Saturday, 7 September 2013

Somethings got to give!

A few years ago (and I'm talking as little as perhaps 3) had I wandered round to the polytunnel and been faced with this

I would have simply rolled my sleeves up, got the fork out and the lawn mower and set about clearing it all up before losing what little crops are left.
However when I was faced with this yesterday I could muster the energy to do little more than stare at it and the more I stared at it the more despondent I became, the more despondent I became the less I cared - vicious circle. The parcel of cat droppings so nicely deposited right in the center of this first bed was just the final straw - the blinkin cats haven't even bothered to cover this one! Mind you that's something to be grateful for I guess.
For a wee while I sat on the wooden sides of the bed figuring out (or trying to) what I really wanted to do, do I even enjoy this gardening lark anymore? If I did then surely the areas wouldn't get so neglected? or at least I'd be more enthused about clearing them?
This particular area won't take much more than a day or so to clear if I'm honest, it's a fairly big area but it just needs mowing, tidying and the beds weeding but move on into the adjacent veg plot and it just gets worse - this is the bridge that takes me to the next plot

Looks a picture of health huh! NOT!
The gorse can be cut back obviously, the dead stuff can all be raked away - simples, but it gets worse - this is the path that leads one veg area to the next

The path is no longer there and it's now too long for the mower - it's gonna have to be strimmed, then I'm going to have to chop alot of plants back to get through that gate, all doable I know.
But the real heartache has got to be the second veg area. Before I had a garden (when the house was being built) this area was my haven, it was kept spotless, weed free, well manicured and the veg beds were lovingly cared for, in fact I spent as much time round here as I possibly could.
Now though it could only be classed as a haven for insects and weeds

A few years ago I would have scoffed at anyone suggesting it could end up looking like that and I've been seriously questioning whether this is just a blip or whether I need to take a break from veggie gardening. In all honesty I do not enjoy vegetable gardening, I only started it because I was a stay at home mum and felt obliged to do it with all this land available and once we got the polytunnel it seemed a crime not to fill it with veg. The problem is not the growing of the veg though it's the upkeep of such large areas. I've always tried to manage my Narcolepsy and Fibromyalgia to enable me to do the hard tasks outside, I'm aware that if I sit down next to the pond I could fall asleep and end up in it or that if I do too much one day I will be useless for the following 3 but it's getting harder to cope mentally as well as physically.
Yep, I'm thinking I may shut the tunnel down and close the gates to the veg areas at the end of the year and concentrate solely on my garden for a while.


  1. If that is how you feel then that is what you should do, Don't make it a chore. Has everyone near you got large plots of land. I'm thinking landshare here. maybe inviting someone to help you and grow vegetables to share. I'm not sure how isolated you are.

    1. I live quite rural Sue. There is a local village that has allotment plots available though.
      Having thought some more I think there is more going on in my head and I've been thinking that maybe I'm not enjoying it because I'm losing lots of veg and stupidly growing veg that I don't really like - I know, it's bizarre that I would do that.
      It's funny but the thought of not growing veg makes me more sad than I feel when I am growing it lol. On that note I have a few ideas rolling round in my head.
      Thank you for your suggestions Sue, it often helps to hear thoughts from someone removed from the situation.

    2. Why not think of what you really like to eat and limit the amount of things you want to grow? Maybe focus on the things in your polytunnel given your weather. I can recommend using the weed control fabric as it has certainly helped us.

      Try to garden a manageable bit well rather than try to take on too much. Think carefully about how much you can do and plan to that rather than making plans that you just can't achieve.

  2. That's a tough one. Maybe take a few days to think about it. I was wondering if someone you know would want to partner up with and help maintain the area? I have areas I can't maintain and I just let them go wild.

    1. This is going to sound sad Kelli but I don't know anyone here lol, that is by my choice though due to some previous bad experiences. I think I need to wrap my head round the idea that it's beneficial to let some areas go wild. I have this belief that everywhere has to look as perfectly manicured as those gardens you see on TV - yes, the ones with dozens of helping hands behind the scenes lol. When my garden doesn't look so well kept I somehow feel pointless if that makes sense. I'm beginning to think this problem goes beyond a bit of veg gardening, maybe I actually need to meet people with similar interests- but that's a scary thought after i've shut myself away for so long.
      Thank you for your suggestions kelli and I'm most certainly going to think on it.

  3. Lots of people take on a challenge and then give up for one reason or another - don't beat yourself up! Kelli and Sue have made some very valid comments; it's easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of work involved in gardening so it makes sense to only grow what you love, whether that's flowers or veg. Could I suggest some easy veg like beans or raspberries that take care of themselves and some ground cover herbs to suppress weeds.(I have a huge pineapple sage and horseradish that are taking over here and my mint and oregano just come back every year.) Most of my flowers are self-seeded or perennials so, if I have a lack of time, the garden looks after itself. Oh yes, and get a good hoe. I wish you the best of luck with this, please don't let this get the better of you - being outdoors is the best therapy there is!
    PS Have you joined UK Veg Gardeners? You might be able to contact some like minded locals through it.


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