I have too many excuses for not gardening at the moment and every single one is driving me to despair.
It is too windy. The wind has been whipping up a frenzy across the garden. Not enough to cause damage, but enough to be annoying and make the gardening conditions a little unpleasant. On its own this could be something to push through and garden in the face of the wind, feeling the exhilaration of its gusts brushing though my hair as I weed and harvest.
But it is also cold. It isn’t supposed to be. We are less than two weeks away from summer. It is not supposed to be like this. My lily white legs should not be still blinding people, they should be in a loving relationship with the sunshine and my knees should be being sun-kissed daily as they are adorned with a pair of shorts. And don’t get me started on my toes, they are more often than not fully encased in the warm embrace of socks! Combine cold with windy and it is becoming unpleasant for the average gardener. As a keen gardener there is still a chance of gardening going on.
However the boffins at the weather office are telling me five of the next ten days will be drizzly, soggy and decidedly wet. I’m keen, but we have to draw the line somewhere. I’m keen not crazy, and my sunny days will come. They have to. The very boffins that are currently raining on my parade are also spreading dire warnings that El Nino will bring drought. I’d love to know who this Mr Nino chap is and why he was invited in the first place if he isn’t going to play nicely.
I could just take a deep breath and head out there. I still have beans to plant. I really don’t like beans all that much and have been quite happy to blame the delay on the weather. In reality it has nothing to do with the beans or the weather. We just need to eat more leeks so I can clear the bed so I can plant my beans. And I have some interesting ones this year – some Yard Long Runner Beans. Guess what we are having for dinner? I understand leek freezes well too.
The thing is I’m still feeling a little under the weather in more ways than one and as much as I would love to get into my increasingly overgrown garden and mow, weed and dig to my heart’s content despite the weather, it would be foolhardy and would result in being out of the garden even longer. While MS is my disease of choice and doesn’t ordinarily bother me much. I just make the most of it, and have a certificate to prove it. Did I tell you I was awarded Person with MS of the Year? I like to think of it as my best use of a disease award. You can’t let things like this hold you back, you have to think of ways to allow them to lift you up.
I’m not one to sit on my sofa doing nothing, feeling sorry for myself and moaning about the weather. I’m sitting on my sofa, moaning about the weather and filling my brain with all things gardening by reading about gardening. You never stop learning when you are a gardener. If you think you know it all then you are kidding yourself.
Recently I picked up some old books at a book fair, and despite the glowing recommendations of all sort of lotions and potions such as DDT which has ‘proved to have considerable possibilities as an insect killer… ’ and Calcium Cyanide ‘which is deadly to insects and, incidentally, to human beings and domestic animals as well,’ to name but a few – the basic knowledge, techniques and skills don’t change. A solid foundational guide can be found within the dusty old pages.
But I’m a modern girl and love beautiful glossy images and while old school is kind of cool, I also want to stay abreast of all the latest thinking from the gardening world. So I’m alternating between The Amateur Gardener by A.G.L. Hellyer from almost a century ago and the New Zealand Gardener magazine from about three weeks ago. While I’d love to recommend A.G.L. Hellyer as a great read, I suspect it is out of print. The NZ Gardener on the other hand is readily available for anyone and as I’m an on a bit of a mission to encourage everyone to pick up a spade and grow some food, then a subscription for you or your friends is a great place to start. Check out Mags4gifts.co.nz/nz-gardener. Seriously, if I can grow food – anyone can.
Coming again soon – with a bit of luck I’ll be in the garden again before summer gets here.
Sarah the Gardener : o )