The weather is still being weird. It is still gloomy but the nice days are fighting for their right to shine, so we have had a couple of days that offer the promise of summer. But for the most part this struggle of the seasons are showing themselves as hot and humid with bursts of rain temporarily cooling things down. The garden is coping well enough. I wouldn’t say thriving as it really needs the sunshine to go with the warmth. I’m checking regularly for fungal diseases because that would be so unfortunate to lose everything before they get going.
With the weather being so strange, it makes gardening become a bit of a chore. The weeds seem to love the weather, so they are doing well. Today I went through most of the garden pulling out anything that isn’t supposed to be there. It was early in the day so it wasn’t too hot to start with, but the humidity got more and more intense that you could feel the rain before it came. But I managed to harvest peas, zucchini, strawberries, a couple of tomatoes, asparagus and coriander seeds before the heavens opened. I probably would have stopped at that point anyway as a wasp was a little unhappy with me disturbing it when I was picking the strawberries.
Normally I know my garden intimately, having nurtured everything from seed and watched over it with care as it grew to take its place in the garden. This season, I don’t feel like I know it as well as I was out of the garden for a month, and then the weather held me back while it treated my plants poorly. So there has been harm and loss, as well as a bit of a disconnect. But it is my garden and my responsibility, and I need to fall back in love with it. I would be completely lost without it. It occupies my time and I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I didn’t have to look after it. It is also my muse, that allows me to create content, some of which pays its way and allows me to spend time in a garden all day.
Love is a strange thing. There is the instant love at first sight, like when a beautiful flower emerges and it looks even more amazing than the label suggested and has an intoxicating fragrance. Then there is the intense love that is experienced when eating a sun warmed strawberry, straight from the garden – with its deeply rich flavour that you find you can’t stop at just one, and end up eating every single one right there in the garden.
However the best love is the one that comes with a sense of comfort and familiarity. You know the garden will always be there, but you need to contribute to its well being, even if it means a bit of hard work in the chill of winter, because you know the reward will come when the garden begins to flourish and offer up a harvest in return for all you have done. This is the kind of love I have for my garden, although sometimes in the moment, it can be challenging, and I chide myself for wishing it away or complaining that is it demands too much of me.
Sometimes I just need to look past all of the activity that is required and just sit and be. The garden wraps itself around me in a soft green, fragrant embrace and reminds me to look at what we have accomplished together. I just need to take the time to be still in the company of my garden and appreciate it and be reminded exactly what it means to me. The chores can wait, nothing in a garden is urgent
Come again soon – I do love my garden, but at times it does feel like a petulant child!
Sarah the Gardener : o)