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Thursday, 2 July 2009

The grass isn't always greener...

The first “we’re going to lose our deposit” moment came around about the time I installed the bath on the terrace. I was convinced that the weight of the soil would cause the roof to cave in… fingers crossed but so far so good.

The second “we’re going to lose our deposit” moment was a lot less hypothetical and a little more serious. The rabbits outgrew the first hutch we bought them within a matter of minutes… ok it was a fortnight but it felt like minutes to my wallet. Their new hutch is the granddaddy of all hutches. There’s an upstairs where they live, eat and sleep, and a downstairs where they frolic and play. The downstairs goes directly onto the decking. It took me a while to realise what they were doing… as if chewing their hutch up wasn’t enough for them, the cheeky things had started chewing the terrace up as well. A small part of me believes that I’ll be able to cover it up with some wood stain; a large part of me knows that that this is false belief.

The last “we’re going to lose our deposit” moment was four days ago and went along these lines: “Oh f$%k”.

I was knelt on the top level of the terrace gazing fondly at the new tomatoes that are starting to appear and then I saw it. It’s a fairly common sight so it took me a while to take it in.

Saw it, registered it, brain starts to process it, brain trips up, brain reports back that something is a little unusual, saw it. Four blades of grass, boldly standing there on my terrace.

What’s wrong with grass? I’ll tell you what’s wrong with grass shall I? My garden is a roof terrace with WOODEN DECKING, and wooden decking my dear friends is no place for grass.

I pulled one blade up. Got temporarily distracted by the grass seed… it really was amazing. The blade made a satisfying “pop” sound as it came up and still attached to one end was a wonderful, succulent grass seed.

Now I always remember grass seed to be quite seed-y, whereas this, well this was positively pip-y. I pulled the next blade up and the next and the next, and with a “pop” each one told the same story. Lush green stem, approximately 20 centimetres long, each attached to a juicy pip like seed.

How did this happen? Evidently fairly easily. My hunch is that every time I cleaned the first hutch out, a small amount of old bedding (hay) and rabbit droppings (poo) had fallen between the gaps in the decking. Now I’m a little hazy on the science bit but my assumption is that the hay we were using wasn’t thoroughly “cleaned” of its spores, and the dark, damp environment underneath the decking was the perfect condition for the rabbit droppings to decay into manure. Chuck in a bit of warm weather and rain, and lo and behold, four blades of grass appear.

Short of tearing up the terrace I now have no idea how I’m going to clear the rest of the hay out from underneath it. If I’m really unlucky, I may end up with a lawn to rival Wimbledon’s….

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Anonymous said...

I'm telling....

Anna said...

brilliant! You are pioneering a green roof.

anna m said...

this is so cool! bring it on all round london! i ate our first cherry toms last week, yey!
keep these posts coming, they're ace. xxx