Friday, 4 October 2013

Rambling on . . . Gardening Woes or How Not to be a Gardener . . .

 

As the gardening year comes to a close – the serious work of garden maintenance begins. Even though I have only just returned from a lovely break by the sea, fully rejuvenated,  I seem to lose interest in the garden at this time of year, and the thought of all that tidying, pruning and bulb planting, is enough to make me take to my bed and wait for spring to arrive.

SDC18840 The last roses blooming

I am not sure why this happens – I’m supposed to love gardening – I often say so, so it must be true; but as I get older I  enjoy being in the garden whilst not actually doing anything.  Strolling round admiring the flowers and taking pictures, a little bit of pottering here and there, sitting in the shade reading (some would call it loafing), harvesting the fruits of my labours,  all make me happy – but getting down to the real nitty-gritty – well, that’s a different matter.

SDC18747-001 Victoria plums

All the pruning back, removing pernicious weeds, planting dozens of bulbs etc. just seems like too much hard work. The only thing I can do to make life easier is to simplify everything – so a lot of serious thinking is going on as to how to enjoy the garden without becoming a slave to it.

SDC18750

Chilli plant

Is it inevitable and natural that we wind down along with the season – or am I on my own here?

36 comments:

  1. I never have bothered with the clear-up before, and just let it all run riot. This year, however, I am stalking the weeds with mad compulsion: a passing phase, no doubt. But the thing is that the running riot never did my garden much harm, so I suggest you sit back contentedly and leave it be without guilt.

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    1. I always seem to moan about all the work at this time of year but then just quietly get on with it - feeling better having got it all off my chest.

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  2. I love the chili plant. Do you make homemade chili?

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  3. I was smiling and nodding in agreement when I read this post.
    I guess that we all tend to feel like that at this time of year, and you're definitely not on your own.
    Flighty xx

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    1. Once I have settled into it - little by little it all gets done.

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  5. The garden looks tired in autumn, but I am tired of gardening too. And every autumn I think of simplifying the garden, but when spring is in the air I really love to start all over again.

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  6. I agree that it's natural to feel like this in the autumn. I have some clearing up to do in the garden and I don't have much enthusiasm for it. Letting some plants go to seed etc for wildlife helps here! I'll feel completely different in the spring when I have the sense of starting a new gardening year.

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  7. I'm afraid I am a fair weather gardener too Elaine and for me I probably wont do much more now until the days draw out again in spring. So much to do though but we are planning major revamping!

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    1. There will be a bit of re-vamping here too - hoping for a late bout of fine weather so I can get on with things.

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  8. I'm with you on the taking to one's bed to avoid the clear up, I have a whole back garden to sort and a 60ft tree pruning to finally put the kiss of death on it....I feel like running for the hills and never stopping!!!

    I too love just pottering instead of digging,weeding and clearing etc.....I just want to grow seeds and plants and point at things and have big strong men come and fix them....sighs...

    Your late roses are adorable and those plums ....mmmmm do I smell pie?

    I am slighty peeved to see your red chilli's, mine are a grim shade of green!!!xxxx

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    1. Hope the tree removal goes ok. I have frozen most of the plums for later. The chilli plant has been amazing, far more chillis than I will actually need, but that's usually the way.

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  9. You are certainly not alone! Even the most dedicated gardener gets tired of battling weeds and doing some of the harder garden chores. I always get a little tired of the garden in mid-summer when it is too hot to think about gardening and then again in early fall. Bulb planting usually gets me back at it briefly. Then the Canadian winter gives us a good long break and I can't wait to get back at it again. Have a nice weekend Elaine!

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    1. I always look forward to the winter break then get fed up and can't wait to start again - sounds like this is a universal thing for gardeners.

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  10. To answer your question, it comes and goes. I'm much more tolerant about weeds and untidiness here and there. And, like you, scheme to make things simpler, choose less demanding plantings. But now and again, I get in the mood to try new things or get inspired by someone else's beauty. Now, in my neck o' the woods, these surges of activity aren't hampered by snow so I have a bit more flexibility.

