Let me jump right in - I've been silent here for a while for three reasons. Firstly, there's the usual mid-summer reason - busy, busy, busy in the garden. Secondly, there's the fact that "stay at home" means that I've had exactly 2 days in the past 4 months of alone time - Mother's Day and my birthday. Yup - that's it. And thirdly, our lives, just like everyone else's, have changed over this time and the blog fell by the wayside.
|Area #1 vegetable garden at dusk|
However, there's the flip side of the coin too. Lack of scheduled events/lessons/sports/appointments and virtually all other social commitments means our life is so much more relaxed...and I'm taking full advantage of that. I'm re-evaluating priorities, revamping how I do things and, generally speaking, slowing things down. Way down. From what I've heard from friends and seen in social media, looks like I'm in good company.
|Even though I grew fewer lettuce plants overall this year,|
there was still plenty of variety (Top row: Mignonette Bronze, Tropicana /
Bottom row: Speckled, Merveille de Quatre Saisons, New Red Fire)
We've been lucky in many ways. Firstly, neither our family nor any of our friends have contracted the virus at this point (knock on wood!!). Both of my kids are teenagers and were completely self-sufficient when it came to schoolwork, which was a huge issue for friends that had younger children. And one more thing that's made a big difference - my husband usually takes one kid to work with him, leaving the other at home with me (his assistant is working from home, so he is currently alone in his office, which is accessed from the street...no need to take an elevator). This allows me to spend some uninterrupted one-to-one time with each of them doing something that we both enjoy.
|The Asian Delight choy was amazing - it stood up to our 30C/86F weather like a champ!|
So that's about it, in a nutshell. Now, if you follow me on Instagram, you are well aware that the garden is giving me all sorts of joy this year. In fact, I am enjoying my time in the garden more than I ever have before.
Up until now, I would try to grow the full complement of vegetables plus whip existing ornamental beds into shape (weeding/mulching/edging) as well as keeping up with things like the pathways in the veg areas, fruit trees and berry bushes AND tackle new areas that were overgrown and filled with weeds/invasives. In the last couple of years, I cut back on a few things, but I still wasn't able to keep up. The only help I occasional get involves moving mulch - other than that, I'm pretty much a one woman show in the garden (which suits me just fine - I only wish there were more hours in the day!).
|Even though I'm cutting back on how much I'm growing, I was still able to|
squeeze in a few "new-to-me" veg such as this New Zealand spinach.
Long before Covid 19 was a thing, I had resolved that this year, I was going to concentrate primarily on renovating the garden. And since I am not superwoman (call me thick, but it took me a few years to realize this 🙄), this would only be achievable if I cut back on what I grew. And I did just that. Of the 18 beds, only 8 have vegetables in them. The others are either filled with ornamentals (mainly cutting flowers) or have been covered with black plastic for the season (in an effort to get the weed situation under control - I have a particularly bad issue with hawkweed on the hilltop).
|This bed is actually rotting out & was supposed to get the black plastic treatment|
until I had the time and materials to rebuild it. Instead, I decided to plant it up
with zinnias, calendula and a couple of Bloody Butcher tomatoes
Now I love journaling my gardening journey on this blog but (news flash!) I'm sort of a wordy person (yes, I know you're shocked!). When it's all said and done, each post takes a few hours to complete, which is likely why I've procrastinated for the past few weeks. I would often see or experience this or that in the garden and think "I should write about that" but, when push came to shove, I chose instead to spend those hours with my family, work on the garden or do one of the myriad of other things. And the lack of "rushing" to get it all done felt really good.
|Only 1/3 of a bed sown with carrots this year (using seed tape I made last year!)|
This all leads me to one thing. No, I'm not ending the blog, but rather, I'll be *trying* to do posts in a different way. The ultimate goal is to make this blog part of the joy, not part of the stress. Instead of lengthy all-encompassing posts or those that speak to a variety of different things, I'm going to try to do bite-sized posts with a sprinkling of larger ones every now and then. Starting next time, obviously 😜. Similarly, while I read and truly appreciate every single comment, I'll now be taking an "Instagram" approach to comments. I only wish there was a little heart that I could click to show my love for each and every one 💚
|Harvested just yesterday - Red & White Russian kale|
P.S. This was SUPPOSED to be my first bite-sized post where I showed a few of the glorious ornamentals in the garden (from my big perennial planting adventure last year). The plan was just to start right in....then I got side tracked and decided to write about why my style was changing. And here we are, 4 hours later - the new approach will definitely be a challenge 😊