Remember when I thought I had mistaken my dormant Hosta ‘June’ for a dormant iris? My mistake was confirmed this week when temperatures in the 80s (26-27C) woke up the Hostas:
It’s right next to the brick patio, where it will bake in the afternoon sun.
I need to move it posthaste, but work on the last segment of the rain garden stalled on Tuesday when my beloved Mantis garden tiller stopped working. After 10 years of loyal service in which it never failed to start (I am receiving no reimbursement for the endorsement), it solidly refused to turn over. I took the thing apart, cleaning the air filter, fuel filter and line, checking the starter cord in its housing, and the spark plug. Everything looked fine to me. (I should say that while I’m not in any way a mechanical engineer, I am competent in basic maintenance of small lawn and garden equipment. This situation is not comparable to when I open the hood of the car and stare at its entrails, expecting a neon sign to flash and point to the problem.)
I took the tiller to the machine shop Wednesday morning, where it will sit for at least a week before anyone can turn to it. I would expect most machinery to fail only when there is a line in which it can wait for repair. But my Mantis? I thought we had a better understanding.
As I stewed over the possible reasons for the Mantis’s treason, I felt a rising fear that perhaps I had not filled it up from the gas can for 2-stroke engines (i.e., oil and gas mixed). The cans are prominently marked in the shed. One says “Gas Only” and the other “Gas & Oil.” Surely not. Surely, surely not? [Deep breaths.] Such an error would, of course, ruin the engine completely.
I am 90% sure I did not ruin the engine but at the moment, the other 10% is feeling much larger than 10%. Fingers crossed that it just needs a new spark plug, or something else obscure and impossible to see, but financially inconsequential. I do not ask for much.
Oh dear I hate feeling like that – its like when you are half way on holiday and you wonder if you locked the front door!