Well that’s certainly not something I would have said in my teens!!  ‘At Last Some Gardening’!  How times have changed but I make no secret of the fact that I love gardening.   It’s a labour of love.  A forever work in progress.

Last week saw my very first venture into the garden this year. Followed by another flurry during the mini heatwave.

First as in not just stepping outside and braving the elements for a freezer trip.  And to put the bins out.  Or to build snowmen – which has of course been more of a feature than the Lady Gardener has this year.

But into the garden I had to go!

 

 

 

 

I imagine many of you did the same.

To be able to be warm in the garden felt like such a pleasure.  I’ve been itching to get outside.  We all have.

But where to begin?

It can be daunting to step outside and to look at the enormity of what needs to be done. We’ve all been itching to get out, we’re feeling cheated by the weather this year and then boom, the moment arrives and you don’t know whether to tidy or create (or run back inside and hide)!

There is of course only one way (unless you’re a bulldozer) and that is to tackle the garden in bite sized chunks.

Every pot that you pick up is awash with snails and slugs.  Every planter that you move sees a hundred Woodlice scurry away in search of a new home.  I swear I have never seen so many Woodlice as I have this year.

 

 

 

Even the fox has beat me to it this year and chewed the fingers of my gardening gloves.

And so back to where to begin.

Because, seriously there are even cobwebs in this here garden. I kid you not. I’m hoping I’m not alone with the cobweb thing – I know it’s been a long time but cobwebs!! I thought they were the preserve of indoors?

 

 

 

All tools needed will generally be lurking in a corner (hiding). All that lies between you and and your implement of choice is the mother of all spiders webs. The choice being whether to go in face first or do a ‘girly’ tentative hand in and wiggle.

The wiggle approach tends to yield a poor result so eventually you just go in with a full body retrieval and just hope you’ve already disturbed the spider enough that it’s legged it. Hopefully not down (or up) your ill-fitting summer dress.

So, I am going for my front to back approach again. Some things just aren’t for changing!

Little steps. The things that first meet my eyeline as I step out.

Tip out all the buckets full of rain water and retrieve the weathered window boxes that have been thrown from their window sills and upended. Looking a bit lost, battered and broken.

 

 

 

The plants purchased in the autumn or taken from window boxes still sit here waiting their turn to be planted. Some have quite simply ‘had it’ and will need to go straight to waste. I do try and recycle as much as I can but there are many clumps of dead brown.

 

 

 

 

The leaves of the Cordyline come away in my hands. Has it survived the winter?  It hasn’t – I remember this happening a few years ago.  It’s been a particularly harsh winter.

 

 

I am also mindful that we say the same things every year. Make the same observations. And wonder where to begin.

It just feels very odd being outside.

Trying to remember what you planted the previous year before you dig it up. Why oh why don’t I take photos!

And then there is the fireplace! A random purchase during the winter to potentially use as an outdoor feature on the patio.

 

 

Or as the honest teen would say ‘I’m not being rude but it doesn’t look like a feature, it just looks like it’s been dumped’

And as always, with teens being teens, she is absolutely right. At the moment!

But what is it they say ‘blind is the man that does not see’?

Just you wait until the creative juices start flowing.  I mean just look at the pink with the black.

This creative malarkey is all about finding your way!  Trial and error.   It may have been a mistake and she may be right, but let’s just wait and see shall we.

Because when your little cutesy pie face is tucking into your BBQ Cheeseburger and you are engulfed with the beauty of my ‘bespoke’, ornamental outdoor fireplace awash with summer blooms, you may just be proved wrong.  May be.

And then there is the self growing Christmas tree – even I’m not going there.  At first there was hope but I think it was a Norwegian Spruce too far.

 

 

 

There is no instant gratification to be had in the first ventures into the garden, is there? . It’s a project.  A big project too this year as we have lots of plans for the garden.  Vision and changes.  All eyes are on the garden (and the Dining Room).  It’s always good to multi-task.

It involves getting very mucky and messy and the garden will look like a tip in the first stages.  It is going to be a lot of work and a big investment of time and is very much weather dependent.

So here is the result of my digging and clearing efforts of the last few days.

 

 

Lots more to do but I do like to see a nice clear bed.  Sitting on the patio and just looking at this bit is just reward at the end of a digging day.

It would be wonderful just to be able to throw the door open and get the deckchairs out.  But I’m not sure the ever-ready garden exists for any of us.

It probably wouldn’t be the same if it did.  Although, ours really needs a helping hand this year.  And I won’t mention the Man Cave at the end of the garden.  For now.  But there are plans.

So, how about you are you a roll up your sleeves kind of gardener or is low maintenance with minimum effort more your kind of thing?

There’s certainly an argument for the former!

Nicky

 

 

 

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