Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ed Robinson Column

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ed Robinson Column

Article excerpt

Byline: By Ed Robinson

Country life can be trying. To survive it a persistent sense of humour is essential. It must be able to shine through all adversity, especially where gardens are concerned.

Richard, Sue and their family of two sons and two daughters moved into the area some years ago when they bought a large house with gardens and woodland.

Sue was the gardener and she tackled the work with enthusiasm. Richard had less interest in horticultural matters and contented himself with the complete renewal of the front lawn. It took time, effort and money, but Richard was happy. Of course, being surrounded by fields and woods had its problems. The trees offered convenient perches for the woodpigeons to look down at the menu and choose their lunch. Rabbits had free range. And badgers from a nearby sett were also regular visitors. It was a typical country garden.

Unfortunately, action had to be taken to preserve their vegetables and plants, and this is where Richard's prowess with a shotgun played a leading role. The wiser cushats soon declared Richard's airspace a no-fly zone and kept their distance; others paid the price. However, the rabbits were obstinate and stood their ground. Extra measures were needed and two sons were recruited. Nevertheless, with both shotgun and .22 rifle, it was some time before the numbers were reduced to an acceptable level. Badgers please themselves, and Richard knew it, so he devised a cunning plan to let them ( and it worked. And all was well for a while. The first year's efforts in the garden were best seen the following spring and summer. Great strides had been made in the herbaceous borders, but they would take years to mature. By comparison the front lawn was a short term job and was looking well. Richard was proud ( and pleased ( until he looked out one morning and exclaimed: "Sue! …

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