'Regrets? I have a few?'... Not me. The tiddly ones don't count - for example, wishing that I'd staked the dahlias. I'm talking about those deeply heart-felt regrets, which would have changed and enriched my life. Got none. Or so I thought. ..

 A Boutique Tours of North Wales photograph.
Welsh Train

A train regret...

Alas, I now have one, which (luckily) is nothing to do with my gardening life. It's a train regret. In my younger days I visited Wales. I was more than a tourist - I was reconnecting with my roots. I'd heard of the little Welsh trains, but I'd dismissed them as puffing billies tootling around bunting-laden village squares. They weren't my style of train. They had nothing to do with the heart of Wales.

And now it's too late. I should have gone to Porthmadog, and payed my tourist dollars - or pounds? I should have gone on the Ffestinog railway, and the one from Porthmadog to Caenarvon. Here I am now, filled with regret, sitting on my TV couch chuffing through beautiful Welsh countryside (Youtube, Driver's Eye View). I probably will never, ever 'real-travel' to Wales again. Blast. Please can I acknowledge the photograph which I found on this Boutique Tours of North Wales Website


And another blast - this one's a weather issue. I wish I'd gone outside gardening at least an hour earlier. Because it's started to spit with cold rain, the wind is roaring in from the south, and the very last autumn leaves are now dropping in swirls. I've come inside to feed the log-burner and contemplate. Actually, my life is fairly full of 'I wish...'s this week. Like I wish I wasn't so tired (some stay-at-home nights would help). I wish my garden wasn't so weedy - how about some serious weeding sessions, knees on the kneeler? I wish my dog Pebbles was more attentive to me (no immediate solution for this). I wish I'd gone on those Welsh trains when I was in Wales (oops - that one slipped in again).

 Huge weedy Verbascum, little self-sown pansy.
Plants in the Hump

This will not do. Tiddly regrets do not need to take up any more of my gardening journal-time. So here's the plan. I have lunch : feed the gardening body. I make a list : feed the gardening mind.

 Large whites.
Late Flowering Dahlias

With respect to that last item, 'stuff' includes some or all of the following : organise house firewood (and kindling) for a week, walk with my dogs, take garden photographs, clean up more patio pots, trim more dahlias, start raking oak leaves into bags.

 A brilliant cherry red.
Dogwood Leaves

I will stop and stare and give thanks for the last autumn leaves grimly hanging on - like those of the beautiful Copper beech, and the cherry Dogwood in the Island Bed. I will be content.

Three wet hours later...

Nothing like a spot of rugged pre-winter gardening to settle the wandering mind. Lots of little achievements - I've planted Bergenias and Irises by the Herb Spiral, weeded (roughly) the surrounding garden, tidied the patio, collected my firewood, and dumped a big load of horse manure on my new garden in the Pond Paddock. Blobby rain has been falling, but the wind (thankfully) has died down - wet wind is my worst gardening weather. I've earned a cup of coffee and a sit by the log-burner.

I love sharing my life with my garden. I need to remember this. And, what's more, I have a clean bathroom. Je ne regrette rien...