In the last week I read in one of the gardening magazines that I subscribe to, a comment that summer is the time when gardeners can relax. Really? I’d love to have their garden then please.
I think there is never really truly a time when a gardener relaxes. There are always jobs to do, whether they are large or small. There are also jobs that with the best intentions of the most virtuous never quite seem to get done. By example I replaced the waterline from our house to the potting shed some months ago, however I ran out of pipe clips, towards the far end of the line and so it keeps popping out of the clips under the weight of the tap at that end of the pipe. Now I have more clips but another weekend has passed and I have still not gotten the drill out to secure the new clips to the wall.
This list could be very long if only I had the time to write it, but then I could spend that time actually trying to do some of those outstanding jobs. It’s true there is more to enjoy in the garden at this time of the year. Those plants that have survived the ravages of the winter snow, ravenous jaws of slugs and snails or even the unwanted attention of our new puppy (he deadheaded a whole rose bush for me on Saturday, unfortunately it had no dead blooms needing removing), are beginning to look at their best, and yes sitting in the garden and enjoying them is one of the main reasons for spending so much time out there getting it to that stage. I would never say a gardener totally relaxes however. Even when I’m sitting there, I’m still looking there and seeing things that need doing, some are small like pulling up a few pesky annual weeds that have snuck into the gaps between the roses, others bigger and revolve around more fantastic plans for grander structural change. Then there are the “if I win the lottery” thoughts, about the sort of garden you’d have, if only, but then of course you would have plenty of time to work on it and enjoy it, you won the lottery remember!
Of course there is the allotment too. Now at the moment it is starting to yield food to eat, and often give away – we’ve got lettuces in abundance and have been giving them away, and yet still some have managed to bolt. Those planted as a succession crop, have of course, not managed to get to a harvestable size yet of course. At the allotment at the moment however it is a constant battle with the weeds. I am constantly envious of my plot neighbours, probably as much as they despair of me. There plots are immaculate and weed-free. Mine, at times seems to be overrun. I have a rule that each time I visit I must remove a bucket of weeds, and sadly this is always too easy. Again time is the factor here. Both my plot neighbours devote more time than I am simply able to. They are retired, I work.
Still I admit my envy and move on. One day my plot will look like that, it was a mass of weeds when I took it on, and it’s getting better each year, it is just a matter of time.