WP_20151008_12_52_21_ProAfter just a few minutes weeding (in the Orangery Garden once more), Ed (one of the gardeners at Blickling) asked me if I’d like a change of role- to help Peter continue strimming (or ‘Whipper Snipping’ as they say in Australia).

I was easy either way, so went with him to be briefed on the safe use of a rather good strimmer, and to receive my safety mask and ear protectors. So far so good. The cord used in these machines is seriously tough (I think it is a metal cable sheathed in plastic), so will cut through some thick stems if needed.

You  might recall from my previous session that Peter had started to clear alongside the boundary hedge between the gardens and wider estate, some of which is set in the bottom of a ha ha (ditch). The idea was to clear a path alongside this hedge so that it can be easily trimmed. I began a stretch beside the Orangery and was soon impressed with the cutting power of the machine. However, I soon discovered that, strong though it is, the cable cutter was no match for the wire fence alongside the path and so I was left with a short length of cable!

It took a good few minutes to replace this (not before returning it to the workshop and putting the machine in a vice to enable the very short length of cable that remained to be pulled through and replaced).

It had been some time since I’d used a strimmer, but it soon became relatively easy – notwithstanding that the gap I was working in tapered dangerously close to a barbed wire fence (necessitating a diversion) and there were some thick saplings of sycamore and other species that had punched their way up through and alongside the hedge and required pruning off with secateurs. Still, I completed a reasonable stretch before ending for the day. There was also time for a quick look at the double borders, which maintain their floral splendour..

Oh, and just out of interest, the Urban Dictionary refers to Whipper- Snipping somewhat differently:

‘A snippet is a brief quotable passage. People who think in snippets are called ‘whipper-snippers.’

Women have a greater propensity to hear snippets and deduce from them because they have conversational skills that men don’t have and men tend to internalize and think about things differently.

While driving in a car:

Man: Oh! There’s that trading firm. I made millions off of them.

Woman: Williams!? What is that!? Williams!? Williams!? What is that!?!

Man: Williams!? What is Williams!? I said millions, ‘whipper-snipper.’ Where do you get ‘williams’ from ‘millions’ talking about a trading firm!?’

Further Information:

Blickling Hall website

Blickling Hall Facebook page

A 360 degree tour of Blickling Hall

Old School Gardener

 

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