There has been too much time spent indoors over the past couple of months (duff toe, Christmas, family demands, daily life, the weather) and no gardening to speak of. Dog walks aside, I don’t think I realised how cabin-feverish and lackadaisical I’d been feeling until I spent a brilliant day in the garden on Wednesday. It was fan-tas-tic to be outdoors and have the motivation to get stuff done.
I cut back perennials, cleared a big bed of weeds and fallen leaves, pruned roses, moved pots. Back indoors for a quick lunch then back outside. I removed the dead leaves from the rhubarb plant, which is finally looking like it should do at this time of year, cleared off the crown and mulched around it, and then I took an executive decision to dig out five old gooseberry bushes. These haven’t fruited well for the last two years and were badly affected by sawfly last year. They were also in an awkward position, right next to a path, where their thorny branches scratched anyone who got too close. It’s all very well holding on to inherited plants but sometimes you have to be ruthless.
I’ve decided to apply the ‘KonMarie‘ method to the garden – if it’s not working and making us happy, it’s got to go. I’m up against strong resistance to decluttering indoors but I think I may have better luck outside. Gardeners already do this to some extent: we mostly grow plants that we love to look at or eat. What can get in the way, though, is when you inherit a garden full of plants you wouldn’t have chosen yourself and in positions you wouldn’t have put them. Granted, it takes time and money to make changes so it is a gradual process. We’ve been here for a few years now and seen this garden through several seasons, and we have plenty of ideas. The back garden is beginning to come together; this year we’ll make a start on the front.
Today has been another gloriously sunny day, albeit a bitterly cold one, and David and I spent a few hours outside. We haven’t properly looked at the garden together since last autumn, so we walked round to see what was what, discussed jobs to get on with and made plans for the coming months: perhaps gabions here; a couple of fruit trees there; maybe currant bushes; hoik out those plants that we’ve never liked but are big and established; ooh and this is the spot for a sheltered seating area; and what about the pond? Just discussing it all felt good. More than good, it felt fabulous and I thank my lucky stars that we live in this place and have a patch of land to create a garden that gives us joy.