Thoughts pondered in the house whilst snow covers the garden.
It is the 3rd of January, the garden has a light dusting of snow and everything is frozen solid. Instead of thinking that it is nice that nothing needs doing in the garden I am sowing Delphinium and lupin seeds and arranging delivery of an obscene number of David Austin roses. The gardener in me refuses to accept that this is the dormant season, instead I must be looking forward and planning for what is happening garden-wise in March, April, May and June. This ridiculous behaviour got me thinking, am I always like this? I am afraid we all know the answer, it is a resounding “Yes” from our panel of judges. To garden is a relentless (yet enjoyable) vocation, a painter knows that when he has completed his masterpiece that it is perfection and will remain unchanged. The painter can allow his work to be admired by those of a discerning nature without worrying that the colours will fade or that additional colours will appear like magic whilst his back is turned. Maybe this is the reason that gardeners are always looking forward, always planning what comes next.
Gardening books really do not help!
I love gardening books, I love them like the vicar of Dibley loves chocolate. I add at least 6 books a year to my collection of must have gardening books, eventually we will need to build an extension to the house to store them and it is not a small house, we have 6 bedrooms. For me, they are my best friends and my worst enemy. A friend kindly gave me the book “Gardens of the Lake District” for Christmas by Tim Longville. It is a great book featuring some wonderful gardens, I just wish it did not have such wonderful photographs. They make me think of new garden projects to add to my list of garden projects that I haven’t even started yet. I am seriously thinking about banning all gardening books from my life, along with gardening programmes (yes even you Monty Don!) and visiting gardens may have to become a punishable activity. Why? you may ask. Well the answer is really quite simple, gardening folks are really very nice people, jealousy is a rare trait amongst gardeners but when we see something wonderful in somebody elses garden we are automatically thinking about how we can adapt that to make it work in our own gardens. This combined with the task of maintaining what we already have is no mean feat, it is a full-time job and for many gardeners who already have jobs it is a huge commitment. However, us gardeners will attempt the impossible and somehow find a way.
Taking time out to enjoy your creation is a challenge
As we already know I, like many other gardeners, am always planning ahead, thinking about what comes next so that I can try to achieve year round interest in the garden, so that when anyone visits the garden looks wonderful. I will admit to having garden interest in the Moosbach Garden from May through to October but I fail miserably in the winter. In the summer I have to force myself to take time-out from the gardening activities to stand and stare at the beauty of it all. I do this mostly when I am snipping and pruning, especially when dead-heading spent rose blooms but I think a wander around the garden with a cup of tea is a suitable reward for all the hard work. There is one golden rule though, do not make a mental list or a written one of all the things that need doing, enjoy it as it is. Do not be your own worst critic, notice the flowers and not the weeds.
Accept praise graciously
I have the VERY annoying habit when garden visitors say to me “your garden is so beautiful” of replying, “oh it is full of weeds” or “it was at its best in June”. Why can’t I just be gracious and say “thank you, that is very kind of you”. It is almost like I feel that the garden and therefore the gardener are unworthy of praise. This year I am going to try harder to just say “thank you”.
This gardener is shortly off on holiday
I am off on holiday in February to visit my lovely Aunt Trin in Australia, like me she has a good-sized garden, with flowers, fruit trees and of course chickens. I have already made inquiries as to what needs doing in her garden (you can’t keep a good gardener under control you know) but I’m sure that we can fit in a few day trips in as well. I will be staying south of Canberra about an hour away from the town of Orbost. Anyone with knowledge of the area please provide suggestions. I am sure Australia with be a horticultural challenge to me as Im used to English gardens but I am definitely going to enjoy my trip and the delights (gardening and otherwise) that Australia has to offer.
A picture from the south balcony, do you thinks it’s too cold for a bit of light weeding?
I wish everyone a Happy New Year, may your gardens bloom gloriously and may your hands frequently be immersed in good soil.