Out of Balance...

 Cats can balance themselves!
Fluff-Fluff on a Post

The gardening me is so out of balance with the garden. I sit on the patio having breakfast with the dogs and I think about me and my garden. I divide my mind-page in half.

The Super-Efficient Me

Down one side are all the things the super-efficient me should have done yesterday, and last week. Add to these the things I must do before the end of this week. And the things I need to finish before the end of October, because that's a bit of a gardening sign-post. So that means all the things I need to finish today. Aargh!

And the Mellow Me...

On the other side there's the mellow me, a bit of a bumbler these days. After plodding around for five hours I run completely out of puff. It's so easy to visualise a hot shower and off early to bed with my book. If I try pacing myself, taking pleasantly long lunch breaks, and so on, the mind immediately switches off the 'urgent' button', and it can be jolly hard to reconnect.

Friday 31st October

By mid-afternoon the prospect of a shower, clean clothes, and taking my book out to a garden seat, while the dogs play tug-of-war nearby on the lawn - those are the things I want to do next. Then perhaps a cup of tea and a peep at the latest episode of Downton Abbey. You can see this is not leading me back to gardening at all.

 Who wins?
Tug-Of-War - Rusty and Winnie

This morning the plan was to place the hoses whilst en route to the back of the Shrubbery, which was to be the morning's Place of Attention. But on the way I noticed that the house planter boxes needed attention (watering, new potting mix, plants). One was disintegrating and needed taking to pieces. So I saw to this, planted out Pelargoniums, gathered up old pots of now-died-off tulips, and tried to water everything properly. Then I zoomed into the Shrubbery and properly planted some Agapanthus clumps. Such forgiving plants! They've been sitting on the surface for weeks now, and not a problem. Better a little attention than none at all...

Wake Up!

After my lunch break I was feeling rather dozy, so I thought some immersion in the water race to take photographs and do some weeding would wake me up. Well, it certainly woke my feet up.

 Cold for puppies in there!
Winnie the Puppy by the Water Race

Winnie the puppy, however, became rather agitated. Maybe she wanted to come in the water, maybe she was worried about me - I'm not really sure. As I sloshed downstream, she followed along the bank, squeaking and yapping, often half-falling in.

 The climbing variety.
Masquerade Rose

Anyway, I'm back inside bemoaning the fact that so many things need doing in my garden all at once, and there's only one of me, and that one is already visualising herself resplendent in her new apres-gardening shirt, wondering whether Lady Mary will marry Lord Gillingham (Downton Abbey, I'm afraid, and no! Don't tell me).


But I need to work outside for another three hours, I reckon, and then and only then can I relax and feel good about myself. Here are some ideas.

Empty the trailer of compost. Plant out the Stachys in the Driveway Garden. Shift the hoses - yet again, and yet again. Dig out some more Alkanet - there's lots of other food around for the bees now. Water the Deodars down the boundary. Take the dogs for a walk around the orchard and call in on Lilli-Puss in the hay-barn. Take some photographs of the late rhododendrons. Prick out some more seedlings. That's a list and a half...

Ha! Success! It's now the end of the day. Firstly, I love my new apres-gardening shirt. It is a blue and grey plaid, very country. Secondly, I feel very sorry for people who have gardeners. Because they wouldn't ever experience being stuck down in the gardening dumps one hour, and zooming up sky-high, elated and happy the next. Such is my experience this afternoon, and I am so proud of my efforts.

I worked as hard as I could. It kept on trying to rain on me - at one stage, even hail, which was when I trundled off to the glass-house to do the seeds. The dogs played on the back lawn, then Winnie went for shelter as the wind started to roar. I found the dear little dog crammed into a random waste-paper basket on the porch. Now she's inside in her crate, the sun is shining again, and I'm about to grab a cold beer and check up on Lady Mary. I deserve this!

 A coral coloured variety.
The First Peony Flower

By the way, goodbye, October. I wish you could have stayed longer, because I hadn't really finished with you. But that's OK. And thanks for the first peonies, and all the roses - I'd forgotten that they start flowering properly in October. Roses! Aargh! I need to spray them for aphids. And black spot. And Dublin Bay is already sporting some pretty rust spots.