Chives in the window box

For the fair weather gardener, it can feel as though they we are constantly chasing our tail in keeping on top of things outside in the garden can’t it?

Particularly on the winter days of summer!

As is often the case, we are teased into a false sense of security around the Easter period when temperatures soar.  We run for our mowers, forks and gardening gloves to get cracking with the beds after the long harsh winter.

Countless trips to the dump follow as we break down the dead wood and declutter the beds of their weeds.  This is always a mammoth task – a bit like the opening up of another room that has been neglected.  There is nothing quite like seeing some fresh soil underneath the mess and the smell of a freshly mown lawn is always most welcome.

Sound familiar.  We do all do that THAT trip to the dump, don’t we?

Often our efforts at this time of year feel as though they are in vain as we are generally always treated to an unseasonal spell of winter weather immediately afterwards.

It’s no wonder us Brits get confused and a little bit despondent in the garden.  It’s a triumph of keeping on top of it and cutting back which leaves little time for the nice bits.  The aesthetics.

 

 

I’ve decided I’m not going to put myself through trying to compare with the Chelsea Flower Show gardens, in the same way that I won’t have time to carve a teddy bear in my neighbours evergreen privet this year.  I know I’m a let down but I’m all about keeping it simple.

I’ve tried all of the other ways.  They haven’t worked and I’m trying a new strategy this year.

Little and often is the key.

You can’t make a silk purse out of a sows ear and on this basis, I shall not be trying.  My intention is to concentrate on small areas and then stand back and admire my work.  Said small areas shall commence at the house end as this is where we sit.

And although you won’t see me at Chelsea anytime soon, I’m a little bit proud of the home grown chives which have had a bit of an outing and were featured in our very snazzy picnic recently.

 

Chives in the window box

 

Coast Picnic Basket

 

But a gardener I am not.  Any success is generally down to chance and I can and will cut corners at every possible opportunity. There is no rule book here,  it’s more a case of having a go and seeing what happens.  Marigolds and mayhem!

There have been a few surprises in the garden this year as we have been treated to several foxgloves and following the appearance of a single red poppy last year, this year there are several.  I do not remember planting these but I’m not complaining.  That is always a big win in my eyes.

 

Poppies

 

I love tall plants, I love the way they look in the flower beds that we see in fabulous gardens, standing tall and proud.  Mine, on the other hand do not, they lay down.

What is the secret here.  Just how do we keep the tall spiky plants upright.  I really want to know how people achieve this.  I have to know because I’m not a huge fan of the green spikes and plastic clips.

 

Messy Beds

 

Any attempt to clear in order to appreciate what we do have this year means going in combat style – in and under.  There is no other way.

You can guarantee you will always go face first into the spiders web. When balanced in a squat on one leg underneath a whopping Foxglove surrounded by delicate poppies, there is nowhere to run.  You have to take this one for the team.   As you unravel a seasons worth of snails, slugs and woodlice, there is no room for the usual  squeamish behaviour.  All that stands between me and them is my wellies and oversized gardening gloves.

 

 

 

I am on a mission.

To clear this one small plot in order to sit on the patio and enjoy the labours of revealing the soil and a few of our favourite flowers.

And here is a bit of my ‘little steps’ progress.

 

 

Still a way to go.

But after my hard graft, came this.

 

 

No patio gazing this time.  Just a sit on the step and surveying from a position of shelter.

No need to hose either.

But I do have to say that I enjoy a spot of gardening more and more these days.  I’m not sure if it’s age-related or just the fact that I find it really relaxing and I can have a good think at the same time.  Women need more thinking time after all – don’t they?

The more we think the better the garden – right?

And I shall leave it here until the next window of opportunity.

Are you a gardener?

Nicky

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