Is change afoot or will it be the same old same old?

Caught in the ‘in between’ week, this year, with just days to spare, and a whole new year set to take its place.  It isn’t difficult to begin navel gazing and thinking about how next year is going to be so much better and how I’ll do things differently.  But at the same time I’m not all that keen for a fresh start as I am still half way through my growing season and despite how horribly it started I’m not in a hurry to wish it away and give up on it.  Even if navel gazing is much easier lying on a beach in a bikini, far removed from the garden.

What does the future hold?
What does the future hold?

Fortunately this summer we are taking a series of mini breaks, allowing me to sneak back into the garden every few days to tend to its whims and avoid the usual overgrown tangled nightmare, before heading off on the next exciting trip.  This works out so well for me, as overgrown and over ripe is not what you want to return home to after ten days pining for the garden between fishing trips with no fish caught, swimming in the warm clear sea or raising a glass with friends in the warm night air before crawling into a mosquito filled tent and onto an airbed with a slow leak. Oh the joys of summer holidays!

Fresh peas, picked regularly.  Nothing better
Fresh peas, picked regularly. Nothing better

This year I can redirect wayward cucumber tendrils while they are still flexible, before they crawl across the grass in a solid determination.  I can weed regularly, making sure no seed heads reach maturity and spread their villainy across my patch in my absence.  I can harvest regularly and have been able to harvest at least twenty perfectly sized zucchini, not come home to twenty marrows!  The peas are also being harvested frequently enough to keep them going before the incessant summer heat finishes them off and the freezer is filling up with bags of little green orbs that will last well into the winter months.  The first red tomato, stolen by the birds will hopefully be the only red tomato stolen by the birds without my constant presence in the garden as I was able to put up a range of deterrents.  And much to my relief the garden is well hydrated.


But looking to the New Year, however ill-timed it is for a gardener down under, is something my mind seems to wander to.  While I am in the garden I can easily conjure up a list of things that need doing, mostly short term chores and projects:

  1. Now the rainy spring is behind us and in anticipation of a dry summer (one can only hope) I must complete my irrigation system. I’m nearly there.
  2. I need to sort out the long grass in the orchard – no idea how at this point.
  3. I want to build a fence – not around the whole garden – just on the sides where expansion is no longer possible.
  4. I need to build a proper compost system – a wonderful three bin one I have been dreaming about for so long.
  5. The greenhouse could do with a bit of a clean-up, and so could the shed.

    How on earth does this happen?
    How on earth does this happen?
  6. There is so much pickling and preserving to do, nothing should go to waste.
  7. The lavender around the deck needs deadheading because it is beginning to flower again. I didn’t know it would do that, such a lovely surprize.
  8. The grounds beyond the garden need a bit of TLC. I must find time for this too.
  9. Passionfruit.  I will leave it at this as reminder to myself, but won’t delve deeper into this chore lest I shame myself.
  10. Put away the outside shelving used for hardening off as this no longer has a use until next spring and it is impossible to mow around.
The moment is gone,  this rack has become more of a burden than a benefit to the garden
The moment is gone, this rack has become more of a burden than a benefit to the garden

See look at that – ten easy to find tasks to do in the garden in the New Year.  I could go on as this is the kind of list that has an ebb and flow and is never ending.  Once one thing is achieved, then somehow another two things have taken its place with varying degrees of urgency.

Maybe I need a scythe, or would that be just too dangerous in my clumsy hands?
Maybe I need a scythe, or would that be just too dangerous in my clumsy hands?

