In the Northern Hemisphere, the opportunity for a fresh start seems to make more sense. It is the middle of winter, and everything is dormant or done and as the year gets going things wake up or are restarted. Here, down under, we are in the swing of things. My garden is full, as is my life. I couldn’t be busier, but we take a break in the midst of it all and while away celebrating the calendar new year we do a bit of navel gazing to see what improvements can be made.
I guess I shouldn’t grumble, as it can be a good idea to make assessments and decisions to change things while it is in front of you. You can see if you have taken on too much or need to do things differently to remain in control. Any good intentions that had fallen off along the way can be scooped up and begun again without missing too much of a beat.
So, with a garden full of life and a burgeoning calendar that already is full to the point the first resolutions on the list are ‘Don’t take on anything else’ and ‘Don’t Procrastinate!’ However, 3 days into to year an opportunity too exciting to refuse has presented itself and so ‘Don’t Procrastinate!’ is now at the top of the list. My year is like a house of cards, and I can’t afford to make any slip ups or the whole thing will come crashing down. I need to keep my eye towards the end of the year as I am super excited to take my garden trip again next year, hosting another group of garden enthusiasts around this fine country. But aside from that being the major event, the year is punctuated with deadlines and opportunities I can’t afford to miss. So, this year I need to hit the ground running.
And so far so good. We did the typical summer holiday thing and lay in the sun reading until the sunscreen wore out and left a rosy pink glow, and the kids swam and hiked until they could do it no more. Then we did the obligatory premature exit from the campground to beat an encroaching storm to avoid packing up wet canvas in a howling gale. Fortunately, this year we only lost a day camping, but good for me, I gained an extra day in the garden.
We had a lovely house sitter, and things were well cared for, although as an un-gardener the watering could have been a touch deeper, but to be fair it is a large garden and to do a full watering can take an age! There was no rain while we were away, so things were just beginning to wilt. I had only been out of the car for moments before I began re=saturating the soil. Even with the storm on our heels, there was no guarantee it would have been a satisfactory thirst-quenching affair, and besides, the plants needed water desperately and couldn’t wait. I’m pleased I took the time as the storm seems to have reached us with more wind than water and the plants that were looking unwell are now full of vigour and able to face the weather better than they would have before.
Then I harvested a mountain of gherkins and have since processed them into pickles and took the marrows that were once been tender young zucchinis and peeled and sliced them and soaked them for an hour or two in a salad dressing and popped them in the dehydrator to make some crispy marrow chips.
As I was watering the garden I made a note of any gaps and have since sown some more kidney beans, beetroot, spinach and salad leaves. I’m not sure what happened to my beans but there is some premature aging going on in one area. I will get a harvest from them, but there is still plenty of time to get another crop going. It certainly helps that we don’t get frost. While I was in the greenhouse I repotted a few plants that had outgrown themselves. Finally, I went through and completely weeded sector three, which to be honest looked the easiest and was the biggest compromise between doing something productive and procrastinating in the midst of a storm.
In the meantime, I look forward to something resembling a normal summer so I can make the kind of progress I have created multiple lists to accommodate. Although the extended forecast doesn’t look very promising. I suspect my raincoat will become my new best friend in the garden.
Come again soon – this is a year full of exciting things.
Sarah the Gardener : o)