Last Day of the Year

So today is the last day of 2011 and I think I spent it rather well.

There was a trip around the local garden centre in the afternoon. I looked on longingly at the magnolias they had before going in and plumping for half-price reeds for scent diffusers and a pair of shoes. I did get some orchid compost that I’ll be using to top-up the current pots we have.

After I got back, I decided to give the front garden a bit of TLC. The front – like the back – is also very small, with an ever-decreasing patch of grass and an ever increasing border surrounding it. Since the front garden faces the road and street and houses opposite, it’s not somewhere to pull the deck-chair up and sunbathe so it is often neglected for periods while I focus more on the back.

Anyway, I gave the front a good tidy. A dead hebe came out (there are currently 9 in the greenhouse waiting to replace it) and a pair of leggy and sad-looking lavenders came out too (there are more than 9 waiting to replace those too). Two further lavenders were pruned hard and the annuals and second-year biennials came out too. The dead remains of herbaceous plants were cleared and the bergenias had their dead or dying leaves cleared. The grass was raked of leaves.

I worked away over the course of the afternoon, the sun came out, the sun set, the street lights came on, the stars came out and then I decided it would be a good time to stop as I couldn’t actually see what I was doing.

It was only when I finished that I realised that I ought to have taken a “before” and “after” photo. If there’s one way to boost motivation and to keep on going, then it’s looking at how bad it was before and how good it looks now and that will also help plan how amazing it will look in the future.

As is customary at the end of the year, I’m going to take some time to look back at the precious few old photos that I have of how the garden was three years ago. I know I started with an overgrown, weedy mess and when I look at my tiny garden today, with its 1-odd tree, 10-odd shrubs, 100-odd plants and 1000-odd bulbs, I will feel a great sense of accomplishment, satisfaction and happiness and that is half of what gardening is all about.

Happy New Year Gardening.

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