Does anyone know anything about gardening?

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  • ....and put a combination lock on the driver's side, the shallow end of the gene pool should not have access to saws.

  • He’s know as Terry TeaBreak for a reason. Basically a cantankerous 80yr old trapped in the body of an semi-literate 25yr old that still lives at home with mum.

    He’s a full house at dopey apprentice bingo. I wouldn’t mind if he was 16 but he’s a grown man technically.

  • He’s been with us 4 months, I’ve performed first aid twice(he cut himself carrying a chainsaw that wasn’t running and had the bar cover in place) and has had to fill out more near miss forms than the rest of the lads put together(all for tripping over or walking into stuff).

    He actually got sacked from the landscape side of the company a couple of years ago for being dangerously hard of thinking, lord knows what the tree boss was thinking bringing him back on our side.

  • I raise you a 16 stone nutter whose weekend hobby is community service. He's actually really helpful and great at moving heavy objects, subtlety less so....

  • Give him enough rope and he'll hang.... Forget I said that!

  • I can put lads like that to work no problem. Our current ox-boy is turning out to be a fantastic climber and will go far.
    Best labourer on earth is the fabled ‘Danny the Marine’ of Oxfordshire/Buckinghamshire: basically the largest human being I’ve ever clapped eyes on, seen him shove loaded plant trailers around muddy yards, roll tree trunks the Avant struggles with and drink 10 fishbowl cocktails then kick off against half a dozen coked up scaffolders on the Xmas do. A kind and gentle soul with the power of a gorilla on pcp.
    We’ve got a little rudeboy gangster kid as well. It’s hilarious watching him trying to talk to little old ladies, he’s actually a nice lad but the Ali G vibe is strong.

  • Sounds like all we need is a few straw bales and a ref for a labourer-off. I have a scrawny street kid for the lightweight division as well. I can offer Mel, my longtime second in command as ref, she is a hard as nails ex-doorperson lesbian brickie who can genuinely talk to clients without dropping me in the poo.

  • ....and is there any other type of scaffolder? I believe scaffolder seniority is established by length of time spent at Her Majesty's pleasure.

  • We don’t have many we trust to ring the doorbell/collect payment. I always get nervous when I see them talking to clients.

    ‘Get in the fucking cage you cunt’ is a real thing in my experience. Council cage back tipper trucks make excellent impromptu arenas for emotionally unstable lads to fight it out. Great days.

    My lightweight is def a brawler, son of a serving sas soldier and been stabbed on the mean streets of West Drayton more than once.
    They’re mostly all mouth and no trousers in our yard.

    I propose a national inter-trade labourer olympics to help bring the nation together...

    https://youtu.be/TRg_kqrZ-MM

  • ^That's a classic!

    I'll put my lot in training, so long as none of the events are 'lifting my knuckles from the ground without dribbling'.

    In other news: I have these sleeper steps to finish before buggering off to the West Country, walking woodland trails and saying 'call those sleeper steps?'

    Do you ever say 'call that willow pollarded?'.


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  • Only way you can wear shorts 80ft up a scaffold in the pissing rain mid-winter is with plenty of snout. It’s practically ppe for those lads.

  • Those steps look ace.

    Ha, I do often complain about the shabby quality of crown reductions outside the M25; bumpkins don’t know how to make a tree look pretty enough for the Chelsea Set...

    This week so far has mostly been the bread and butter work of banging down leylandii planted in the wrong place and forgotten about til it’s too late.


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  • I limit myself to climbing well-mown grass in midsummer.

    I imagine leylandii are a love/hate thing for you, boring as fuck and nasty to deal with, yet profitable at the angry neighbour interface.

  • The potential of seeing pensioners who’ve been neighbours for 30+yrs screaming abuse at eachother over an unclipped conifer is what gets me out of bed at 5am every day.

    Conifer work is just as you say, it’s profitable for us cos we’re geared up to do it quickly but it’s always gonna be a long, dusty and scratchy day however straightforward the access is.
    The real money at the moment is in stump grinding and oak processionary moth nest removal. The latter is grim as fuck tho.

    My climbing is reserved mostly to cliffs nowadays as I did 10years up trees without any life changing injuries so I’m happy rigging and grinding most of the week. At 34 I’m an old cunt by arb standards anyway. Still fun to lob the top off a big ash once in a while tho.

  • Bloody kids, I will be 58 if I make it to Sunday. I can still lift and shift with the best (ok, 5th best) of them. It's variety that keeps me going, sandstone and decking when I get back. Mind you, I started in my 40s when I gave up on publishing and London.

    Best we ceded this thread to proper gardeners rather than us embittered pros for a while.....

  • There is only one 5 in the day, it is pm.

  • Gotta say guys, I'm loving your tales of apprentice idiocy/ineptitude. I'm awestruck but it would appear that arborealist and landscaping apprentices are actually less intelligent and motivated that carpentry apprentices.

    I gave up dealing with apprentices last year as it was getting too costly to replace the tools they lost and or broke. My stress level immediately dropped by about 50%.

  • But how will they ever learn?!

  • When you build sleeper steps like that are the sleepers joined together? What are they sitting on? Just compacted type 1 or something?

  • Also I'm going to lay some paving slabs soon (crazy paving). I've never done it before.
    Is the bed for it type 1 and sand, or is it dollops of mortar on each bit?
    Next question is grouting? I'm guessing as it's going to be uneven spaces I need to mix up something to fill the gaps rather than brushing sand in.

  • How many blades were blunted during construction? Looks fantastic!

  • Does anyone have tips on dividing agapanthus? I'm feeling a tad intimidated at the prospect.

  • I dug up a huge clump last year and just hacked and whacked it with a spade and bread knife and got four clumps growing happily now. One flowered.

  • Gotta say guys, I'm loving your tales of apprentice idiocy/ineptitude

    Ha, was thinking exactly the same thing!

    Best we ceded this thread to proper gardeners rather than us embittered pros for a while.....

    No, please don't stop. The office workers are talking about spreadsheets in another thread and this chat alternative you're providing is making me want to live

  • This has the makings of a podcast

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Does anyone know anything about gardening?

Posted by Avatar for carson @carson

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