Overdoing things

I need to remind myself that while I’m attempting to Make May Count, I shouldn’t overdo it.   I’m not superwoman, I am a mild mannered gardener with an annoying side kick called MS.   It’s just that I get a little over enthusiastic with the sense of achievement and crave it more and more.   Although getting things done is a great thing to chase in a world filled with vices at every turn.

All going well this daphne should bring a lovely fragrance to my winter.

I started out great yesterday.  It was so still and so mild.  Not warm, I was wearing thick socks and a jumper.  But it was a lovely autumnal day.  I started out strong and transplanted a few of the larger plants in the greenhouse into bigger pots.  I decided the daphne plant I had nurtured from a twig was strong enough to return to the outdoors and positioned in on the shady side of my deck, out of the wind so it can deliver its sweet scent to my office when it blooms.

Gooseberry bush
I think the gooseberry bush will be more comfortable spending the winter in the greenhouse.

While weeding the garden the other day – probably the kryptonite to my get up and go, I noticed the gooseberry plant was not looking all that flash.  Instead of leaving it to its own devices, in a do or die battle with the elements, yesterday I decided to dig it up, pop it into a pot of nutrient rich soil and give it some love over the winter so it can draw in some strength without fighting the windy coastal conditions and then replant it out again in the spring once the conditions are calm and it can spend the season growing in strength.

Lemon Verbena
My poor lemon verbena got a bit knocked around in the greenhouse, and I accidentally broke one of its two branches. I made it up to it by putting it in a shiny new pot… my best pot. The fact it was the only one the right size had nothing to do with it.

Then I headed into the office to catch up on the computer gardening missed from a day of powerless weeding.   It was at this point I felt my energy drain from my body like someone had turned a tap.  I’ve been here before and there is nothing for it but to stop and recover.  To push on is madness and extends the recovery time.  But in the spirit of ‘do one more thing’ I took my ‘put one foot in front of the other’ approach I shelled some beans that had had more than enough time to dry, and shucked some popcorn that had also benefited from the warmth of the greenhouse and were good to go.

Lemon verbena and ginger tea
The broken lemon verbena branch wasn’t wasted. I used the leaves with some ginger to make a lovely tea.

Today I feel well rested and ready to go again, but maybe a bit more considered.  No more 5 hour weeding sessions.  That is just madness.  But today is a good day.  Today we are free and out of lockdown and I can finally go shopping.  Level 2 requires us to be cautious, but we can get out and about.  I have a list for the garden centre.  I want onion seeds or seedlings as my Pukekohe Longkeepers haven’t done as well as I would have liked.  There are 6 weeks until the shortest day so there is still plenty of time to sow seed.  It is a little late, but I’d love some sweet pea seeds, and I want some elephant garlic because last year mine didn’t do well at all, so I have no saved cloves.   I’d like some mesh because I want to build a sieve, and I would like some shelf brackets and some sandpaper because I want to build some shelves for my office.

Dried beans
These dried beans will be perfect for a winter meal or two.

Oh and I need storage containers so the items we emptied out of the bedroom wardrobe when we built the shelves in the tool shed can be sorted through into rodent proof boxes and can be stored in an orderly manner in the tool shed.  I know myself too well and if I just put the boxes as they were straight into the tool shed they would stay like that forever.  But as a tripping hazard in the front room, this will ensure they are sorted properly and sorted in good time.

Strawberry popcorn
I think I have learnt a few lessons around the popcorn this season. As it should ideally stay on the plant for as long as possible, that allows the corn ear worm to do more damage. My first batch of sweetcorn was corn ear worm free, but the 2nd lot had some minor damage and I just chopped it off. So I will start my popcorn first, early in the season to ensure a bug free popcorn crop.

I probably need a haircut, but that can wait, there are so many more important things to be done in Level 2!  I came up with so many great and possibly not so great ideas during lockdown that desperately need exploring.

Come again soon – so many options but need to be taken with all kinds of caution.

Sarah the Gardener : o)


15 thoughts on “Overdoing things

  1. Sarah, yes, it’s difficult for me to quit when I should. I’ve learned to take more rest periods while working in the garden. I my case it’s just part of the aging process. I can still do everything I need to do but just not as fast or as long as I used to do it. The slower pace can be quite enjoyable if I just embrace it and not let it upset me with tasks not done. It’s a different season of life.

    Have a great day putting the garden to sleep.

    Nebraska Dave
    Urban Farmer

    1. I think gardens are really meant to be appreciated at a slower pace of life and sometimes we just need to accept this and enjoy the garden for what it is. All the best in your garden this season. : o)

  2. I have a huge long list of things to plant, but most of them not till spring, which gives me some time to work on preparing the ground. I do need to plant that garlic, though.
    I’ve been a bit busy of late preparing my second novel for publication (The Wound of Words – unfortunately not very gardeny compared to my first novel Restoration Day), but it’s out today, so hopefully I’ll get into the garden soon! Cue rain…

    1. Congratulations on getting the book out. It is always an exciting day when something you have kept to yourself for so long can now been seen by others. But it also means you can stop thinking about it for a little bit and do other things! All the best with the book and the garlic! : o)

  3. I know the fatigue can be debilitating with MS. I’m glad you have a system of recovery when you need it. I imagine that’s hard though. I’m intrigued by your popcorn crop. That is simply amazing.

    1. Hi Alys. Growing popcorn is always fun but I don’t think I’ll ever be self sufficient in popcorn to go with watching movies. They do have that sweeter ‘I grew it myself’ flavour although there is a high chance I’m imagining it and it just tastes like popcorn covered in melted butter! : o)

  4. What is a gooseberry? I mean, what species is it? They are uncommon here because they prefer more of a chill, rather than less.

    1. Gooseberries are related to currents and can be used in similar ways. I live in the United States and just a hundred miles south of me they grow wild in the wooded areas. They grow on a thorny bush and are harvested when they become soft to the squeeze. That’s some time in late summer. They can be harvested earlier to make jam but are sweeter if left to ripen.

      Have a great gooseberry day.

      Nebraska Dave
      Urban Farmer

      1. Well, yes, that is what I think of as a gooseberry; related to currants. However, the reason that they are uncommon here is that they do not get much chill in winter. They prefer cooler winters. I do not expect them to have a problem with frost, and would not deprive them of our minimal chill by putting them in a greenhouse for winter. I was wondering if ‘gooseberry’ is a regional name for something else that does not like chill.

        1. I’m not trying to deprive it of winter chill, I’m just give it a break from the harsh coastal conditions so it can establish itself into a stronger plant before I expect it to produce fruit. And if it never produces fruit, it is a hansom looking plant – even with the spines. : o)

          1. Oh, of course. It dislikes coastal conditions. It is one that I had not grown until just recently. I really do not know how well they do here with minimal chill, but will find out.

      2. Those thorns are quite nasty but I think it will be worth it to be able to harvest some fruit. I had a bush in my old garden but had to leave it behind just as it was getting going… always the way. : o)

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