Garden Blog - Blog Post

Fifty Tasks


It’s been longer than I had wanted it to be for a new post to appear on here. There’s a great deal happening in my “corporate” world that has diverted me away from my usual gardening and blogging over the last month or so. Thankfully, things will be settling down next week and I’ll have some time to get back to a new semblance of “normal”. In the mean time, here’s the completed post I’ve ben trying to get together for the last month.

Forget Fifty Shades, or even Fifty Sheds, this is Fifty Tasks. It comes from the list of tasks I have that are all to do with getting the back of the garden into shape. Some of the tasks are quick and simple, others – such as “Dig out the bamboo” – have taken months. Of course, the list didn’t start off as fifty items, there were only about five or six, but as usual, in order to do one thing, you need to do about ten others beforehand. I’ve had this list since the start of the year and crossed items off as I’ve done them while also adding on several more each time.

The trouble with this year has been scope creep. The plan from the start was always, “to sort out the mess at the back” but where does this end? I started off at the beginning of the year by trying to get rid of as much rubbish as possible, which then extended to clearing out access to the very back and far corners of the garden, which then went beyond into marking out bark-chipped paths and trying to do some under-tree planting.

Unlike making a border, where it’s pretty obvious when it’s been dug over and planted, the back of the garden continues to throw up new work without a clear end point. A whole season later, there are still things to do on my list of fifty, but thankfully, we’re now getting to the dregs at the bottom of the proverbial glass. There are still areas to clear and rubbish to get rid of, but technically, this isn’t at the back of the garden. There’s also a large circular seating area that I want to create – and it’s a big job involving several bulk bags of material currently sat on the drive – but that isn’t technically right at the back of the garden either.

I guess it’s kind of my fault for continuing to add more and more to the list under the guise of “sorting the back out”, without thinking about what point I actually wanted to stop and say, “OK, that’s done now, stop and have a cup of tea and a good sit-down”, instead, I’m still frantically doing work at the back, trying to cross off the last items on the list, while resisting adding more items on, while the season starts drawing to a close and I need to think about winter preparations.

They way I’ve interpreted the “plan” above means it was far too ambitious to do in one season. The way others will interpret the plan means it is now actually complete. I’ll take the middle ground by saying that the back of the garden is restored, but it’s not in its final state, there are finishing touches and planting that still need to be done, but those can wait for another season. In the mean time, I’ll try and be more forgiving while also learning how to properly define projects.

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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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Susan Maclean 30/10/2017 - 8:16 am

Hello Sunil – missed you! Thank goodness Winter is on it’s way – because you need a breather, man. I know you want it finished, but take care to look after yourself, too because there is a lot to do next Spring. I congrtulate you on your hard work though. We haven’t seen many “flower pics” this year……. how did it all go (I know it went a bit wild)? I planted up the last bit of my borders – a stretch about 15 feet in Spring. I wanted this bit to change from yellow to red, so that included some orange and together with the lovely verbena (the tallest one), it had the most wonderful summer. I still have colour even how, so hopefully I achieved a good mix! – and guess what, apart from my usual mid-Summer set of pics I didn’t take any of the border in all it’s glory, although enjoyed it every day, especially as it is in front of me when the car drives in.

Sunil Patel 31/10/2017 - 9:06 pm

Hello Mrs Mac, it’s been a frantic month with lots happening. I have some time to try and relax now, though I’m not very good at it. There haven’t been too many flower pics this year as no new borders were made (the first time since we moved in nearly four years ago). This year was all about clearing the rubbish at the back of the garden and bringing the worst parts of the garden under control (like clearing out the bamboo). It was a great deal of work but hopefully, it only has to be done once.

gardeninacity 30/10/2017 - 9:26 pm

Yes, mission creep happens in gardening, too – I have experienced it myself. However, it looks like none of your efforts are wasted – they are all things you would have wanted to do sooner or later.

Sunil Patel 31/10/2017 - 9:10 pm

Hello Jason, I knew I would be in trouble this year when my plan was to simply “sort out the back”. The work definitely needed to be done but I think the boundaries were missing. I’m very pleased with the progress though and while there’s still a lot of clearing and tidying work to be done, the worst of it is over and I might also be able to return to making some borders next season – something I have missed out on this year.


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