By: Blonde Two

I don’t know if you have ever employed a gardener.  I haven’t but I was employed as one for a while – I would describe it as a rewarding but tiring occupation.  Most people want their garden tidied once a month or so with lawn mowing maybe more often.  My Uncle Norm, however is perfectly happy for me to come and do his once a year.

As you can imagine, this is an odd type of gardening experience.  I plant things and move them around but don’t get to see most of them flowering.  Norm and I have developed an most excellent system of working together over the last few years.  I chop things down and he picks them up with the ATV farm thingy and trailer (sadly there is no longer a quad bike here).  If there are big things (and I mean big things like whole trees) to chop down, we swap roles – Norm plays with the chain saw and I pick bits up.

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The best and most fun part comes when we have got fed up with chopping and picking up.  Then we drive off with all the rubbish to one paddock or another with a bag of diesel soaked rags and a box of matches and play bonfires.  Norm knows how much I love bonfires and usually saves me something excellent to burn.  This year he really came up trumps and we had huge piles of dried bamboo to provide hours of fun.

When your garden is over an acre big, you have to look upon gardening chores in a slightly different way to the UK suburban gardener.  You have to chop big, transport big and you have to burn big.  If your bonfire is not behaving then you have to bring in the really big guns and stomp on it with the tractor.

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We had amazing fun today but are quite smoked out and smelly now.  The best thing about a bamboo based bonfire is the noise.  Bamboo stems have sealed chambers and as each one expands in the heat, it makes a loud popping noise – kind of like a home made firework display.  I saved a few of the larger stems to make something exciting with – I am not quite sure what yet but Norm has already chopped them to neat lengths with his table saw for me.  Watch this bamboo design space!

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As well as being smelly, I am a bit achy now but the good news is that there is a sauna here and a very good gin and tonic service!