Apologies to The Mamas and Papas! A few arrangements for help in the garden have fallen through because of weather conditions (and before you say a bit of rain never hurt anyone, if you walk across soil you intend to plant in when it is wet, you compact it, and anaerobic/airless soil is a sad lifeless thing, “a graveyard of hope” indeed…) so I was delighted when Eleanor offered to help me today 😉 we managed an hour between showers and I felt so happy! She borrowed clothes to get dirty in and I dug out the homehelp gloves for her, to protect her manicure…

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She is so not a gardener and this was a deeply selfless gesture (well, I suppose she gets to stop hearing me keen over everything I’m stuck on cos the first domino can’t fall 😉 ) but in the end she enjoyed it! Not sure she’s converted, but she could feel the win of a big bucket of weeds that used to be between the slabs, and the replenished mulch (thanks approved foods, your boxes are great!!)  looks so much tidier.

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She could lift all the heavy things, so I could put the winter covers on my workbench (£shop shower curtains are excellent waterproofing) and move the trays of pansies etc so when there is a sunny day I can plant some more pots. Having settled this area for the winter, it is easier to plan what to ask Spade and Sparrow to do, and I can see that I want the laurel and tree weedlings out of the east end of the rockery.

This is a photo of when I mulched on my own, but couldn’t lift the heavy bricks to weigh down the big cardboard, so it all blew around in the night 😦  So it is already better, but the angle of this shot shows the brambles, dying laurel, holly seedlings and various other ruffians… you can click on the image to make it bigger btw. Take my word for it, at first I saw nothing much in it, but Nonie loves this corner, she hides in the undergrowth around the laurel, and when I peer in, I can see rocks supporting or crushed by the laurel that’s almost horizontal, it really would make an interesting feature. And it’s so huge removing it would cost hundreds, so feature it has to be! It could make a great bench for enjoying the garden from…though not so comfortable our nocturnal visitors would use it with their customers, I hope 😦

When I weeded this area and planted the pink astilbe lots of feverfew and self seeded foxgloves came up, and I think clearing it back of definite weeds (plants in the wrong place) would reveal more rocks, but also more dormant flowers… I’d like to grow oswego tea again (canadian bergamot, nothing to do with citrus bergamot in earl grey tea) and that has pretty pinky mauve flowers. With more blue agastaches again, it could smell as heavenly as it looked… oh, dreaming gardens is so good for your stress levels!

A great understanding that came out of my struggles with the toxic damage I had to remedy on my derelict allotment, was to work with what I had, and to be patient, to enjoy the stages.  I was  saying this on Facebook earlier, gardening taught me the patience and acceptance, that now I have fibromyalgia is just essential for coping. Just as dreaming is! Getting stuck these last few weeks got me very down, being helped over this stile, I can do what is within my abilities and having the money to pay sympathetic professionals to do the rest, I can focus on this very neglected corner and make it a feature, and the momentum that gives me is immense, and carries through into other areas of my life… but really important is just to sit in my rollator with a coffee and enjoy the garden today, or light a candle and daydream what it can be…stopping to savour this is a vital ( essential-to-life) part of the process…and I used to skip that, till gradually the landspirit taught me that was part of the greater harvest of the allotment, not just crops, and a constructive hobby, but a quiet attuning to the greater process.

And if you can help a friend get a bit closer with a dream, do try – you might find you enjoy it more than you ever expected 😉

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