Thursday, 26 July 2007

Cautiously does it

Oooh, how quietly exciting. This is such a surprise to start the blog on gardening matters.

Gardening has never been my forté. However, in previous homes and gardens, I have always gained pleasure from the necessary attack of mowing the lawn, weeding out the unwelcome plants, pruning the hedges and trees, attending to plants and re-arranging the pots in a courtyard garden. The pleasure of seeing a neat and tidy garden after the chaos of nature has attempted to take control is satisfying. Getting grubby with Mother Nature and then cleaning oneself is also therapeutic. The physical action of gardening and the emotional enjoyment of watching the cycle of life and death is good for tackling depression. I love to see the appearance of colourful flowers, beautiful insects and listen to the birds. Over the years my attitude to gardening has changed.

Our garden is exposed to the elements. It is clay. Beneath the shallow top soil there are stones which wriggle their way to the surface. We have dry stone walls and wire netting fencing which divide the garden into sections. Half of the area is a field, which, for some of the year is grazed by our neighbour's flock of sheep. Last year the same neighbour's tractor ploughed part of this field and helped us to create our vegetable plot. Last year after the rotovator had reduced the troughs made by the plough Captain Sensible did the back breaking work of digging in our newly made compost. I could hardly dig. This year, with improved physical health after the operation of two years ago and with Captain Sensible's support I have been able to dig. We shall need to dig in plenty of sand, manure and compost in the winter. Sadly, a vintage garden fork that I once inherited and have owned for more than 34 years, has a broken wooden handle.

We were cautious in digging up the land. We required a veggie plot that was not too big and not too small. However, because our potatoes have taken half of the available plot we need a little more space to rotate the crops correctly.

I feel I have come "full circle" since many years ago when "the good life" and "self-sufficiency" was first attempted. It was then an impossible dream because we kept no animals, as well as for a variety of other reasons. Years later it is now fun though hard work. The physical exercise keeps us fit and active, yet, even if we are worn out, and we enjoy eating what we grow.

I must calculate the distance covered when walking behind the lawnmower. I pruned the overhanging branches of the cherry trees and plum trees to make it easier to manoeuvre the machine. The wind has broken the fruit-laden branches of the Reine Claude plums belonging to our neighbour, so we were lucky recipients.

It has been a tiring but fruitful day.

No comments: