Sluggish

All things gardening have been a bit sluggish lately.  Fortunately, this isn’t a euphemism for actual slugs in the garden…  now that would be devastating and have a much more dramatic heading.  No, the problems in the garden have been caused by problems outside the garden and things beyond my control.  The worst bit was having a couple of wisdom teeth removed and to be honest it was harrowing and brutal and I’m glad I have none left so I need not go through that trauma ever again.  Although to be fair my wonderful dentist did give me some gorgeous flowers from his own garden when I went for a check-up.  But the recovery was slow, and it took me well over two weeks to feel like myself again.

Lettuce gone to seed

Well it didn’t take long for the lettuce to go to seed, but I wasn’t going to eat it anyway. (I was but I don’t want to come across upset by it)

The measure of feeling like myself was to stand in the garden to see what happened and some days I just stood there looking at it, not even seeing it.  No weeds were noticed.  Some days I didn’t get into the garden at all.  The frustrating days were the ones where I could see what needed to be done but didn’t have the will or the inclination to do anything about it.  Then there was this fabulous day last week where I went into the garden and picked up some tools and started to do things, and I got so lost in myself I spent hours out there, achieving loads without giving the dull ache in my jaw so much as a second thought.  I was back!

watermelon

After months of keeping the watermelon contained within the bed through strategic use of landscape staples, I take my eye off it for a couple of weeks and it goes wild on me!

Then things happened outside my control.  Many things and in no particular order, the things that kept me from the garden included – Wasps.  So many wasps.  It was frightening to be honest.  They are preparing for winter and seem determined to utilise the wood in my garden, of which there is plenty.  All 36 raised beds are made of wood, and the fence and the compost bins.  Wherever you looked it seemed like there were dozens for them dancing and swooping over their chosen spot of wood.  They didn’t seem bothered by me, but I could have easily put my hand on several while working away weeding beds and the sting of my last encounter a couple of years ago is still strangely fresh in my mind, not to mention the awful itching that followed for weeks after.  Reluctant not to repeat that experience, I retreated indoors where I felt completely lost with myself.  After finally regaining my gardening mojo, to not be gardening was very frustrating indeed.  But safety first.

wasps!

Wasps! Eeek! They are all over the place. I haven’t found a nest so goodness knows where they have come from.

Time travel has been another event in the garden. Although at this point it hasn’t been too much of a problem, but it is what it stands for that is the problem.   Daylight savings ended this weekend and it is rather late to be honest.  I don’t think I would have bemoaned the loss of summer had it occurred a few weeks back as we’d lost that summer feeling anyway with dark mornings and chilly starts.  Not chilly by winter standards but reach for your socks stuff.  But this was the final nail in the coffin of summer and by my accounts it has died three times.  First for the meteorological season change on the 1st of March, then with the astronomical change marked by the equinox on the 21st March and now finally with the end of daylight savings.

Zucchini

The zucchini seem to have pushed through the powdery mildew to have a new lease on life… I hope it keeps going for a while yet.

So, the time travelling back an hour in time hasn’t really had an impact other than a much needed sleep in on Sunday morning after the night before.  But it is what it stands for.  There is nothing of note on the gardening radar that stands between now and the depths of winter.  But to start the countdown to spring now would be too much to bear… There are 146 days until the start of the meteorological spring (the astronomical countdown just adds an extra 3 weeks and I don’t have the patience for that in the spring) That’s 20 weeks.  But that is over a third of the year and a huge chunk of my life to be wishing away.  So now I need to find delightful ways – hopefully green fingered ways to make the next 5 months pass joyfully and in a way that enriches the dreary existence found in winter.

Jasper the Dog

Say hello to Jasper the Dog

Another thing that I wouldn’t say has kept me from the garden but has been more of a distraction.  A surprisingly wonderful distraction.  Although not everyone is pleased.  Our menagerie on the coast has been increased by one.  To join the 9 chickens, Snowy the goat, Neville the robot lawn mower and Fennel the cat, we now have Jasper the dog.   I’m never been a doggy person, but when friends asked us if we could help them out by taking him from their family into ours, it seemed like the right thing to do.  Poor Hubby the Un-Gardener grew up with dogs, but has been without all these years because somehow, we were cat people.  So, he is over the moon.  Fortunately, Jasper is a loveable cocker spaniel, who is soft, not yappy, doesn’t jump up, comes when called and loves cuddles.   The perfect dog for someone not used to dog.   Like a cat who can zero in on the one person who is allergic, to smother with cat love, Jasper decided I must be the one to win over and is always by my side.  I think I’ve been won over.  Although I have made it clear picking up parcels – warm or otherwise, is not my job!  Fennel is working on it and is expressing her dominance by staring him down in an ‘I was here first’ death stare, but no one has been harmed.  Phew.

Fennel the Cat

Fennel the Cat is still a little wary of Jasper the Dog but has made it clear she was here first!

But it is a new week and the sun is shining and the birds and singing and the garden is calling out to me like a sea siren from Greek mythology…  I must go to it.

Come again soon – there are other cool things that have happened, and I just have to tell you all about it.

Sarah the Gardener  : o)

9 Comments on “Sluggish

  1. Do love Jasper — he will be good company. Hope you get the spark back soon.

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  2. Awww Jasper looks so cute and I bet the boys are thrilled 😀

    When we had wasps in the school willow, thought we had but couldn’t find a nest, the pest control man who came to deal with the problem said that wasps can travel up to 5 miles to find food etc and if they find a good source of food etc, they will transmit news of their find far and wide. This might explain the quantity you have but no nest 🙂

    I hope you are feeling completely back to normal soon xx

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  3. It is difficult to guess what time of year it is for your garden, even though I know it is half a year from ours. That would put it in early October, which seems late for some of your vegetables. I mean, by now, watermelon would be concentrating on the ripening fruit instead of on more growth. I wouldn’t even be worrying about late lettuce by now. I might want to plant some for autumn. I suppose that not only are the seasons opposite, but the climate is different too.

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    • The watermelons are just having a final gasp. But as there are still a few in the garden ripening, I’m hoping the new growth will support them so they have a chance of maturing. I can grow lettuce all year round. We are pretty much opposite to the Northern Hemisphere, but where we are the seasons extend a little bit further at the beginning and the end. : o)

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      • That is how ours our, starting a bit earlier and finishing a bit later. I do not grow lettuce though. It bolts in the summer. However, we are only a few miles from the Pajaro and Salinas Valleys, where most of the lettuce in American is grown.

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