This summer, what with one thing and another, we never really got on top of the whole cobble weeding thing. Despite the odd feeble attempt from me and the other half occasionally tackling the job whenever we had our coffee on the bench, the dearth of sunny days combined with the lure of more interesting jobs (keeping an eye on that damp patch of paint, for example…) meant that, well, our cobbles and gravel are pretty much as weedy as they were when we started. And no, I haven’t interplanted them with thyme yet, although it’s still vaguely on my to do list.
So I was intrigued to hear on Gardeners’ Question Time the other day what seemed like a simple trick to keep pathways clear without resorting to chemicals: every time you cook potatoes or pasta, chuck the pan of boiling water onto the path. Simple, and no need to use any extra energy either. Albeit, as it turns out, slightly less simple when you’re standing there with a big pan of boiling water with pasta in it which you were hoping to have for supper without having to pick it off the cobbles first. I’m sure there are some people who can manage to strain off the pasta using the pan lid or somehow balancing a colander with their third hand while also looking out for any cats that might be lurking by the door and all this in their slippers in the dark with the rest of supper to get ready, but I’m definitely not one of them. So a compromise was reached whereby the pasta was drained into a colander as normal, with the water going into a big bowl which the other half then chucked onto the path, having checked for marauding cats first.
As you can see from the photo, we’ve a long way to go, but it will be interesting* to see what difference it makes over time.