Garden Blog - Blog Post

Winter Pause


I haven’t been writing much on the blog in the last few weeks as I’ve been concentrating on completing a book that will be coming up to three years since starting (I can be the master of procrastination). In addition to that, I’ve just returned from the first “proper” holiday in years. While I have taken holiday from an employment sense, they have been filled with doing chores, gardening projects and just generally staying at home trying to get things done. I am so renowned for this that my office colleagues were genuinely surprised and happy that this time, I was not using holiday to do home and garden work and that I was using holiday as just that, holiday.

This holiday I’ve just come back from was the first in a couple of years where I actually left the country and was away from the garden, the house and all those reminders about the countless errands, tasks and just, “things” that need doing.

I had a week of rest and relaxation with lots of eating out too. I completely forgot about the things that need doing at home, all those winter jobs in the garden, the preparation for spring and checking the plants to see how they’re over-wintering. None of it occurred to me, not even once while I was sat on the hammock, watching the sun go down behind the date palms. I’ve not felt like that for years.

I’m back home now and back to “normal”, I’ve noticed the days getting longer and the first signs of spring in the emerging crocuses and fattening buds of spring shrubs. I’ll be continuing to work on the book and work in the garden as it starts to wake up and the new growing season dawns. This holiday has made me think that I’ve been focussing too much on spending every possible minute in the garden working on it, weeding, planting, tending, digging, pruning, clearing, creating new borders and so on. While this has made for phenomenal progress in creating a stunning garden from a blank canvas, perhaps it’s time to not have the “pedal to the metal” so much and instead focus on using some of that garden time to relax and unwind.

It’s a novel thought for me.

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Sunil Patel

I'm Sunil Patel, this is me. I created the Garden at 13 Broom Acres and I open it to visitors. I also bake and write blog posts giving a "behind the scenes" look into what it's like to maintain such a garden.

Visit the blog, then come and visit the garden. We can have a good sit-down, a jolly chinwag and a relaxing cup of tea with a sinfully generous slice of home made cake.

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Mrs Mac 28/01/2017 - 9:33 am

Yes, we all need a holiday sometimes, Sunil. Glad you enjoyed yours and had some thinking time. The garden this year will reward all your hard work, and perhaps, this year should be a tidy up and enjoy time, rather than more hard work (because of course, that book has to de dealt with!) Whatever you decide, enjoy the gardening year.

Sunil 03/02/2017 - 5:50 pm

Hello Mrs Mac, I was thinking that this year might a clearing out year because there is a lot of mess in the rear half of the garden that needs sorting out and removing before I can “see” what I want to do with it. There many be no new borders, but there could be a great deal more “blank canvas” instead.

Sarah Shoesmith 30/01/2017 - 8:01 am

I’m so pleased that you escaped for a holiday and that it has opened your eyes to the possibilities of enjoying your garden. Here’s hoping that the summer will bless you with the perfect weather for sitting back and enjoying the fruits of your labours. Try not to look at the garden while relaxing though… you know how it is. You sit down with a cuppa and a good book to read and a weed catches your eye and four hours later the tea is cold, the book untouched and you’ve inadvertently redesigned a border.

Sunil 03/02/2017 - 5:52 pm

Hello Sarah, that’s exactly what happens, though the cup of tea is usually cold before I even sit down, it went dark hours ago and I still have all my gardening stuff strewn all over the place. I might have to block the view form the patio using tall plants in pots, or just not put glasses on!

Jean 02/02/2017 - 2:42 am

Congratulations, too, on having taken a proper holiday! (I confess that I’ve always been much more inclined to be in the garden than to work in the garden. 😉 )

Sunil 03/02/2017 - 5:54 pm

Thanks, Jean, I’m one of those people that have an internal “nagging” system that goes off when I see work that needs doing in the garden and it’s usually impossible to ignore. I always tell myself that, “it’ll only take two minutes” and before you know it, it’s way past dinner time and it’s gone dark.


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