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When the week finally ends
I am starting to feel the end of year twinge start to build where the calendar starts to fill with things and free weekends start to become fewer and fewer. This twinge is a combination of the fizz of excitement of doing things and the exhaustion one starts to feel as the year begins to draw to a close. The end of year gallop seems to be getting faster, or maybe it is because I am getting older. Regardless my mind drifts to days off to relax in the garden in the sweet period of doing not much between Christmas and the new year. Until then I will seek solace in the garden, helping her along as she builds up to the blooming that is summer, enjoying a three day weekend which feels like a luxury.
The day doesn’t promise much if the weather forecast is to be believed, so when I sneak out to just get a lay of the land I wear a woolly jumper which is soon discarded as I begin to weed the flower bed. It’s warmer than I thought it was going to be. In the lead up to today I tried to plan what I would do but nothing stuck so I thought I will just be, let whimsy decide where I shall garden today. I head towards the bottom of the garden. Inspired by a visit to Susie Ripley’s garden earlier this year, I have ear marked a bed for the many dahlia tubers I seem to have collected. I dug up most this year and have now some rather large knotty looking masses that would benefit from being divided before planting. The bed I stare at is a mass of weeds and I know there are hidden treasures under the chick weed and clover that is everywhere. The one that I seek is the Eurpatorium cannabinum which won my heart last season when I captured butterflies and bees feasting on it. I saw a Monarch butterfly earlier in the week and it reminds me to hunt it out. I am reassured to find it is sprouting new growth and make plans to relocate it to a new spot in the garden. I start to weed, just a few minutes I tell myself and before I know it I am lost in the method of the work. In the bed beside me a baby hive (nuc) sits, accompanying me as I work with the steady hum of bees coming and going. Birds are pottering about the garden whileAtlas snuffles past, crashing through the undergrowth to his secret corner (he has many in the garden). I spy him through the bushes and see him just sitting perfectly framed by the surround leaves. He is just watching the land as I like to call it. I want to capture it but I know it won’t look as I see it. I keep working.
I plant out the many chrysanthemumI divided in the Autumn. I look at the beds that have gaps and realise that because of the growth over the last couple of weeks the garden has turned into a bit of a jigsaw puzzle where the plants I plant are now like jigsaw pieces slotted in to the make the flower bed whole. In a matter of weeks the garden has gone from a slow burn to the sanctuary that I love. Leaves unfold to hide neighbors. Insect and birds become visible. We all settle into the familiar rhythm of the season. A welcome return for us all. I clock another two hours in the garden. Weeding, planting, repeat. This time another bed that needs some boundaries put in. A few treasures have made it over winter and I admire the Phlomis russeliana plus the creeper whose name I have forgotten waving its limbs around looking for something to climb. I admire less the morning glory (who planted that?) which is spreading madly. The bind weed, forever a bane of my life is starting to appear. I remove as much as I can. It will a continuous battle over the summer as it is has been in summers past to keep them under control. The day has moments of sun and then it clouds over, inviting enough to be working in the garden and when I head inside the cloud returns and I don’t feel pressure to return and do more.
I stop for a moment’s reflection. We are off beekeeping today and after a slow start (we had to recover from the 3am Airedale wake up) I find myself waiting for toast to cook, dressed in my gardening clothes that were clean on Friday and are now the satisfactory kind of grubby that feels comfortable and suitable for bee keeping. This is the work uniform I prefer. The tightness in my chest, the clenched teeth, the sighs to regulate that I noticed on Friday are starting to fade. I am wishing I had more days to reconnect with myself and the garden. To sink into the balance that I have been missing of late. It will come and noticing the physical stress that my body is holding is step forward. I can hear my mind telling myself to let go and it will. I just hate waiting sometimes. The sky is blue. The birds are busy and don’t notice you watching them. I will go tidy up the errant pots that are scattered about the place. Dropped when I moved on to another task or when the wind scattered them around the garden. Later I will write, read and take some photos later to fill my cup. The bee keeping will help. Do the things you love I tell myself, they will ease the stress that you feel from what is going on around you. You can find your quiet corner and breath deeply. I seem to read things that encourage this. One poet writes of rest, another writer echoes this same thought. Maybe I should listen. You have been here before and you will again and each time you return you know yourself better and you know what you need to do to right yourself.