Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Trying to get back on the wagon

Doing the whole NGS thing has been a bit like pushing a rock down a hill as initially it wobbled a bit and stopped , then it ran a bit, then it started gathering more and more speed. The garden has never been far from my mind, and was also the focus for this blog which has also been interesting to do....gosh it was exciting when I got my first reader from Namibia! I think all in, it’s now had about 5000 page views and I hope that I have amused people on the way, thank you to all my followers and people who say nice things. Needless to say I will of course continue.
Although there have been a few downsides (lots of hard work, we haven’t been in an airport for a year) there have also been lots of good things as it has been good to be focused, having the gardening days was also a good way to get people together and the actual day was a great social thing and chance to meet the neighbours. Hard physical graft has also been good for my physique...yes I was of course finely toned and ripped before but now I’m even more so. Being able to grow food has also improved my diet as I love having salad at hand and lots of raspberries growing away. You should also see how excited we get about beetroot in our house....
However I’m now at the point where boulder that has been rolling so fast down the hill seems to have got to the bottom and stopped, and as a result I’m feeling a bit lost. Monday was nice as we had the day off to recover and I had a nice time drinking tea and eating lots of leftover cake on the lawn and wandering around the garden planning. Tuesday though, as I sat in the car with Dad he looked at me and earnestly asked, well what do we do now? Do we still do work in the garden?
I can’t quite just pick up where I left off as although we are opening again next year (Sun 2nd Sept)  this is so far away and it almost feels like to do this would be giving up on this year. Although it is getting a little autumnal the first frosts are still (hopefully) a good way away and perhaps it is the prospect of frosty deaths, the winter and long dark days that I’m not looking forward to. Perhaps the main thing is that up until now everything has been all about getting the garden to look the best it will all year, and planting for things to grow for the opening, whereas now it is more about tidying and winding down.
I didn’t know if I wanted to do any gardening for a while and have been doing a good job of sitting and enjoying the garden, with the occasional bit of deadheading but lots of aimless wandering. At the weekend I was aso at a bit of a loose end with Steven away embarking on his new past time to be an international tennis umpire and I had a shall I shan’t I garden experience. This did of course not last long and I had a good couple of mornings planting my new forest of Tetrapanax and planning a new surprise formal corner.
So I’m back on the wagon and perhaps trying to create a more normal and healthy gardening relationship. It is very nice to enjoy the garden and have it back to being mine again...for the first time in a couple of weeks I’m picking flowers and harvesting things although my sweet dumpling gourds looked a little better than they tasted. I’m also trying to fit in a visit to Will Giles’s garden, Amultree and Urban Jungle in a few weeks before everything dies down and to overdose with plants. I’m hoping for a few new plant obsessions and can feel a passion for giant American pokeweed brewing (Phytolacca Americana) and also that I need to indulge myself with a trip to Columbia road for some new bamboos. Bring on the plants.
Les objects trouve

Toad lily

Cardoon flowering and giant rhubarb getting bigger

Drosera scorpiodies, j'adore

Datura (innoxia?)


  1. I think of September and October as my "rest and be thankful" phase.
    People always ask me if my garden isn't a lot of work, and I say that between September and March, there really isn't a lot to do at all!
    There's a brief flurry after the first frosts when I take the cannas in and sort out the tender stuff, but that's it.
    It's so nice just to enjoy the garden for its own sake, without worrying about that looming NGS deadline. So I think you're doing exactly the right thing. Enjoy!

  2. It's so much nicer to just be gardening for yourself. You can take your time and do as you like. Enjoy!
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  3. Enjoy the garden now that you don't have to rush around preparing for your open day :) Nice to see your toad lily already in bloom, I'm still waiting for any of ours to do their thing.