In typical style for out here on the wild west coast, this week’s storm’s last hurrah is wind! There are still a few spotty showers, but the wind right now is averaging around 50 km/h with the inevitable stronger gusts. By this time tomorrow it should be all over or getting that way. The forecast for tomorrow says ‘Fresh southwesterlies easing.’ Fresh is an interesting choice of words for wind and certainly doesn’t line up with the ‘fresh as a daisy’ expression. Out here on the coast I would be more inclined to use the word ‘bracing’. And you really need to brace yourself before heading out.
Although having said that the bark is often way worse than its bite. We live in an old, relocated house that we are still very much in the process of doing up (…someone may have spent a little too much of the budget on the garden instead of the house…) and so, the wind whistles through the nooks and crannies making things seem infinitely worse than they actually are. The downside of this is you tend to hunker down unnecessarily and are pleasantly surprised when you do venture outdoors. (Sometimes… But not always)
These days the garden is a sanctuary from the storms – well as much as it can be. I have installed and improved the wind breaks to the point now that it has to be a really bad storm for serious, irreparable harm to come to the garden. Everything has been designed with the worst case in mind. Although the direction of the wind can have serious implications – the wind straight off the ocean is laden with salt.
Over this last week I have hunkered down and taken care of as much of the computer gardening as I could – the things that needed to be done, had deadlines or other people needing me to do my bit. So, on this supposedly last day of the storm, I’m at a little bit of a loss as to what to do. I’m not mad enough to go out and garden – maybe I’m getting soft. I think my younger self would be right out there getting things done. I’d like to think it’s wiser not softer.
So here I am at the cusp of a season, so it is the perfect time to make some plans. I need to do a stock take of all I would like to do this cold season; all I need to do and everything I should have done before. The list of things that should have been done before is the one that is angst ridden and were once on a ‘things to do now’ list, but time was not kind and they ‘fell off’. They may not be on paper anymore, but I know they are there, waiting to be done.
Other things have been on the list a long time but waiting for the right conditions, like waiting for the rains to come. Then there are the ordinary routine things that need to be done to keep the garden moving along and will ultimately make spring easier. And finally, there are the new things, the exciting things I want to do, which often get to the top of the list not only because of what they are, but there is often a deadline attached.
Thinking about it, the reason a lot of things don’t get crossed off the list is because they are too big – almost too insurmountable. ‘New irrigation’ or ‘Fix back corner’ makes it feel like I need to set aside a week of sunny days to get the job done. But if I list all the jobs and then look into them and break them down into smaller lists of tasks that seem doable on their own or at the very least make the insurmountable seem achievable and less daunting.
The other thing to bear in mind is winter is always thought of as the long slow season. But when you take into account the days that are too cold and too miserable to do anything useful, the days taken up by other things and if we are being honest the spring preparations start in late winter so that is one less month of winter to spare for projects, there isn’t actually as much time as you would think and it disappears quickly. The upside of this storm is it has given me a cool season mindset early on and so I will take the next two months of autumn and instead of seeing them not as a lingering and dying summer, but a head start to cool season achievements. This season I will be starting early instead of dragging my heels as I bemoan the demise of a season I didn’t actually enjoy. Now is my time to shine.
I’m excited to get started on this list – I feel like I’ve gone from feeling a little lost to motivated and open to a productive turn of events.
Come again soon – this wind will blow over and I’ll be ready for a fresh start.
Sarah the Gardener : o)