Lost and found

“What are those red things in the hedge?”
“No idea.”
“Come and look – there are two red things in the hedge. They look like… chillies.”

We’ve been promised a storm, and I’m awaiting its arrival at the living room window. But my attention is not on the scudding clouds or the leaden sky, I’m transfixed by the two red things in the hedge.

“I know what they are, or rather, what it is!”
“What?”

As I look at the two strangely shaped red things I have a sudden memory, to a summer day when I was enthusiastically clipping the hedge. I was armed, as usual, with not with just one, but three different types of cutting items, a standard pair of garden shears, some loppers to cut back the bigger branches, and a small pair of secateurs. With red handles.

“It’s my secateurs! I’ve found my secateurs!”
The lack of response is a little aggravating. But I continue enthusiastically nonetheless.
“The red things, they are the handles of my secateurs, I must have balanced them on top of the hedge…”

The discovery is both pleasing and discouraging. How am I that person who loses a pair of secateurs in a hedge? I then begin to idly wonder how many pairs of secateurs are lost in hedges on a regular basis. There is no way I can tell, so I guess that it happens a lot.

“Didn’t you do this with a trowel too?”
The question cuts through my reverie, and I am forced to face facts.
“Do you mean the trowel I left in the bag of ericaceous compost?”
A year or two ago I unwittingly ‘overwintered’ a trowel in a bag of ericaceous compost. I had discovered it in the spring, when I had cause to get some compost out of the bag.

“That trowel was lovely and shiny when it came out of the bag…” I remember that I thought this could be a good way to store tools, the acid in the compost had agreed with stainless steel of the trowel leaving it gleaming. I had however chosen to stick with a mixture of sand and oil for garden tool storage. Buying expensive bags of compost just to stick tools into seemed like a waste. Looking at the red handles of the secateurs I wonder if I’m likely to consider a hedge a good place to store cutting items. I suspect not.

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