Moving the Frog – a garden diary

So, there I was having morning tea Bay of Plenty style under my hat and 3 applications of 30+ sun block when I noticed that the frog sprinkler was still sprinkling in the same place as it had been an hour and a half earlier when Mother left for lady’s daytime yoga.

So, being a helpful child I thought I would move it. First up, not a regular Gardenia sprinkler that you can just drag by grabbing the hose far enough back to not get wet. The frog sprinkling head is on a metal spike pushed into the ground. No worries. I knew where the house hose tap was – have been quite helpful in the garden filling up the bird bath with it before. However, the frog seemed to be joined to another dirtier looking hose. Hmmm. Clever old me – followed the hose to find its tap. Well, in this multi-acre garden I followed it for a while, down a narrow path being battered in the face by agapanthus, stopping on the way to clamber down the bank a bit to rescue Mother’s rare orange flower than had a tree branch blown onto it, until the jolly hose disappeared off the path under a thicket of agapanthus and behind an enormous tree. After much peering I had a vision that the hose went up the hill to the pergola which was a major enough structure to have a tap joined to it. So I clomped around there and up the hill. Bingo! Not a tap as such but a lever joined to a huge black pipe, kind of like the levers you have outside your house if you have gas – the ones that due to deep-brain memorisation you know that down means flow, side means off so that you know what to do without thinking if there’s a gas leak and you have to turn it off. However, not living anywhere with gas for years that instant reaction was gone so I had to look at the lever for a while and pluck up the courage to turn it, in a random direction and hope like hell I hadn’t cut of some major farm water supply causing cows somewhere out the back to drop dead or the neighbours to be greatly inconvenienced by their water supply being cut off. Deep breath – pulled the level until it hit its little stop position. No screams or moos. Just lots of heavy breathing as I ran up and across the lawn to see if the frog had stopped sprinkling. No! Cripes! But … decided to wait for a count of 30 – it was a long hose, perhaps the residual water was still coming out. After 30, the flow had not abated so I tore back across the lawn and put it back to the same position as before. Obviously NOT the right tap!

The adventure didn’t end there. By now I was determined. So back into the garden I went. Back to the agapantha thicket. I had to go in. Sticks and spider webs were everywhere but after my stroke of genius to ‘dust’ the area for webs by using an agapanta head I lunged in. Lost one of Mother’s croc shoes that I’d borrowed as none of my city shoes were up to the task so had to wince out barefooted and use the sling back heel attachment to clamp them on. Second time good. Got a hold of the hose and followed it up through the undergrowth until it joined itself to that damn big black pipe which I could see quite clearly went on up the hill and joined itself to the lever. So, I fought my way out of the garden … should’ve come out the same way I went in, I didn’t have my agapantha duster so got quite tangled … and clomped back up the hill to the lever again. This time I was all brave, not a second thought, I just pushed it in the other direction until it stopped. Ran across the lawn again. YIPEEEE!! Success! Down I went along a different path to get to the frog and was stopped by absolutely sodden agapantha flowers blocking my path – what is it with these damn flowers today? There was no way I could get passed without getting sodden and as I’m in my only clothes suitable for 28 degrees (which is honestly what it is outside!) I had to backtrack up the stairs and around again and try another path. All the while still hurrying as I still wasn’t entirely convinced that I hadn’t turned the cows’ water off. Finally, got to the frog, moved it, clomped up and around to the lever and put it back to its original position.

There we go then – half an hour later, fatigued and roasted, I’d moved the frog sprinkler to a new position so hopefully a grateful garden and Mother!

Note to self: pull towards is ON, push away is OFF.


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