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deckchairWhen you enjoy gardening as much as I do, it's a rare thing to find yourself putting off routine outdoor tasks. Which is why, this week, when I found myself yet again looking for excuses to avoid cleaning up an overgrown raised bed at the bottom of the section, I knew it had to be something big that was standing in the way of activity. Still, it wasn't until I was well into the work, and had tossed onto the tarpaulin I'd laid out on the ground an alarmingly large load of greenery, that I realised why I had been unconsciously dreading this otherwise satisfying job.

My compost bins, permanent structures at the top of our sloping section, were a good 25 metres uphill from where I was working. In my younger days, I wouldn't have blinked twice at carrying greenery in huge forks full to the bins, or even gathering the compostable material in a tarpaulin and heaving it across my back. I've no doubt that I could still manage such physical endeavours but at 54 years of age, I know very well that if I do, I'll have to give up another hour in the garden, as well as relinquish my daily run, in order to recover from the exertion! I regarded the task I really didn't want to undertake, and considered calling my husband to assist but, reluctant to disturb his completion of our almost-overdue GST returns, not to mention the vacuuming, I thought better of it!

Then, as I stood contemplating my dilemma, a light suddenly went on in my head, supplying me with a ridiculously simple answer to the solution. If the mountain would not come to Mohammad, Mohammad must come to the mountain. Lucky enough to have an empty black plastic compost bin in the wings, I dug it out from around the back of the chook house and plonked it down on a level section of the garden I had just cleared. I chopped up the tarpaulin-full of greenery, stuffed it into the bin and jumped up and down on it. Now, two weeks on, I'm enjoying watching the steam slip out from under the lid as the lovely mess of decaying vegetation slowly turning into delicious compost. Even better, I'm looking forward to having the mature compost right where I want it come spring time without having to wheel barrow it from the big bins!

As we grow older, or simply find ourselves too busy to manage our gardens as we once did, it's good to know that there are smarter ways of working if we look for them. Right now, I'm now turning my attention to my barrels of liquid manure. I've decide to add a couple more to my collection to minimise the distance over which I have to travel with heavy watering cans. And if this late summer sun keeps shining, I may also position a couple of deckchairs in strategic spots for a well-earned sit-down between gardening jobs!

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