Sacking your gardener seems like a great idea until you suddenly realise you’re left with 1/3 acre of garden (OK, olive grove) to maintain all by yourself. And it isn’t until you actually have to look after one that you realise olive groves take a lot more upkeep than you imagine when all you do is cycle past other people’s.
(I’ve actually managed to sack 2 gardeners since I’ve been here. The first one took it upon himself to “repair” a water leak that I’d told him to leave alone, and cheerfully went home, leaving me with no water. The second did a lovely job, but was unreliable … and it wasn’t until I had to take over the work myself that I realised how slow he was.)
For the last week or so, I’ve been noticing a lot of strimming and trimming going on in the olive groves around me, so I took a few minutes the other day to watch what was going on. Apparently, late June/early July is the right time to trim the new growth away from the base of the olive trees.
This morning, I got out my trusty pruners (the decent, heavyweight ones I brought from the UK with me, that would cost 70-80€ if you bought them here), and made a start. It’s actually one of the easier jobs in the garden. Apart from being bent over all the time and getting back ache, it isn’t physically strenuous, and it’s simply a case of cutting all the new growth away, so you can’t exactly do it wrong. The trees I’ve done are definitely looking better for it.