February starts thankfully with drizzle and rain. Phew! My big February project is to hand weed about seven hundred Hazelnut trees in the orchard - but not in the rain, thanks very much!

 Freshly weeded.
Junior Hazelnut Tree

Wednesday 4th February

I have just hand weeded one row of Hazelnut trees. Hmm... it was quite difficult, and my digger seemed to be far too blunt. On my return to the house, struggling through the long grass on the lawns, I picked some teenage courgettes (if I call them marrows nobody will eat them). It's crazy - I've been away from the garden for five days and everything has burst into growth. It has been quite rainy and humid, apparently. Today I will attempt to regain some control (it's interesting how the long grass makes everything look out of control - perhaps some subtle hinting at lawn mowing is needed).

For a usually raving and rambling gardener I seem to have little more to say. I will attack another tree row after lunch. This is more like farming than gardening I guess.


I only managed a quarter of a row - had to retire when the rain came down. This serious weeding is not to my liking - it has been left too long, and the clover roots are tenacious. Tomorrow I will do better.

Thursday 5th February

Right! It's 8 am and I am almost ready to weed a Hazelnut row. I have set myself a goal - one row per day - which means I'll be finished in about a month. Then I'd like to repeat the weeding - my vast experience of hand weeding in the Moosey garden tells me it's so much easier the second time.

Cat on the Mower :
But then I would be responsible for the on-going maintenance of the machinery...

Now we have a tractor (yippee!) it will be easier to keep the grass in the new orchard cut and tidy. I have decided that as a semi-retired gardener I should learn to drive the lawn mower and the tractor. Farmer Moosey? - sounds like a character in a story book. I draw the line at operating the chainsaw, though. Piano players do not do chain-sawing.


I weeded in two sessions of over an hour each. I haven't got very far!

Friday 6th February

Yippee! I am up early, ready to tackle some more Hazelnut trees. The lawns are to be mowed, so there will be edges for me to do as well. There is a certain calmness in repetition - no need to rush, or bend over uncomfortably speeding down the row. The weeding of Hazelnut trees is an extremely boring topic to write about, though...

 I have quite a lot of weeding to go.
The Hazel Orchard Summer in February 2004

One hour later I have decided that the weeding of Hazelnut trees is a very boring thing to do, as well as write about.

+10I did get Jerome for cat company, but she was far too nosy - her poking paws coming perilously close to my (too blunt) hand digger. I've seen a few small geckos and small spiders of every possible drab colour there is.

Rather a lot of hours later...

I've been weeding and doing edges in the Willow Tree Garden. Then I did return bravely to the dreaded Hazelnuts. Only eight more trees have been carefully weeded. I am too hot, so have retired inside to contemplate a continuous rotation of Hazelnut weedings. Eek! Will I ever want to eat or cook with the things?