I have had a lovely week.  I approached it with trepidation, but I had no choice.  Once again our power was off for maintenance.  In an effort to catch up for the time lost during the lockdown, the power company decided to make one final push to get the job done to replace all the power poles in the area for once and for all. We were without power between 9am – 3pm for three days in a row.  Initially I was indignant – how could they do this to us?!  Don’t they know we have work to be done?  For us out here in the country, no power not only meant no power but also no internet and no water.  But as resourceful people in an unchangeable situation, we adapted.  Hubby the Un-Gardener packed up his office and went and worked elsewhere, where there was a power supply, so he could continue working without skipping a beat.

Cuppa tea time
Even without power there is always a way to make a cuppa tea. It wouldn’t be right to go without.

For me I took a different tack…  I decided to leave the office completely.  Over the last month, while trying to #MakeMayCount, I had done a lot of extra computer gardening and was in need of a break from the demands that glare at me from the glow of the computer screen.  On looking about the garden, while in control, some of the edges were beginning to show subtle signs of….  Of…. well not quite neglect, but love and care had been tossed at it in the haste of the month instead of being lovingly placed and it was beginning to show.  I needed some time with just me and my garden, no one else, no distractions so we could reconnect, one on one with each and every garden bed.  I needed to feel familiar with each one and recognise its needs.

Sorted garden
I feel a little better about the garden now… it has had a lot of good honest undistracted love.

It may be winter, and I am taking the opportunity to slow down and listen to the suggestion of the season, with its cold sluggish rain lazily and sporadically falling from the sky, the chill of the morning that suggests lingering a little longer in bed and starting the day a little later when it is more comfortable.  This all suits me just fine.  But the garden is still my baby and it still needs care and attention and will always do so – although fortunately in winter, not as much as in the coming season of spring.

Brassica bed
The winter brassica bed is coming along nicely. I just need to move the crop rotation signs.

However, in these slow days, there are things that can be done to get ready for the next season.  If I prepare the beds now in a no dig fashion, by adding compost, nutrients and goodies to the soil and allow the worms do the work of incorporating it into the structure and making it readily available for my plants to absorb it when the time comes, then I save myself the stress of preparing beds while tending seedlings in the busiest window of the entire gardening calendar.

Garden plans
I found my laminator and whipped up some plans for the garden so I can keep a track of where I am at with it on different levels – preparing the beds, planting the plants etc….

I need to ensure I maintain my daily sector sessions and take care of tiny weeds and hoe the paths and tend to the needs of the plants still lingering there.  It is so easy to look out and think, I did it last week so I’ll be fine to skip it this week, and then something comes up the following week, preventing any gardening being done at all and before you know it, it is a weedy mess again and it makes a complete mockery of the whole sector system that actually works really well when it is used properly.  I really need to work on my self discipline and allow it to become a routine in the fabric of my days.

Rat tunnel
This is a battle of wills – one I intend to win…

I filled my powerless days with jobs, chores, tasks, and projects.   Each with varying degrees of excitement or a reluctant willingness for something simple yet ever so slightly boring.   I have stepped up my battle with the rats who have expanding their domain to include living under the dome.  They have become so brazen I saw, in the middle of the day, one creature trying to get out of the compost bin through the gaps in the side and he was so fat he got stuck half way and had to wiggle his way like something out of a kids cartoon.   Each evening I bury the holes in the base of the greenhouse hoping that they won’t be there in the morning.   This is a war I will win, even if I have had to increase my battle into weapons I’m not entirely happy using.

Seedlings in the greenhouse
There is a lot going on in the greenhouse and each of these potted plants need care and attention.

I’ve also repotted all the seedlings I have in the greenhouse, and it surprises me just how many there are.  But all going well they won’t be there for long.  Then I can give it a jolly good clean out ready for the new season.   I’ve also tried to save my strawberries but that is a story for another day because at this point I’m not sure if there will be a happy ending or not.    I have enjoyed my downtime in the garden so much I have decided to make one day a week a ‘powerless day’ in the garden and just lose myself to the pleasures of the soil, the pleasures that can so easily be lost when you march to the beat of a different rhythm.

Come again soon – I have also been sorting out the asparagus and I can’t wait to tell you all about that.

Sarah the Gardener  : o)