Tag Archive | Garden

Batten down the hatches….

here comes Jude.

The weather forecasters have been warning us all week that a storm is heading our way and should reach the UK (exact destination unknown) late tonight/early Monday morning bringing with it hurricane force gales and rain. I remember the great storm of 1987 very well and had a terrible time trying to get home from Cardiff across the country from West to East back home to Kent due to the travel chaos that it caused.

So when someone tells me that a storm likened to the 1987 is going to hit, I take it seriously and when I got up this morning and spotted the clear blue sky and gorgeous late-autumn sunshine, I thought there is no better time to tidy up the garden and batten down the hatches ready for the onslaught.

Holly tree

Holly tree

Figs

Figs

Blue skies

Blue skies

Firstly however, I wanted to pick as many apples off my tree as possible so that they won’t go to waste when they are blown down. Once bruised, you cannot keep them over winter, and they have to be processed quickly. Whilst I am quite happy to do this, the more I can preserve without cooking and freezing just yet, the longer my apple stock will last.

In the increasingly strong breeze, I managed to pick another two large bags of fruit before running out of ladder, leaving some lovely plump apples frustratingly just out of reach.

Apples...more apples

Apples…more apples

Grrr...out of reach

Grrr…out of reach

I even found some late raspberries hiding under the canes; Only a handful but a real treat in late October!

Autumn raspberries-it's almost November!

Autumn raspberries-it’s almost November!

Some people I know hate leaf-raking in the autumn, a hateful job that never ends but I find it very therapeutic and, as I put the leaves in the compost to make worm-friendly leaf-mould over the winter months, I always feel it is a job worth doing. It’s quite sad that another summer is over, but whilst raking the dead vine leaves into piles I remember the lovely summer we have just had; the flowers, the grapes, berries, barbecues, picnics and hot summer days on holiday and look forward to next year when the bulbs I have just planted will show me that winter is over and spring is on its way.

It also reminds me that just a few weeks ago I wouldn’t have had the energy to rake leaves, pull up faded summer bedding and fill the compost and rubbish bins. My efforts at pacing myself at work and at home appear to be working and I feel much calmer and healthier for it. So I don’t get as much done as I would like but it’s a compromise worth the effort and there’s no better feeling than feeling better.

Leaf raking

Leaf raking

Waiting for good

When I last saw my Doctor on Wednesday we chatted at length about the time it is taking me to recover from my latest bout of depression. I suppose like all things, it gets harder as you get older.

She reassured me that I am heading in the right direction, albeit at snail’s pace, but that during my recovery phase I can expect to have good days and bad days. I have to learn to accept the bad days and be kind to myself and I also need to recognise good days and not do too much. I have been waiting for a good day and today has been one of the best for a number of weeks. Of course it is all relative and I need to remember that I am not recovered, I am just not as despairing and hopeless as I have been. But it feels good.

I have achieved more today than I have for a long time but made sure that I had plenty of rest as well in between short bouts of activity.

I managed to pot up my seedlings. Sitting in the lovely warm sunshine with a barrow full of compost in front of me, I was quite content.

Seedlings potted up

Seedlings potted up

I did a tour of my garden taking note of all the new growth bursting forth at last. Here are some of my favourite bits.

The Herbs

When I was very young, I absolutely loved the TV programme, The Herbs. My favourite character was Bayleaf, The Gardner and all these years later I often sing his theme tune when digging away in my own patch.

“I’m Bayleaf, I’m the gardener,

I work from early dawn,

you’ll find me sweeping up the leaves and

tidying the lawn” la, la la……

Bayleaf

This is all a bit random but there is a connection with a wonderful TV programme of my youth and what I am planning to do next in my garden.

I need a herb garden having dug up my herb plants last year and so the brain is whirring away thinking about form and function!

I have had a few different herb gardens in the past;

A cartwheel herb garden

A chessboard herb garden

A pot and pipe herb garden

None of the photos linked to above are my efforts but they do give you the general idea of how I laid out the herbs in their various guises.

Now, reading my book “The Herb Garden month-by-month by Barbara Segall, I have found what looks like a lovely herb and rose garden which combines old and fragrant Damask roses with the gorgeous colours and aromas of herbs such as lemon balm, ginger mint, lavender and sage growing in the warm sun beneath the free-flowing blooms. I can smell long, lazy-hazy days of summer already and not a spade has been wielded yet.

I have already found a rose which I MUST have in this garden. It is the Damask rose “Ispahan” which originates from my husband’s home city of Esfahan/Isfahan in Iran. I don’t think he knows that such a rose exists so it will be a nice surprise when it arrives.

ispahan rose

Now all I need to do is find the space and the energy to start the project.

At least I have a plan!