Well that is a bit of a stretch… I got half a day in a weak sun which spent most of the day hiding behind clouds. It could have been worst – it could have been raining or even worst – being stuck inside all day, again. So as soon as I was able, I had my gumboots on and disappeared into the garden.
Sort of bewildered by all the options available that would keep me busy in the garden; I did a bit of a wander around while completely overcome by an inability to make a decision. Then I gave myself a stern talking to and made myself do something – anything and I grabbed the nearest thing to me at the time.
Luckily this was the sweet peas. They had been sitting out on the deck, hardening up, changing their namby pamby greenhouse ways in preparation for the big wide world. They had had long enough, it was their time to stretch their roots and feel the real soil beneath their toes. But I had to clear away weeds first. This was the first bit of ‘proper’ gardening I’d done in about a month and it felt good. I chipped a nail and although I have washed my hands several times there is a faint trace of stubborn dirt that won’t come off. Sarah the Gardener is gardening again and life is good!
But the sweet peas didn’t take all that long so I was soon back to the conundrum of what to do next. I have several large projects and loads of little ones. But when I went into the greenhouse to find some cheeky mouse had dug up my spinach seeds and sucked out the innards, I knew this behaviour couldn’t be tolerated.
I am my own worst enemy. I found baby mice in my shed before we went away. They were living in a nest in my stored potatoes. Instead of dealing to them in a sensible manner, I reluctantly chucked away the spuds and made a new nest for the five babies; hoping mum would find them and take them somewhere else. My weakness was entirely down to the fact that the teeny tiny baby mice were sooo cute! So off we went where I naively hoped that the mum would rehome her family somewhere other than my shed.
She didn’t. And those five mice grew and partied like teenagers without parental supervision. Can you even begin to imagine how much mess five mice can make in a garden shed? They had eaten as many seeds as they could find, nibbled holes in all my potting mix, compost and other soil bags, dragged all the soil out and built a mountain in the middle of the floor. They had turned all my string in something resembling fleece, they had left little parcels on every flat surface available. They had even shredded the bottom of a couple of my seed trays! Seriously my shed was a mess!
So I slowly and carefully removed everything from the shed including anything remotely edible, washing it all in a bleach solution to try and get rid of the smell. I may have gone overboard because I even washed the walls and the floor! Once the place was mostly empty I came across their little corner. The little monkeys had even done some creative carving to make the space their own. A little bit of mouse interior design. That just made me mad. No one eats my walls! But I’m not so cold hearted that I didn’t give them another chance. As soon as I disturbed them – they were off. Mice can move fast! I’m not sure how many I saw as they were zipping all over the place making counting impossible. I managed to get two and put them in a tall bucket they couldn’t get out of, and I took them over to the compost heap – although I’m not sure that was a good idea either. I hunted high and low in the shed and couldn’t find any more mice, so I did what I didn’t really want to do… I carefully put all my gardening gear back and I put bait down. I also put some in the greenhouse. Hopefully this will be the end of it. The lesson has been learnt: give mice an inch and they will take a mile.
For dinner we had, carrots, leeks and kale – fresh from the garden. Yummo!
Come again soon – the weather forecast is promising one of those blue sky winter days.
Sarah the Gardener : o )