Balancing The Palace.

I have been doing a bit of reflecting this week and decided I need a bit of balance in my life.  I have been bursting a fufu valve trying to get the first garden in The Palace completed by the end of the month.  But I was in danger of turning my pleasure garden into a place of anything but pleasure right now.  

The ocean today

It might look like a nice day but the white water hints at the ferocious wind whipping across it, but gives no hint of just how bitterly cold it is and the horizon hides the next heavy burst of rain that can appear without notice. It isn’t actually a very nice day – no matter what it looks like.

For those who don’t know, The Palace is the only kind of flattish land we have on our 10 acres beside the sea, other than the land the house and vegetable garden is on.  So over time I want to develop this flattish strip of land into something amazing.  And I have high ambitions – hence the building of an enormous rock for this first garden.  When you have big land, you need big features. 

Before The Palace

Eventually The Palace gardens will sprawl off in this direction.

The concept behind The Palace was to kind of treat the strip of land like one of those palaces like Versailles or the ‘modern’ part of Hampton Court.  In these palaces, the royal chambers are all on one floor and instead of each room coming off a common corridor, you have to go through each room to get to the next.   I want to create a series of garden rooms that have a path running through them so to get from one end to the other you need to pass through all of the garden rooms.  The other distinct feature is each room in the real palaces are all very different from each other and adorned in bright colours and so with my palace garden each room will be very different in style, colour, design, although at this point, I haven’t figured out all the details.

Brick paving

This garden is far from being finished and certainly won’t be by the end of the week – especially when the weather is dodgy.

It is going to be fabulous, but I will take it one garden at a time, I’m only one person and a Hubby the Un-Gardener and we are no longer spring chickens.  The thing is, I’ve been writing about my gardening journey thanks to the kindness of the good people at Kiwi Gardener magazine and am really enjoying sharing my story and my garden wouldn’t be what it is today without the constantly looming deadlines for another article.  It keeps me motivated and creative and good things happen. 

Mustard Cover Crop and Pollinator

Aside from the overdue guilt with not pulling down this mustard cover crop, I think I can convince myself another couple of days won’t hurt if I’m feeding pollinators.

Although this first room in The Palace has pushed me beyond my limits.  I underestimated how long it would take to finish it, and after working on it almost every day for months, I honestly thought I’d be done by now.  But I’m not.  I was working to this self-imposed deadline, to the point of laying brick paving by the light of the moon.  But nothing else was being done.  

The vegie garden

This is the garden as it stands today – cold, wet and a little neglected.

With the start of August at the end of the week, it was a realization that spring is closer than I thought, and I need to shift focus and rejiggle some deadlines.   By extending the story of The Palace I can begin multitasking again and so my days will be spread more evenly with garden preparation, ticking things off the ‘to-do’ list, getting in more writing and a couple of other projects I had honestly thought I’d have done by now but was completely misguided.

Daphne - a blessing in winter

Daphne – a blessing in winter. I wish you could smell it!

The decision to make some changes has lifted a weight off my shoulders and the thought of days of varied activities and small tasks ticked off has put a skip back in my step and I can allow the spring fever to begin to creep in.   I just need the weather to be nice to me so I can get many things done.

Come again soon – midwinter is almost behind us! 

Sarah the Gardener  : o)

14 Comments on “Balancing The Palace.

  1. Good lessons here for the achievers amongst us! Great to stand back and reassess and make sure we’re still having fun with our plan. You are still an inspiration. And daphne… I’ve been thinking about daphne lately. We had a bush in my childhood home and I’d decided to search one out. They have such a lovely scent. Thanks for the inspiration. Don’t know how you do so much. I’m even less of a spring chicken than you, so I’m happy to come up the rear 🙂

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    • Something certainly had to give, and there is a greater sense of achievement in tackling several tasks keeping order across a range of areas rather than focus on one and everything falls by the wayside. I am looking forward to getting loads of different things done in a day. I am also looking forward to when my daphne bush is big enough that I can nip off a bloom or two to bring inside! : o)

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  2. Sarah, I’ve been wondering about the Palace, so I’m glad to read more details. I’m sorry it’s turned into pressure instead of fun. Self imposed deadlines can work well, but only if the timeline is realistic and doable. I’m always amazed at what you get done in a day.

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    • I have to remember not to beat myself up for what I don’t get done, it is winter after all and the weather can be miserable. It isn’t that it isn’t fun, but the self imposed pressure took the edge off it a little. I think I’ll be beaming like a Cheshire Cat when it is finished. : o)

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  3. Sarah, you are amazing. The first garden looks terrific. Building with bricks and blocks is a lot of work. Believe me, I’m in the process of building raised beds with blocks as well. It’s a time consuming task. However I’m on the other end of the spectrum. The temperature here is predicted to be 100 F (38C) here in Nebraska tomorrow. Add some humidity in the mix and it’s a sweaty day with my motto in place. Work a little, rest a lot, drink lots of water. My plants need watering every day and some times twice a day. The five gallon bucket garden is really suffering right now. I’m hoping to get through the next three days, then it cools down to a bearable temperature. This year seems like weather extreme.

    Have a great deadline schedule day.

    Nebraska Dave
    Urban Farmer

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  4. Your garden will look amazing! Like the Hamilton Gardens 🙂 Can’t wait to see it finished.

    I have recently moved to Australia and me and my partner are building a house. It’s taking longer than expected (as everything seems to) so I’m taking the time now to find out about what type of plants grow best in this new climate, and planning what gardens and landscaping I want. It looks like we will be having a lot of brick paving and raised gardens if I get my way, but I know this will take time. It is also a bit hard to plan exactly what will go where, I would like to get into the house and see what can be seen from the windows before we get too far ahead of ourselves. We might find we need privacy hedges in some places, or want to leave the vista open in others. But it’s fun to think about anyway!

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    • Gosh I’m blushing! Re-Learning gardening in a new climate is almost harder than learning from scratch as you have to forget a lot of what you know so it doesn’t distract you from what the new garden needs. Enjoy your new garden, it sounds like an exciting new project. : o)

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  5. What a stunning view you have! And, I think I can smell that daphne. 🙂 I always love reading your blog and seeing what amazing feats you are accomplishing. It’s inspiring. Is that a goat in the distance where the palace garden is slated for? He’s waiting for it? 🙂

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    • It is a pretty amazing view – except when it is howling a gale, and then it can be a bit scary! Gosh – good spotting I forgot Snowy the Goat was down the end there… Yes – The Palace will go all along there eventually! : o)

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