Foot off the Pedal

For various reasons, it’s been quite a long time since I last wrote and I have a terrible confession to make: I’ve done very little in the garden since the Landing Pad was finished in early summer and I’m not all that bothered by it. Hence there’s not been much to write about.

Normally, each gardening season is a race to get all the planned work finished in time before the winter. Any spare time left over is a bonus to enjoy, but to ideally fill with more work to get ahead. This year started off no different. The plan was to finish the Landing Pad, prepare a strip of ground for extending the beech hedge, clear an area of rubbish to reseed with grass (to complete “the Rectangle”), finish the shape of the semi-circular border and clear the rubbish on it, ready for when we start work on it next year.

That’s a list of around five to six major things, not counting all the other jobs that would be spawned off from it but this year, I did the first one and pretty much stopped to put my feet up.

This summer was long, sunny and hot with ideal (if rather too hot) clear weather to all those jobs, but for some reason, I just couldn’t muster the strength and willpower. Instead, I just took the sun loungers out and lazed the evenings away while topping up on vitamin D.

Previously, I would be horrified at my own behaviour but something’s changed. I’m not sure if I’m just worn out from the frantic pace of work from previous years, if I’m getting older and less able/energetic or if I’m placing less importance on getting the garden ready and “finished” as soon as possible and placing more on working sustainably. I guess it’s some combination of all.

This summer, I took my foot off the gas pedal and let myself coast a while, and I rather enjoyed it. The garden isn’t exactly looking terrible for it either. The various trees, plants and shrubs just carried on growing and flowering, all by themselves, they don’t need me watching and fussing over them.

I don’t know if I’ll have the same work ethic next year or if things will go “back to normal”, whatever that means. The goal is still to have a garden “complete” for opening as part of the NGS and we passed a major milestone this year when an initial assessment gave the “all clear”, meaning there are no unsurmountable show-stoppers that would prevent the garden from opening at all.

The garden just needs to be completed, but I’m finding that it’s perhaps not so urgent as I used to think it was and perhaps it’s OK to take some time to do it and if major work slips a season, then perhaps it’s not the end of the world.


  1. Sunil, good to hear you have taken a small break and have actually enjoyed coasting for a time. I know just how you feel. We had 100 inches of rain here by mid-August and many of my plants literally rotted. I was so disappointed and was trying to find replacements asap. Many of them rotted too! So I just decided to see what would happen, re-evaluate and start over next spring. I feel good about that decision as I watch the last few roses bloom in the garden. With any luck, there is always next year! Take care my friend. So excited about the NGS open garden!


    1. Hello Lynn, I’m sorry you had such an awful, wet summer. I hope next year turns out much better for you and your roses. We’re starting to get frosts here but the last few rose flowers are just hanging on. I’ll be giving them their annual TLC this winter.


  2. Ah. you are back. I missed you. A well earned rest is what you got, my friend! This year was the one with the five week hot spell and like you I took the decision to do nothing (except water the new clematis who didn’t die, either!) and let everything do what it could. Lost nothing and even got regular tomatoes from 2 plants bought at the farm shop just for fun to fill a hole in the border. And now, as you have found out, your garden will carry on it’s lovely, cheering work all on it’s own for a while, and you have had your batteries recharged too. Great stuff.


    1. Hello Mrs Mac, it’s nice to be missed šŸ™‚ I hope i didn’t worry you too much! The hot weather means I have quite a bit of backlog on planting. We planted a few things out this summer but the hot sun and no rain meant they suffered, withered and pretty much died, even though we tried to keep up with the watering. It was definitely not a year to be planting out and we barely bought any plants from the Garden Centre, I hope I’ll be able to make up for that next year!


  3. Hi Sunil
    Getting older! yer jokin, that’s a bit of Scottish slang, don’t get me going. I guess you deserved to take it easy this Summer, don’t make a habit of it though. Off to do a bit of Autumn tidying. Take care, from a real old timer.


    1. Hello Alistair, I enjoyed taking the break and I think it’s something I could get used to. I will nag myself back into the garden though, starting with the six bulk bags of compost and manure sat on the drive that will need distributing over the borders as the winter mulch. There’s still lots to do but it was good to have a little pause to take in the work that’s already done and the work left to do.


    1. Hello Jason, indeed, it was nice to have my feet up for a bit. I feel ready to go back out into the garden again, just in time for the annual winter preparation.


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