Someone stuck a festive period in the middle of my growing season.

I spend all winter dreaming of my perfect garden.  I put things in place to improve on last year.  Mistakes were learnt from.  I carefully selected seeds and dug sodden, cold dirt and carefully removed all trace of weed so this one would be the best season ever.  The plants are planted with care and start to really get going and there is a hint of blush on the tomatoes, the peas are just beginning to ripen in quantities that can be processed and stored for the winter.  The first cucumber and zucchini present themselves.  All indications show it is going to be The Season – the one where everything has come together for good…  The best season ever.

The grass has overwhelmed the garden and lowered the tone of the whole place.  Nothing that a quick whiz with the mower can't fix.

The grass has overwhelmed the garden and lowered the tone of the whole place. Nothing that a quick whiz with the mower can’t fix.

And then it happens.  The madness begins.  The hurly burly of Christmas shopping, wandering the streets for days looking for perfect gifts.  The calendar fills up with a multitude of social engagements, almost more in December than all the other months combined – a lunch here, a dinner there, and the parties – oh the parties.  Oh what fun is to ride on a one horse open sleigh… or late night taxi van with other revellers who are a little worse for wear?  And not forgetting the baking and preparing of incredible amounts of food – it is all verging on the gluttonous – but only to be excused by the mere fact it is all absolutely delicious!

This forest was once my lettuce bed

This forest was once my lettuce bed

The poor garden doesn’t get a look in.  The weather forecast is checked regularly – not to benefit the garden, but in the hopes there would be no rain or wind on the big day.  Although rain is the gardens only chance of a descent thirst quenching watering.  The weeds sneak in and begin to take a foothold and the lawn height begins to rise steadily.  Zucchini slowly edge towards marrows unnoticed.  But even if it is noticed there isn’t the time to do anything about it – the demands of the big day are much more pressing.

The Mudlet chilli maybe small in stature but it has loads of flowers

The Mudlet chilli maybe small in stature but it has loads of flowers

And then all of a sudden it is over in a sea of wrapping paper and button popping festive feasting.  However the garden must wait some more as the holiday season has more in store.  The obligatory holiday on the beach to ring in the New Year.   An absence from the garden of up to ten more days!

Ten wonderful days, lying on the beach, reading as many books as can be read, acting like a tourist, visiting all the sites, so much swimming, and behaving like I don’t have a care in the world.  But I do – the garden.  In the back of my mind I worry about the garden – the first tomato would be red now – and probably a dozen or so others.  The peas will be winding down – there will be a mountain of marrows, powdery mildew will have taken hold of the cucumbers.  But I guiltily push all thoughts horticultural to a dark corner of my mind to be dealt with when I get back.  Trying not to be concerned when the evitable rain storm races through to try and flush out those hardy folks holidaying in tents.  How would the garden fair against the winds that accompanied the storm – would the corn still be standing?

The first tomato may have come and gone but there are loads more that are nearly ready

The first tomato may have come and gone but there are loads more that are nearly ready

And finally we wearily return home gladly, all holidayed out until next year and once the car is unloaded, mountains of washing has been done – I turn to the garden – breathe a sigh of relief that it is still there and think – ahh tomorrow I’ll get stuck in and sort it all out.

The Christmas tree has had all its decorative finery removed and then suffered the indignity of having all its needles stripped off.  I see it as waste not want not and it will make a fine mulch for my blue berries

The Christmas tree has had all its decorative finery removed and then suffered the indignity of having all its needles stripped off. I see it as waste not want not and it will make a fine mulch for my blue berries

So tomorrow I shall haul out the mower and clear away a month’s worth of neglect, I shall tie in straggly tomatoes, seek out all marrows, begin to tackle the weeds and start the journey of restoring my garden on to the path of being The Best Season Ever!

At least my beautiful lilies waited until I came home before it burst into flower!

At least my beautiful lilies waited until I came home before it burst into flower!

Come again soon – normality will resume shortly

Sarah the Gardener : o )

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24 Comments on “Someone stuck a festive period in the middle of my growing season.

  1. isn’t it just the way, plans, turn into other plans. I’m sure it will be the best year for you, I reckon each year is the best for something….. besides with such a busy December it sounds like you needed some well earned beach time 🙂 Happy new year and happy gardening!

