Weeds are just plants that you didn’t want. I’m not sure who said that, but it has stayed in the recesses of my mind – only to come to the fore again after the recent heavy rains on Mallorca. The plants – those we’d wanted – perked up considerably after a soaking, but there are also early signs of the plants we don’t want, that will blight our garden from autumn through until early next summer. The soil that was baked brown and rock-hard all summer, now has a just-visible green mantle: weeds. Oh joy.
But more annoying than the weeds growing around the plants we do want are the weeds that grow in the gravel path. And this year we’re determined to stop the blighters coming up.
Which is why I’ve been bringing out my inner navvy (who knew?). The Boss and I are in the process of renewing the path that leads down to the powerhouse – and I’m wielding the shovel.
The original gravel we put down was the Mallorcan sandstone known as mares. It was relatively inexpensive and therefore our first choice, given that we had plenty of other bills to pay at the time.
However, being sandstone, in the course of a few years that gravel had turned into . . . a beach! The cats loved it – rolling around contentedly in the stuff. The humans, meanwhile, were repeatedly treading it into the house. Something had to be done.
A material girl
So The Boss and I are in the process of scraping away all the sandstone, removing signs of any weeds-in-waiting, then laying down sheets of green material that I hope will prevent the weeds growing through (whilst allowing water to drain through). Then we’re covering these sheets with new gravel – proper stones this time.
It’s hard work. I’m currently the one wielding the shovel, moving stones from the back of the trailer to the ground. The Boss is on slightly lighter duties; he unfortunately sustained a hernia during a previous DIY exercise and soon goes into hospital to have all his bits pushed back into their correct place. I’m not complaining about the work: all the twisting and turning, wielding a stone-laden shovel can only be good for the waistline, can’t it?
The people in the DIY shop were very confident in the weed-proofing powers of the material we bought. I didn’t like to tell them that, six months after proper tarmac was laid down on the lane past our finca, weeds were sprouting defiantly through the black stuff . . .