Tuesday, 3 September 2013

The Reluctant Gardener

I am not, and never have been, any good at gardening.  If my late father were still around he would confirm this.  He spent years trying to encourage me to take an interest in growing things, and attempting to convince me that weeding was relaxing.   It didn't work.  He gave up and thankfully enjoyed dealing with my various gardens as well as his own.  Both of my brothers have inherited his love of gardening, but sadly not me.

I wish he was here.  He would love tackling our garden.

Mr A popped home late on Friday.  Another of his flying visits.  It was dark of course and he went off to inspect the state of the garden with a torch.  He was dismayed.   Things seem to be dying.  There were so many weeds that it was difficult to see anything decent growing.   He wasn't happy at all.   (Just as well it was dark.  It looked far worse in daylight).

It's my responsibility to water the garden every day.  But clearly I'm not doing it properly.  I should be weeding too really, but my arthritic fingers and back make it difficult.  Mr A bought a strimmer a while ago which he thought might help just to reduce the height of the weeds.  I attempted to use it once or twice but managed to get it clogged up and it stopped working.

My ideal garden would be one that has no soil, and is completely paved or cemented, with manageable pots of flowers.   But Mr A likes to grow things.  Unfortunately though he isn't here enough to make sure they don't die.

He was quite angry about it all.  I can't say I blame him, although most of the anger was really due to the stress of working such long hours and being exhausted.  Something he admitted later.

However, I did feel a pang of guilt.  I really could do more than I do, even though I hate it.

The dogs are now getting me up very early in the morning, so on Saturday I decided that I would attempt to tackle the garden.  I worked for three hours until it was too hot to do more.  Then again early evening.  I repeated this performance on Sunday and yesterday.  It was bloody hard work and my fingers, arms and back are suffering.   But it's more or less now in a state that I can manage.  It's not quite so difficult now to pull up a few weeds each day, and I am giving everything much more water than I had been, so am hoping that those trees and plants that appeared to be on their last legs, might pick up.

I so envy those of you who actually get enjoyment out of all this.  I never will, but I recognise that I have to keep on top of it until Mr A has finished working.....roll on the end of September!

18 comments:

  1. Years ago I never imagined that gardening would be something I would enjoy. I always thought of it as something old people did. However, starting on a very small scale, I began growing vegetables a few years ago, and then I developed a small area of our large field like garden, building a pond, and then extending it to a bog garden ( not something that would work in Turkey ! ). I did find it all very therapeutic. I now love to potter around in both my gardens...I don't do any of the heavy stuff though.... I get a man in ! ( Mark does a bit of digging from time to time....but not much really) When the searing heat destroys things it is very frustrating, but I love seeing how the local plants, indigenous to this area in the garrigue in the south of France have adapted to their conditions. Here, I am more interested in seeing what lives and survives rather than planting things I might quite like to grow here. Good luck with the new regime of weeding....it will be cooler soon ! Jx

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    1. You see this is exactly what I mean Janice. I can actually feel the joy you experience from gardening. I don't feel that. I wish I did. Only the rest of this month left for weeding thank goodness, then Mr A can take over!

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  2. I've always enjoyed gardening........and would work on it daily. But due to back problems I've had to let go some gardening and I can't stand the humid heat we get here. My husband's family from Turkey refuse to come here in summer due to the extreme humidity and heat and this is the Great White North :-)
    Anyways when I first got married and we bought a house I thought my husband coming from Izmir and Istanbul from apartments I'll have to do the gardening myself.....well he took to it like a fish to water, considering he never even touched or seen a water hose.....well i must say with the both of us our gardens are blooming and the tomatoes are huge. But in the last few years we have collected some iron planter urns and have planted flowers in there which is a lot easier to plant for me and the rest are lots of huge Hostas which pop up yearly and other perennial plants..
    This last month we kind of neglected our gardens due to the busy schedule with that darn flood and the whole house was renovated.....so now just going to buy Mum's in pots and set those all around the house. A lot easier just water them and no weeding.
    Take care.....I'm sure that those plants and trees on their last legs will pick up after watering. XX

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    1. I can't imagine you having such extreme humidity Erica. The weather here of course makes things grow so rapidly. Great when I can pick the fruit, but as for the weeds, they seem to grow ten times faster than everything else. Hope you are getting back to normal now after those dreadful floods.

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  3. I fear my Bodrum garden will also be dead when I get home, despite paying someone to water it.

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    1. It's always difficult having to rely on someone else to do the watering BtoB. You can never be quite sure that it will get done properly. (Well my watering obviously hasn't been done properly, and I'm not paid to do it!)

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  4. If you don't enjoy it it is a miserable chore...let's hope your plans work out and that Mr. A can take over full command soon.

    I took one look at the drove and thought I'd best get down to weeding the central area. Luckily I didn't...a stray lorry thinking we were the goat farm turned up, turned round at the bottom and neatly crushed everything when jack knifing on going out. End of weeds...end of plants I wanted to keep...and I bet the weeds recover first!

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    1. Oh I've no doubt the weeds will fully recover Helen. When I went into the garden this morning, the ones I have removed over recent days are already growing again...aaargh it's never ending. It doesn't help that we have had no water supply since last night and its now 6.30pm and no sign of it returning.....so that puts pay to the watering today.

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  5. I love gardening but like you, can only do little and often because of my back problems.
    Little and often is by far better than one huge clearance.
    Good for you to tackle it even though you hate it.
    Maggie x

    Nuts in May

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    1. It was guilty conscience that made me tackle it Maggie, and I'm keeping on top of it only because I know that at the end of this month I won't need to do it! xx

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  6. I feel your pain, Ayak. I enjoy gardening, though I'm rather erratic about it and haven't inherited my mother's green fingers. But I can well imagine how soul-destroying it must be to feel obliged to do it when your heart's not in it.

    Could you try mulching your plants with something to smother the weeds and keep the moisture in, so that you don't have water quite so much? Even cardboard between the rows of veg would help to keep the weeds down and it would rot down into the soil when the rain comes. Just a thought....

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    1. It's the fact that we have no rain and the soil is like concrete that makes the weeding so difficult Perpetua. We won't have any rain for at least a couple of months now. The weeds are unlike those anywhere in the UK. Very deep roots which seem to spread rapidly..overnight in fact. It's almost like The Day of the Triffids!

      As we had no water for 24 hours, and it returned in the early hours of this morning I had to get up and water at around 5am in the dark, because I have no idea if there will be water today or not. Roll on the end of this month and I can abandon these efforts!

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  7. I am not a great gardner either. I always forget to water and can't seem to keep up with the weeds.

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    1. Hooray! Another one like me. Thankyou Kelleyn xx

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  8. One thing I really miss is the garden.

    Our house has two tiny beds, only one of which gets any significant sunlight. The rest is pots and, in the summer, the pots bake the roots of anything we put in them. Cacti just about survive on the roof terrace.

    We have tried to grow coriander - failed. We manage quite well with chillis.

    But we are very, very lucky with our neighbours. We often go away for a few days and they water our plants for us.

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    1. Isn't it a shame we can't swop gardens omentide. I love your garden...it would be perfect for me xx

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  9. Although I loved my little garden in my previous house I have never felt the love in my current one mainly cos the end of the garden drops away quite steeply & so I sort of left the garden - year after year after year. Honestly Ayak if you saw the jungle it is now you would feel positively smug about your own efforts. I have promised my long suffering neighbour that I will sort it out when I take redundancy in a few weeks - GULP :(

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    1. Oh dear tricia. It sounds like you have a mammoth task ahead of you. I really don't envy you. Good luck. I'll be thinking of you :-(

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