This morning I went out in the rain for a walk round Southampton Common, delighting in the joys of nature and regretting that it is not possible to take photographs in the rain.
I came home, opened the curtains across the patio door and looked out to see wet paving that looked so awful underneath the water.
This photograph was taken from upstairs.
Do you remember how my paving looked when it was first laid.
So beautiful and new that sitting out there it felt unnervingly like being inside rather than outside.
Well obviously it has become more like ‘outside’ in the several years since. However each Spring/early Summer I have been out there and cleaned it up with water and a scrubbing brush and sponges and just had to remove a small amount of dirt deposited by the rain, maybe a little green at the edges, but this year the paving has already began to look really dreadful. We have had so much more rain this year than normal.
What you see in the photograph at the top was not the worst of it!
Then I remembered how a few weeks ago I had decided to take advantage of all this freely provided water and go out with my sponge and clean off what I could, as an experiment.
And yes the step that I had cleaned still looked a lot better. (A bit hard to see with the reflection I know. The step I cleaned is the intermediate level.)
So although it was still raining gently I went out with a clean bucket of water (to rinse off the sponge – not going to stay clean for long!) and a sponge and later my scrubbing brush and had a go at the worst of it which was round the flower bed where the Fuchsia had overhung the paving. Needs more work but it’s a start.
Did a bit more round another flower bed.
When I give the paving it’s annual clean I do about ten to twenty slabs at a time. If this rain continues maybe I should make a point of doing a few each day.
As well as the dirt there is mossbut not everywhere thank goodness.
And could this be lichen?
Now I like lichen when it is growing in interesting shapes on dead trees but not so much on my beautiful paving. I know I had a lot on the old paving. but I would rather keep it to a minimum on the new.
So what do you think? Am I wrong to want it all clean and shiny or should I let nature take over?