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The gardening golfer

December provides a break from gardening routines, enabling us to stow our gardening gear away and enjoy the run up to the seasonal festivities in the time honoured traditions.

However, before assaulting the wine cellar, remove all pots off their saucers as a precaution against excessive periods of rainfall (aghh, that precious commodity, natural rainwater), likely to cause root rot when pots stand in water for prolonged periods.

That done, and with little prospect of harmful frosts, no more gardening for a month!

Perhaps a time to replace the terrace garden for the golf course as gardening and golf are inextricably linked from tee to green and all the detours along the way.

The talented golfers with long straight drives are no more than voyeurs to the surrounding landscape as they stride the 300 yards with pride to reach their fairway ball.

But the gardening began the moment they moved off the tee by aerating the fairway grasses provided they’re wearing my preferred footwear of spiked shoes.

Aerated grass grows thicker and assists the green keepers’ endeavours to provide lush fairways. The same equally applies to greens.

The perfect fairway shot will take a divot and any self respecting golfer will replant the divot from whence it came. To gardening golfers the replacing of divots is automatic as all plant life is a living thing including the divot.

There’s nothing worse than seeing a fairway scarred by golfers who’ve neglected a simple gardening task. If fines were imposed, would the global deficit be wiped out?

Mere mortals with a passion for golf and love for moderate handicaps, often referred to as “bandits”, embrace the splendours of course design more away from the fairways.

Strategically placed shrubs and trees are admired engagingly for most of the allotted five minutes, I’m sure, as they search for their lost ball.

I once witnessed a yell of “found it” as the offender dropped a similar dimpled object through a hole in his trouser pocket with an uninterrupted line to the green.

He was neither golfer nor gardener, but Mr Bean enacting a scene for his latest film! (Could never happen in reality, hey?!)

Rearranging the flora of the trees and shrubs is a hobby for some and admirably the tree and shrub life resist, survive and prosper. Mostly, it’s easier, less costly shot wise and less damaging to chip out and carry on.

Then, of course, it’s into the 19th. Showered and changed its time to exchange the round’s experience with your fellow enthusiasts. Those who’ve achieved a stableford of 36 or more, while proudly admitting to a cut in handicap, will ensure all realise how difficult their next quest will be.

Those scoring below 20 will focus on the skill and merits of the course architect who set a stern test indeed.

The gardening golfers amongst us will have been hoping to discover a four leaved clover, a cherished seasonal gift indeed.

Have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone.

John Weedall www.rainsmart.co.uk

Querença celebrates Christmas in the garden

This Sunday the third Querença Market will take place between 10am and 1pm in the Church Square.

The market will focus on providing local agricultural products.

A farmer from Querença will offer a guided tour of a cabbage garden to present guests with the opportunity to choose their own fresh cabbages and to accompany this, activities will be available dedicated to cooking and creating new flavours with the vegetable.

Additional activities will include presentations on how to decorate the table at Christmas and a workshop on traditional crafts and dried flower arrangements.

The Querença Restaurant will be open for tasting of regional dishes for lunch, which will be followed by a guided cultural tour through the village, by a native from Querença who specialises in its history.

To bring the event to a close the Church of Querença Choir will sing Christmas carols for guests.

For information, call 968 704 929