It’s a funny time.
Mood and motivation waning. Grey skies, a lack of daylight and the world feels dark and volatile.
Everything’s muddy – not just the footprints that constantly litter the floor. There’s so much that needs to be done, so much we want to do but it all feels like an effort. I can feel Mandy’s hands on my shoulders pushing me along……
Right, heavy thoughts shaken off, a quick blast of Brigitte’s, L’echappée belle to get my toe tapping and onto garden planning.
Monty Don and I have spent a few evenings together this week, in paper form at least. I like Monty – you know that weird crush everyone has – yep, it’s Monty for me. Also a fellow user of mud for mood. Hugh’s featured too and thanks to my uncle Mick, I am the proud owner of this….
I’ve drawn plan after plan, kept it simple and then got very carried away. Consulted various websites including the RHS no less!!!! Wandered around the garden again and again with a cup of tea in hand and dog at my side. I’ve asked people’s opinion, got more confused and then thrown my hands in the air and said, ‘ sod it’ having decided to do nothing.
Now, I know I can be lazy and I also have a tendancy to set the bar too high. I get bored easily and I like things to be just so….so if it’s not working out I get cross, sulk and give up. Oh dear.
I also know the pleasure that comes from working in the garden. Being outside, nature, fresh air. There’s nothing like it. Moving and stretching, waking my body up. Listening to the birds, the church bells, the breeze. Getting lost in the task, feeling absent but absolutely present at the same time. At peace. There’s always something to do, every day has the potential to leave me feeling like this…… shame I can also feel overwhelmed and not want to go out at all – oh tricky, tricky mind.
Well 2016 is going to see Thibois explode. More beds, more food and I hope the garden at 23 is going to be backing it up and will start producing some food too. From the limited experience I have from the small veg patch I had in Brighton I know I am ace at growing chard – the best. Shame nobody in my gang likes it. The sight of the stuff still ignites my gag reflex from many a mouthful forced down – I’ve grown it, I shall eat it. Lesson learnt, grow what you actually like to eat – sounds so obvious eh?! Ask my little family what their favourite things are….avocados, bananas, clementines…..sigh. We also need to be realistic too. Avocados in Normandy, wouldn’t that be a dream! I’m not even thinking as exotic as tomatoes! I won’t be growing anything under plastic next year simply because I don’t have any and I figure there’s enough I can do without it not to worry just yet. I’ll be raiding Thibois for my tommies and peppers! Good job spinach, carrots, parsnips, lettuce and spinach also featured on the wish list.
There’s the time factor to consider. If I’m going to split my week between Thibois and here how much can I actually do here? Plenty, I just need to focus – gulp!
Where is all this going to happen? You’d be amazed at what a decision that is. We have a potager but it’s close to the road so not the nicest part of the garden by far. I need the veg patch to be close by – did I mention I can be lazy…. if it’s too far or out of sight it may well just end up out of mind too.
Patch at the side of the house, easily accessed and I’m thinking (with Mandy’s influence!) small beds that I can add to rather than one big patch. Remembering to leave enough space between them for the lawn mower. Paths are a big deal in the veg patch world. I’ve helped Mandy with hers (recycled tiles) and Monty advises that we should all invest in our paths. At 23 the paths are going to be like the plastic, not just yet. I don’t want the veg patch to be an expense and those things will happen in time. Growing veg is about saving pennies after all!
So between now and spring there’s only one thing to do and that’s dig!
Oh and build a compost heap, remove the mistletoe that’s taking over the apple trees, get better acquainted with my soil, prune the roses, finally decide what we would like to grow here, source seeds and never forget….legume, brassica, root, legume, brassica, root….