    It will be interesting to see what choices you make and whether you'll feel differently in the years to come.

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    1. I think it is just a bit of laziness creeping in - I would hate not to have a garden to moan about.

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  11. You've struck a chord with many gardeners here, Elaine - myself included. It seems to take more motivation to get down to the garden (two flights of stairs and round the corner) in the winter - although, selfishly, I like to potter by myself and winter gardening means less people around in the community gardens! I quite like a bit of a tidy up at the season's end; everything has got a bit too big in my tiny veg patch so it's a relief to bring it under control again!!
    I do wonder sometimes why I spend so much time (and money!) looking after a garden that isn't mine but, like you, love to have somewhere to potter and plant during the warmer months - and there's nothing like that feeling of picking fresh veg, salad and herbs for dinner, is there?
    Wishing you a large mug of tea, a big slice of cake and a happy day -nothing wrong with taking time out!! C xx

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    1. By the way, what IS that chilli plant? It's wonderful and obviously a prolific producer!

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    2. I think it must have been the miserable weather that brought on my negative ponderings. Today the sun has been out and I've been busy out in the garden - just as it should be.

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    3. p.s. can't remember the name of the chilli off hand - but I can send you some seeds if you like

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  12. I'm with you Elaine. I have finally admitted to myself that it is highly unikely that I will force myself outside on a wet and windy day in winter to harvest wet and muddy leaves from the garden, so haven't even bothered to sow the seed this year, which is gradually feeling more like realism than laziness. I think each of us needs to find the right balance for us between work and play in the garden, and I know I am striving to create a garden that can cope well when I am forced to stay away through illness, without making me feel worse by turning in to a jungle. Good luck finding your own balance.

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    1. You have hit the nail on the head Janet - my thoughts exactly. I am sure that as I try to simplify things in the garden I won't feel as stressed as I sometimes do at the moment.

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  13. Well, it rather depends if gardening is your livelihood or not, Elaine. I ain't got much choice but to get out there and crack on. I rather like autumn with all that that entails - all months have certain jobs to get on with, nice ones and tedious. And the longer that I garden the more I get into this annual rhythm. I find it reassuring to see the garden progress week on week and with an eye to what next year will bring but yes, given a choice there is an awful lot I wouldn't bother with (see my own garden for proof!). Dave

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    1. Now you come to mention it Dave that's just what I was thinking when I was working today - if I was being paid I would have to get on with it regardless of how I felt. It did help me get through a boring weeding job.

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  14. It is hard to keep up with all the work. This is a good time to start winding down, however, I will soon have leaves to clear! And bulbs to plant. And the weeds keep coming. Suppose I will have to wait another month to wind down in the garden.

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    1. Because the weather this weekend has been wonderful I have made great headway planting bulbs and pulling out all the summer bedding etc. only the pruning to go.

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  15. Like you I'm not fond of this time of year in the garden all that tidying up and preparing for winter, the last few mowings of the lawn - I'm getting to that stage where I prefer being in and enjoying the garden to working in it:)

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  16. It is quite noticeable in garden blogger world that we are all feeling a little low. A little sunshine soon gets us outside and back on track. Gentle warmth from the sun has us out cleaning up, picking the last of the beans and digging a new bed. So good for the soul.

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  17. Hi Elaine, I stumbled upon your blog today and noticed you love gardening as much as I do. I would like to invite you to participate in the Garden Share Collective a monthly blog hop for gardeners, take a peek - http://www.strayedtable.com/grow/garden-share/

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    1. I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to join the Collective - as there probably won't be much gardening done over winter I will consider joining it in the spring at the new start of the gardening year.

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  18. Same here Elaine.. I have tidying etc to do but I just can't summon up the get-up-and-go to do it! It'll all come right in the end though.
    Julie :o)

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    1. Glad I'm not the only one - although after writing this post I have been extremely busy out in the garden - it's amazing what a few sunny days can do.

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