However, away from the garden and removed from the pressing needs of what to do next, it is easier to think of the bigger picture.  Where am I with my lifestyle? Are we going where we want to be? And what more needs to be done?  These are the ponderings that alter the course of the journey we are on.  Having this break in the middle of the horticultural obsessiveness allows me to stop and look backwards and forwards to make sure not only am I going in a straight line and not veering off, but also am I also on the right track.  Even more importantly, is this still where I want to go…

I do like a straight line
I do like a straight line

These are deeper questions and the answers don’t come as easily as a ‘to do’ list  This is the kind of philosophical pondering that requires a bit more thought – over a few glasses of elderflower champagne I think.  The year still has a few days for me to mull this over and then convince the family my new year’s resolutions are far superior to any they could come up with so they should jump on board and be more like me…

The rhythmic motion of the waves is the perfect backdrop for thinking
The rhythmic motion of the waves is the perfect backdrop for thinking

Come again soon, a new start is coming in the middle of what I already have going on.  It will be magnificent.  Or we may stay the same, in which case it will be fabulous.

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

27 thoughts on “Is change afoot or will it be the same old same old?

  1. Great post sarah .. Nice to stand back and think about things. Esoecially with a glass of bubbles in hand. I must do my list (gulp). Enjoy your break Miss .. Happy new year to you and your family!

    1. Hi Julie. We had a lovely break – well series of mini breaks this year and I was able to come back and check on the garden, so now the garden isn’t an overgrown tangled jungle that it normally is. It is good to take time away though, it is easier to make larger plans when you aren’t there. I hope your list comes easily and you find yourself with bubbles in hand.
      Happy New Year.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

    1. Hi Virginia. Happy New Year. It is so lovely to have fresh peas, and these ones taste even better as it was such hard work to get them to grow as the spring was terrible.
      I do have to say though – one of my favourite times in the gardening calender is the seed selecting and sowing stage as the season is full of such hope and promise. Exciting times ahead for you.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

  2. I hope my peas look as good as yours! I think the squirrels got them last spring. I hope that you get your three bin compost system- I love mine and it was made quite inexpensively too. There is a picture and post on my blog if you’re looking for ideas. It’s amazing what can be done with a few pallets. Happy New Year!

    1. Hi Sarah. Thanks for the tips. I love having projects to do, but I need to ensure they actually happen as it is so easy to get wrapped up in the busyness of being busy that I don’t actually find anytime to do the cool stuff like compost bins – it has been on the list for a few years. This will be the year it gets done! Happy New Year to you too. Cheers Sarah : o )

  3. Excellent post and it is most important for the people in the north to know that we poor southerners have to interupt our growing season to celebrate Christmas and New Years…how inconsiderate! ;). By the way what on EARTH are those green things on the beach?! I don’t think I am going to sleep tonight unless I know!

      1. Thanks Lindy. There are loads of them all over the beach – that and jellyfish this summer. But I think the jellyfish are harmless ones.
        Happy New Year to you.
        Cheers Sarah : o )

    1. Hi Fran. I think we really should have Christmas in April. Maybe roll Easter into one extended festival. The garden is quiet around that time of year. We can start a petition.
      The green things are mangrove seeds. There are two schools of thought around here – some say they are valuable for the ecosystem and the others say they are clogging up the water ways. The estuary in our town is reduced to a very narrow channel when the tide is out with great muddy banks on the sides. In years gone by large boats used to come right into town. Last year the controversial decision was made to chop down the mangroves and restore the waterway. In this instance I think I am with the mangrove destroyers – they are such an invasive plant.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

  4. You make me smile. There is a lot to think about, isn’t there?

    I’m glad you’ll have time off between mosquito bites so you can properly tend to your beloved garden. Ten days away during growing season would feel like a lifetime.

    Happy New Year, Sarah.

    1. Happy New Year Alys.
      We had a lovely break – well collection of mini breaks and being able to come back and tend to the garden made it so much easier once we came home for good. Everything is doing well. Last year I just wanted to cry and give up when faced with the post holiday jungle.
      The beach was lovely though and after an unsettled start I think the weather is finally being a proper summer.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

      1. Hurray for proper weather, Sarah, and for a garden greeting you with joy and not jungle overgrowth.

        It sounds as if you’ve found that perfect blend of holiday and home. It’s that sweet spot that makes life golden.

    1. Hi Susan. I do try too or I just end up with a tangled mess. One or two always sneak through though. Some of the sneaky laterals grow back after being removed!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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