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    • Hi Claire. Happy New Year to you too. I think this year is going to be a bumper one for tomatoes – there are so many on the plants, and the corn is looking fabulous too so I won’t dwell too much on the things that aren’t doing too well – there is always one crop that doesn’t do well. It just seems to be the way.
      The beach was lovely but it is nice to be home. There is nothing like your own bed and being surrounded by your own things, even if it is a pile of laundry!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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    • Hi Elaine. I can feel the excess of Christmas (and yes there was too much yummy food) slip off me. Before you know it I will look like I have succeeded at some kind of new years resolution – the one that everyone makes – losing weight or getting fit and then promptly breaks days later!
      The garden is coming together nicely and I am really pleased with it. Last year it was in such a state when we came home I contemplated never gardening again – but only for a bit before I rolled up my sleeves and sorted it out. This year was much easier to sort out. I shall swing by soon and check out what you have been up to… I’m a little behind in my reading.
      Have a fabulous week. Cheers Sarah : o )

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  2. The weather has been great for the veges. Thank you Sarah for your gifts of vege seedlings. They are growing really well and have had a few cucumbers and a zucchini and a big fat marrow. Will have to go and pick again today. I put a butternut in an old wheelbarrow because i ran out of room in the garden. I put bark on bottom so it wouldn’t get too wet and its doing better than the butternut i put in the ground. Have fun tidying up today. K

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    • HI Kate. I am so glad your garden is going well. I’m not having much luck with all things pumpkin this year so I may need to come over and admire yours with a tinge of envy!
      The garden is being whipped back into shape and beginning to look lovely again.
      Cheers S : o ) xxx

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    • Hi Lucinda. I’d love it if you could come and give a hand. Working in the hot sun would be a nice break from all that snow!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  3. love the title of your post! and that lettuce forest-I’ve never seen anything like it, they’re as big as christmas trees! happy new year to you x

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    • HI Max. Having a festive season in the middle of my garden is just something I have to face every year whether I like it or not! It is a bit disappointing that the lettuce was ruined, but they do look pretty impressive, and I have more seedlings ready to replace them. So is the way of the garden – in constant change.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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    • Hi Virginia. This holiday in the middle of the growing season is a little frustrating, but I could hardly cancel Christmas so a few zucchini don’t turn into marrows! The key to surviving it is being organised. I was more organised than last year but I still need a plan to improve things next year as I don’t think having the holidays in my growing season is going to change anytime soon.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  4. Welcome back :). My garden is going feral as well. Steve decided that the Christmas period was a perfect time to sand and paint the deck, rails and half of the house exterior…no time for anything other than wondering how I am going to remove all of this paint from my skin. I turned from smurfette, to kermit the frog to casper the friendly ghost in the space of a week and I am starting to look like a Jackson pollock original! 😉

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    • Hi Fran. I have worked myself to the bone trying to restore order. It has all been a bit manic. But the sun was shining and the birds were singing and I surprized myself with how much I have achieved. But three days in the pace has definitely slowed and I am beginning to feel a little weary – but my garden looks great once again.
      I imagine you house looks lovely for having a lick of paint. cant wait to check it out in your blog – if you haven’t talked about it already (I’m a bit behind in my reading)
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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      • I heard a chook down in the second garden and headed down to take a look-see (they are creating new nests on a daily basis) and was greeted by a sea of 8ft tall spear thistles all demanding that I show my hall pass before I be allowed to continue my journey…TERRIFYING! I have some serious work to do thanks to the extended rainy period that we have been having. I love the rain but not the weeds that have gone mental since the sun came along to join in on the party. I need to remember that I have to post a post today…by the end of the day I am SO knackered I can barely shovel my food into my mouth and drag my tired carcass to bed 😉 Can’t wait to see your garden all tizzied up. I live vicariously through your garden pictures. There IS HOPE! 🙂

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    • Hi Lee. Thank you for your kind words. I love spending winters imagining how wonderful the garden will be in the summer, but I often forget about the hard work that goes with it! But it is a small price to pay for a lovely sun ripened tomato picked moments ago and eaten there in the garden!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  5. I’m sure you’ll have everything ship-shape in no time Sarah, re-energized after your lovely relaxing break! We’ve had rain, gales, more rain and more gales since mid-November now and it seems hard to believe that ANYTHING will get planted in the quagmire out back! Happy New Year!
    christine

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    • Hi Christine. After a lot of hard work I have managed to get to a state where I feel proud. Winter can be the worst time, because it seems like it will never end, but summer on the hand disappears in the blink of an eye.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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