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marred JONES.

IWRITE this column in my head whilst taking my dog, Nel, for her early morning walk. Then all I have to do when I get home is to let it all spill out onto the page as my hands fly across my computer's keyboard.

This makes it a pleasurable experience for me, and, I hope, the Daily Post readers. It doesn't become torturous, as portrayed all too often by the cliched picture of the writer. Balls of crunched up paper hitting the wastepaper basket, beads of sweat running down the tortured writer's brow and cigarettes being chain smoked as the words refuse to flow.

Such creative torture isn't happening in the Jones household at the moment, I'm glad to report. Although my back is complaining this morning after being subjected to some grass cutting torture yesterday.

My back has been playing up a bit recently and so I had been unable to cut my lawn for weeks. It was a jungle out there, and I half expected to see an intrepid explorer jumping out and exclaiming, "Dr Livingstone, I presume?" With more rainy weather being forecast, I decided to be brave and take advantage of a day of sunshine to attack the lawn.

My small lawnmower deserves a round of applause, a magnum of champagne and a year' supply of chocolate for bravely battling against the high, damp grass, and winning.

It took me over an hour, and yes I was sweating at the end, but I managed to complete the task without collapsing. My garden is now a vision of tidiness (well, I admit I do like to exaggerate sometimes) but sadly, my back is suffering.

I am glad, however, that I bought a new lawnmower last year, or my back would have been much worse.

I'd been struggling for years with my old heavy mower which didn't have a grass collecting box. The new tiny mower with its grass collecting box has certainly changed my life for the better. Once again, I emphasise it's the little things in life that gives us pleasure.

I would be lost without my garden. I love my old fashioned roses with their wonderful scent, and my different coloured aquilegias which grow contentedly every year without any interference from me. They last for ages and make a great contribution to the cottage garden I'm trying to create.

I'll certainly be watching Byw yn yr Ardd, S4C's series for all those who love being in the garden, on Wednesday, July 11. Carrie Thomas of Killay near Swansea has been growing aquilegias for 15 years and owns the only two national collections of these flowers in Britain. She'll be showing us how she cross-pollinates breeds to create new flowers like the exotic double yellow. I bought a yellow aquilegia last year, and they are stunning flowers.

And on Byw yr Ardd next Wednesday, Pol Wong from Wrexham, the only Shaolin monk to be based outside China, will be explaining the philosophy and symbolism of a Zen garden. Who knows, I may be inspired to change my garden completely. I hope, however, that enlightenment doesn't mean I have to get rid of my aquilegias.
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 15, 2012
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