfurling gladioli and rhubarb scones. For example. 🙂

    1. Pádraig

      There will be Dahlia days ahead, Chris. Not entirely sure about rhubarb scones, though. Is that part of your Six? I have it on my reading list for later.

  2. They’re the sorts of tasks I’d keep putting off. I too have spindly wires for climbing plants. I keep meaning to swap them for thicker wires before the climbers get going properly and changing the wires becomes even trickier. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe not. Good luck with the DNA programming for the shed climbers!

    1. Pádraig

      Welcome to Procrastinators International! We are more alike than previously thought.

  3. Paddy Tobin

    Tell the truth: who composes the to-do lists? Here, it is the head gardener who “guides” me!

    1. Pádraig

      It is what it is, Paddy. Accepting of guidance is a key element of cozy survival! In my case, I do seem to be able to prompt items to the HG, and they return to me prioritised for me! All is well in the world of…

      1. Paddy Tobin

        Given your now diminished capacities I think you will be in need (i.e. receive) greater direction in your work.

        1. Pádraig

          Error of my ways! Tis the story if my life.

  4. fredgardener

    Why don’t you cut the tree stump to the ground with a chainsaw? And then lower it little by little with the sledgehammer ?
    Another solution : doing like me. I kept one about at 40cm high, cut perfectly straight with a chainsaw, and I put a large pot on it with summer flowers.

    1. Pádraig

      Both are very sensible solutions. But… I broke chainsaw when taking the tree down. 😩 Also, it’s directly in front of composts heaps so it is in the way of the wheelbarrow.
      I’m informed that I’m currently operating with diminished capacity so perhaps a review next week is in order!

    1. Pádraig

      Yes indeed, Barbara. I’ll try to be sensible for a change!

  5. You certainly have a impressive list of chores to do! Glad you are alright after the fall. Good luck tackling hose chores!

    1. Pádraig

      Thank you, a chara. Chores can wait! It’s holiday weekend here.

  6. I wonder can you get to the other end of where the fence is supposed to be behind the greenhouse? If so, you could perhaps mount the rest of the fence on two further battens, setting the fence pieces slightly lower, then you could balance the new section on top of the existing battens (with the ends tucked behind the existing fence, and fix it only at the end you can reach until (1) you reach your goal waist size or (2) you move the greenhouse 😀

    1. Pádraig

      You can wonder away, a chara. Only a woman would organise me like that! Heaven forbid that my wife reads your suggestion.

  7. March Picker

    Sorry to hear about you banging your head! You have accomplished a great deal in your garden and now maybe need to take a break. Too bad the time with friends has been postponed. We all have unsightly garden areas, but only the bravest reveal them. We do quite a bit of lumberjacking here and know the toll it takes!

    1. Pádraig

      Yes, it’s time to take things easy. I’ll extend the long weekend a bit further. It really is a good time of the year to sit back and relax.
      Go easy on that lumberjacking! I’m told it takes its toll!

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