Years ago, when we first moved into our house and inherited the garden, I couldn’t imagine how many miles long the list of outdoor work and jobs was to get the garden to where it is now. Fast forward from six/seven years ago to the present day and this year is the year I completed the penultimate large border in the garden. More importantly, it is also the year where any spare moment in the garden was spent doing the countless little “polishing” jobs – the kind of jobs that take a few hours or even half a day at most but each one sorts out a tiny little niggle that – if not dealt with – drives you insane. These jobs are different to the usual garden maintenance, they’re jobs that bring that level of polish that – frankly – most people won’t notice but the combined effect is to bring the garden together and up to a standard you’d be happy to show off to your mother-in-law, or a very fussy friend.
There aren’t many of these little polishing jobs left and that’s another milestone. It’s equivalent of getting the vacuum cleaner out for a quick whizz-around before guests arrive for dinner as opposed to building the dining room. While there are still some large projects left in the garden, I can count those on the fingers of one hand, they might all be done by next autumn if I stick to the plan and schedule. The “little” jobs are also running out. In fact, I can’t think of any right now (though I tend to get reminded of them when I’m out in the garden).
It’s an odd – almost unsettling – feeling when the end of the “garden creation” phase is in sight and I’m looking at the rather abrupt change from making borders to maintaining those borders. Of course, there are areas of the garden that I’m not happy with and want to change the planting, add more in, move some around etc. and this is all part of garden maintenance. It’s a lot less time consuming than making the borders to begin with.
I’m aware I’m rambling, it’s very difficult to describe the feeling of seeing the “finish line” after so many years and knowing I’ll be crossing it soon. I won’t collapse on the floor and stop gardening when I do cross it, but I hope to switch to a more “relaxed” approach to the garden, which involves carefully preening it and keeping it beautifully maintained until early summer when the moist soil and hot weather means everything grows rampantly out of control. Rinse and repeat annually.
While I ponder and try to digest something that feels like a “completion date”, some bottoms have arrived:
This will be for the something that will run along the top of the garden alongside the fence. It’s difficult to not reveal too much and most people will know what these bottoms are. Suffice to say that in the background, specifications and designs have gone back and forth, an eye-watering amount of money has gone out and there’s a manufacture date and tentative delivery for November, at which point I’ll be able to reveal more – if you haven’t guessed already what might be happening.
In the mean time, there’s some measuring and levelling to do to sit these bottoms on a nice and solid foundation.