I didn’t mean to do that

The first sunny day in ages and what happens – I have an appointment in the city.  I cast a disappointed glance over my shoulder and witnessed the sun stretch out over the garden, highlighting the green against the clear blue sky.  It was one of ‘those’ days.  A rare magnificent blue sky day, even the chilly start wouldn’t have deterred this gardener.  A day like this is gardening gold in the winter.  I let out a sigh and climbed into the car to drive the normally hour drive into the city, only to struggle with the traffic for an hour and a half and arrive at my appointment in the nick of time.

 I awoke the following day and my heart skipped a beat.  The sun was back for a repeat performance.  It was magnificent and I was keen to get out there and get things done.  However the knock on effects from the previous day held me impatiently indoors as I took care of what I missed the day before, on top the things that needed doing that day.  Normally I can whip through things quickly and race out into the garden like an excited kid being released from school for the holidays.   As clouds started to gather and the sun began to play hide and seek I anxiously wondered if I’d missed my spot in the sunshine.

I arrived home with enough time to enjoy the last of the sunshine in what was a glorious day.
I arrived home with enough time to enjoy the last of the sunshine in what was a glorious day.
Note the unkempt lavender in front of the deck.

My mind was distracted with all that could be done – I need to dig over the onion overflow bed, the asparagus fronds need to be moved to the compost heap and their soil enriched with a layer of rich organic matter.  The old peas are just making the place look shabby and need to come down.  Several beds need to have their cover crops dug in, although I’m procrastinating here as there is a lot of digging to be done.  And this was just the items that jumped out at me as I glanced out the window.  There is much, much more to be done, not including my special project that has stalled half way through phase one, leaving it unworthy to be discussed.

It is time for the asparagus to come down
It is time for the asparagus to come down. I shall miss it’s great structure and presence in my garden

Finally I reached the point where no more could be done inside and my mind, that hadn’t entirely been focused on the task at hand, had created a priority list of how I’d tackle the day once I was free to go outdoors.  I was motivated and full of enthusiasm to really make a visible difference and made it as far as the front steps.

Hubby the Un-Gardener called to me, “hold on – I’ll make you a cuppa tea.”  Which is lovely and something he does many times a day, without him I’d dry out! So as I loitered by the steps I looked at my lavender.  The ones I had lovingly grown from seed and saved myself a small fortune in an attempt to beautify a once ugly deck area around the house.  They were choked with weeds, which had the potential to force the plants to distort and contort as they grew around them.  At a glance there was more vibrant green from the infiltrators and thugs than there was the silvery green of the lavender.

pruned and weeded lavender
Lavender that looks loved in a scruffy dog kind of a way. But loved none the less.

I thought I’d just pull a few weeds while I wait for my cuppa as I looked enthusiastically towards the garden.  Well that cuppa ended up going cold and undrunk as I got stuck into restoring order to the lavender bed – a huge visual impact area for the whole front of our house.  The plants were just beginning to show signs of new growth, so the time was right to give them a bit of a haircut.  I began the tedious chore of clipping away at each plant with my pruners when it was suggested to me to use hedge clippers.

I love power tools.  As the early winter sun began to sink into the horizon I was able to stand back and lean on my rack and admire my handy work.  While there are wobbly undulations in the line of lavender, the overall effect is much better and was much faster than individually trimming each plant.  I would have been doing that well into dark – with a headlamp, or worse still I would have stopped half way through, never to finish it as some other task would have demanded my urgent attention.

new lavender buds
The hope of a new season beginning to emerge. I do love to see the stirrings of summer in the depths of winter.

That evening I enjoyed a soak in a warm bath knowing that all the stiff joints and achy muscles were caused by a job well done and I will be so pleased with my distracted task once the weather warms up and there is a hum of happy bees and magnificent glow of purple flowers to greet all who come to see us.

Come again soon – the sun has gone, but at least it’s not raining, gardening shall be done – in the actual garden!

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

If you are  interested you can follow the journey of my lavender below:

Transplanting the lavender

Lavenders first haircut

And into even bigger pots

The lavender gets room mates

12 thoughts on “I didn’t mean to do that

  1. I’m drooling at all that green landscape, both in the city and around your garden. I can also relate to yearning for time in a fall garden. For us, the weather is finally cool enough to get things done after a hot summer. Is this year two of your asparagus?

    1. Hi Alys. We are blessed to live in a lovely country and at our biggest city there are only 1.4 million people living there out of a total population of 4.5 million, so there is plenty of room.
      The asparagus are at various stages, some are 2 years and some are 7 years old. We get a great harvest in the spring.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

      1. Wow! The scales are so different when you aren’t packed in like sardines (as the saying goes). San Jose is approaching 1 million people. Housing is expensive and hard to come by and it only gets worse. Older homes are torn down, and replaced with two to four new ones on the same property. So different from where you live. Cheers!

        1. San Jose does sound like Auckland, they are saying most young people won’t be able to buy a house these days as it is too expensive. The rest of the country is cheap enough but everyone heads to the big city for “opportunities.” I’m glad we got out, country living suits us much better.
          Cheers S : o )

          1. I’m very happy you live in the country and can make such an impressive go of it. Since you are both writers, I imagine it gives you flexibility to live where you want.

            It will be hard for our boys to live here too when they’re older. It’s really gotten out of hand.

            I hope to see your beautiful country one day.

  2. Lovely update thank you for sharing your lavender looks lovely the sun is out here and the un Gardner in my house has said no gardening for me as he said I looked really pale yesterday

    1. Hi Linda. Sometimes it is better to take it easy so you can enjoy your garden. Gardens aren’t just about working in them, sometimes you just need to be still in one. I hope you feel better soon.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

  3. Your garden looks great … ah green! Isn’t it such a shame when the day is gorgeous and you can’t get out into that garden. I chopped a lavender the other day – but I suspect given its location that it is time for it to be removed. happy gardening …

    1. Hi Julie. Gardens are a constantly evolving thing, especially in the vege patch.
      I am trying to look beyond it for landscaping ideas as we still have very much a flat blank canvas (after 8 years!). The lavender has given me a bit of confidence to expand a little into other areas, but I think low maintenance has to be the key or I won’t be beautifying the place, I will end up with a big weedy mess.
      The photos of your place the other day made me go wow! You have a lovely set up.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

Leave a Reply