The ground has been frozen hard now for almost two weeks, so things have been very quiet at the back of the yellow cottage. Baby James has not been very well, so we have not ventured out much at all. In the last few days, however, he has perked up at lot, and has found his lost appetite, so, a frosty, cold but sunny morning encouraged us out of our hibernation. The Head Gardener, now recovering from his slipped disc, was keen to clear out the garage (again) with a view to getting the Camper Van inside for the Winter. This is a job much like the painting of the Forth Bridge used to be (the garage is even the same colour), as so much stuff accumulates, and the space is too handy as a dumping ground. Anyway, HG, with BJ in tow set about the garage - filling the car up with 'stuff for the dump', so I wandered down the garden, secateurs in hand, with the idea of doing 'a little light pruning'. I love pruning, it is so satisfying cutting away the dead wood and twisted branches. Have been doing pruning indoors too this week - clearing away the piles of - stuff. I know I have used that word three times already, but there is no other word to describe it. Loaded car trip up to the Debra Charity shop - chosen because I could park right outside it, leave BJ in the car, while I lugged boxes of books, clothes and...stuff into the quite small shop.
So - pruning then. I wanted to prune the blackcurrants, which have been left to grow out of control a bit. Two bushes, in particular, were in need of a severe short back and sides. Lawrence D Hills recommends cutting half the bushes right down, and putting up with a reduced crop the following year, but then being able to manage them better. Same again with the rest, so in theory a fantastic crop should be enjoyed in two years time. Trouble is, the bushes most in need of shearing were the best cropping ones. In true interrupted style, however, I was just finishing massacring - sorry- manicuring the first bush, when HG appeared with a very tearful and cold looking BJ who wanted his Mummy. The other one gets it tomorrow.