Sunday, 8 September 2013

Big girls pants, Marigolds & Thanks.

So last night I spent alot of time trying to figure out what I'm going to do with regards to gardening next year and I was pretty certain that I was going to concentrate solely on the garden and forget veggie gardening for a few years. I really did believe that I don't enjoy veggie gardening and that I'll be no worse off if I save myself the hassle and anxiety of veg growing and stick to the flower gardening. So last night I tried to work out what it is that I actually don't enjoy about veggie gardening and it pretty much boiled down to the fact that stupidly on my part I've been growing veg that either we don't particularly eat much of (usually the ones we get a glut of too) or fruit and veggies that have been suffering the same problems for me every year. Tomatoes are a case in point - for some reason they've suffered from blight for the past 3 years and yet I still grow them in the same place, in the same conditions and in the same polytunnel thereby setting myself up for a huge disappointment.
The other real problem I've been having is that I'm finding myself less and less able to maintain big garden areas by myself to the standard that I feel they should be, when all that gets on top of me I berate myself at my inability to maintain my gardens to the standards we see on TV programmes such as 'Beechgrove garden' or 'Gardeners World'. With this failure in mind I had convinced myself that I was wasting my time bothering with it anymore and that it was all pointless anyway - the fact that those gardens have a multitude of people maintaining them behind the scenes made no never mind to me - I was too busy beating myself up!

My post yesterday reflected how morose I was feeling about pretty much everything and I was pretty much settled with the idea of giving up but then I read the messages I got and also the private emails I received and I have to say everyone made some fabulous solutions and you all got me to thinking about what I could do to make things easier rather than just giving up. I then looked back on my posts from when I started this blog and compared what we have achieved here over just the last few months and suddenly there seemed to be a bit of light coming through - maybe I have been too hard on myself.
By the time I got up this morning I had pretty much got a plan in mind. I'm not giving up, I'm not shutting the polytunnel and I'm not giving up on vegetable gardening but most of all I'm not going to kill myself trying to achieve a garden that would need 10 people to help me maintain it.
I've decided that next year I am growing only the veg that we love to eat, I'm growing less of it though as we end up with too much (even if we give it away), I'm going to weed suppress wherever possible to cut down on weeding, I'm going to weedkill all the edges so that I don't have to spend an entire day with scissors (yes I use scissors for all edges) and I'm going to maintain paths to the separate areas only, the rest of it can be left to do what it does and I dare say it will probably look much better than it does when I attempt to chop at it every few days. Basically I am cutting down my workload as much as possible so that i can find that enjoyment for it that I once had many years ago.

With that in mind I went outside today with a plan of what I was to achieve - a direct goal. No more sitting and looking and adding up all the areas that needed doing and contemplating the different things that need doing, no more 'thinking' myself out of doing things, I was to go outside with  headphones on so that I can't think to myself and I was just going to put my big girls pants on, don my Marigolds and get the job started.
By this afternoon I had such a sense of achievement I was actually smiling

Here's the area I worked on today - this is how it looked at the end of yesterday
This is how it looks now
Not only did I weed the raised beds but I cleared the entire polytunnel area.

 I also collected up the last of the Tomatoes from the plants that were hit by blight and put them in a container to continue to ripen

Tomorrow I will be making a start on the greenhouse veg beds and the surrounding areas, it's alot of work but I feel very enthused and positive about doing it and I know that once the hard work of weeding is finished I can cover the beds to suppress weeds and then I'll be using these beds to hold plants temporarily when we renovate the second half of the garden next year.

Before I go I have to just share these photos of my garden helper, he has got to be the goofiest dog I have ever owned and the best friend I could ever ask for - Huntly.

So now I want to thank all of you who put forward suggestions to help me get in control of the mess in my head and for the support you offered simply by leaving a message on this blog or by email, it really did make all the difference and helped more than you'll ever know - THANKYOU.


  1. I am so glad you got your head round things. As for the bits of the garden you can't manage - turn it into a nature area and enjoy the wildlife that it brings in!

    As for edging - we have some sharp long handled edging shears that really make life so much easier.

    The difference that you have already made to the veg patch and polytunnel area is nothing short of fantastic - you should be really pleased - well done you!

    1. It's thanks to people such as your good self that put forward suggestions and ideas that I managed to get my head round it Sue so Thank you.
      I'm certainly going to be letting alot more of it go to nature :)
      I have those long handled shears too Sue, I just can't get the hang of them. I also have normal shears and garden scissor cutter things too but it seems like they get blunt after 10 minutes use and I always seem to revert back to scissors.

    2. Hubby has a few Sue but they scare the bejesus out of me lol. I am happy to use all manner of grizzly machinery and tools and yet the humble strimmer seriously scares me, I get these images of chopping my feet off - ridiculous I know. Mind you hubbys strimmers are big industrial heavy type ones so maybe I need to look into a more lighter girlie one.

  2. Bloody hell! Wow you must be exhausted. What a difference you made. I'm glad you are not giving up as I love reading your blog ... particulary as I live in another cold spot - near the north coast of Northern Ireland. Hope you enjoy the next stage of your journey.

    1. Thank you :) I'm now following your blog too and look forward to reading all about life on another North coast :)

  3. When I'm feeling overwhelmed with things to do in the garden, I do the same thing. I pick a spot to work on and just focus on that area. From there, it's easier to continue the work flow to other areas. I think your garden looks great and I love the dog. :o)

    1. Thank you CM :)
      It certainly makes things easier to just pick one area to work on, the main problem I have is that my mind wanders to the other areas while I'm working and that's when I get overwhelmed - music prevents me thinking too much though :)


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