So you’ve just seen this come up, why don’t you take a quick read? It’ll only take you five minutes. The Banksiae rose needs pulling out of the eaves again, it’ll only take five minutes. The rose on the arch needs tying in, it’ll only take five minutes. While you got five minutes, it’s a good time to plant out some of the foxgloves.
It’s funny how most of the little jobs are about five minutes long, but there seem to be hundreds of them and that’s what’s been taking my time almost all this month as spring repeatedly tries to grab control of the weather from winter’s cold, dead hands. The myriad little jobs around that garden: prune this, tidy that, clear this, feed that, plant this, weed that, have felt like weeks of hurry and bluster with not a huge amount to show for it. The experience is like death by a thousand horticultural paper cuts.
Prune and tie in climbing roses
Ticking these little things off the list lets me have a clear go at the project for this summer, which is sorting out the area around the Landing Pad. I hope to start on this just as soon as the rain clears and I don’t need to take a boat to reach the bottom of the garden. In the meantime, I can feel smug with the satisfaction of having done all those little jobs. The nagging voice in my head has been quieter, the areas of the garden that were neglected last year have been tended-to, look better and I’ve even had time to sort out the small area underneath the front study containing an overgrown pyracantha and ailing box. It was something that’s been on my list for a while and as I had five minutes, it caught the glare of my attention. Before you could say, “a spoon full of sugar”, it had been clipped, tidied, weeded, levelled and a whole host of other things to sort it out. It just took a whole series of “five minutes”.
Remove the dead fern leaves
I’m setting myself up for a good summer run at the new areas in the garden by getting rid of the distractions now that might cause me to sidetrack later. I’m also vaguely hoping that by getting ahead now, I might have more time to relax later on when the weather is really good; I can but hope. These five minute jobs are a key part of the whole “creating a garden” theme and cover the sometimes boring and tedious work of maintaining the areas that have been “done”, lest they fall back into wildness again.
Bring yet more pots out of the greenhouse and lay out for the summer
Meanwhile, despite the very wet weather we’ve been having, the garden has been trying to get on with the business of spring. The Camellias are flowering, buds are busting and leaves are unfurling. For once I actually feel ahead of the garden, but it’s not going to stay that way for long. With warmer, sunnier weather around the corner and the garden topped to bursting with rain water, it will race to catch up and with all these jobs I’ve caught up with, I might have five minutes to marvel at it before I’m onto the business of restoring another area of the garden.