One thing that was not stinted on in the initial design of this garden in the 1920’s was steps. There are steps in ranks of 10 or more and there are single and double versions. Sometimes there is one step down, a short length of flat and then one step up. There are high steps and low steps and some in between, straight steps, steps at right angles or around corners, shiny new Baz steps and old crumbling character steps. Transporting anything from a to b can be a challenge, when that something is a 8ft banana plant it becomes a comedy. I can honestly say that hysterical laughter is not conducive to efficient barrow manoeuvring.
Through necessity our terrain has ensured that we have achieved advanced level wheelbarrowing skills. Unlike my training in straight line mowing (some might say highly inadequate) we had no wheelbarrow training at college. Tractors – yes, wheelbarrows – no. Now I consider myself to be in the Extreme Barrower category (self-appointed) the only level higher being Ninja Barrower. Sometimes we have to lift the barrows up steps, one of us on the handles, one on the wheel, we bump them down and drag them up. We have also been known to partake in synchronised barrowing. Now then Sir Seb there’s an idea for a new olympic sport, we could always do it in our bikinis like the beach volleyballers if that helps.
Of course aesthetically they are lovely, adding extra structure and interest to the garden. And of course this is exactly what I am thinking when I am moving one of 100 barrows of wood chip around the garden. All I can say is what is wrong with ramps? Or a donkey?