Garden Blog - Blog Post

Going Potty


I lay awake at night, struggling to sleep. My mind is spinning at 100 miles an hour (or 160 kmph if you want metric). Garden jobs just keep going round and around in my head, like a never-ending news reel.

Patio Pot Collection – some of it anyway – awaiting bedding

The headlines, for the umpteenth time: it’s mid-April and there are roses that still need pruning. The wire run needs to be extended for the Banksiae and Madame Alfred Carriére roses, it was needed last year. The calla lilies need to be divided – they’ve been waiting so long some are already flowering.

It goes on.

A seemingly infinite list of jobs.

I don’t recall any other year when I’ve been quite so obsessed with trying to catch up on all the garden jobs that need doing as part of the “winter clean-up”. I know a few posts ago I was writing about how I might be ahead and might actually not have such a full blown Spring Gardening panic. I shall read that post again when I want to laugh and cry at the same time.

Ferns unfurling

I do have a very strong suspicion as to why I’m so fixated on the garden and ensuring I catch-up with all that needs doing. It’s because there’s about 13 months before the anticipated NGS opening. It feels like the countdown has begun and at the moment – should people inexplicably turn up – they’ll note that it’s mid-April and there are roses that still need pruning. There would be shocked expressions and demands for refunds. I can see it now. This is honestly what would happen. No question.

Haze of blue Forget-me-not in the Willow Border

I am genuinely worried. There are large sections of border that we don’t have planting for yet. I cleared most of Fruit Avenue last year for trying vegetables, the final border in the garden is only half-planted because the Spring last year was so terrible for seed germination. The bark-chip paths need to be topped-up the compost heap needs reconstructing after most of the posts have rotten, I need to figure out what to do with the tree rounds, then there’s the front verge…oh here I go again.

Epic tree rounds from a neighbour (tree was diseased)

Having large gaps in the borders is the stuff of nightmares, for me anyway. Plants take time to grow, establish, fill out and flower. I need to be sowing and growing now for getting those gaps filled by next year. It can’t wait another season unless I want people looking over my seedlings.

Delicate Sand Cherry blossom

I’m chipping away at the problem. I did a few emergency jobs yesterday, I did some more just this afternoon and later this evening, I’ll plan for what jobs I want to get done tomorrow. I know there’s going to be an end in sight at some point but I just can’t see it yet.

So until then, it’s back to the planning, thinking, deciding, arranging, organising and “doing”.

Someday I might be ready.

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author & gardener

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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Lynn Hunt 14/04/2022 - 6:31 pm

Sunil, I tried to comment on your last posting which I enjoyed very much. I think it is only natural that as your garden matures, the blog begins to take a back seat. I have enjoyed watching the garden grow, and of course it was so wonderful to meet you and Gareth and see the garden in its early days. As for roses that still need pruning, I am in the same boat. The harsh spring has has me way behind. But like you, I will get there. And I know you’ll be ready for the NGS opening!!

Sunil 14/04/2022 - 9:56 pm

Hello Lynn, I’m glad you’ve been here for the ride and even been here to visit! This is the first season for many years where I don’t have a major border project planned, everything is either maintenance or tweaking and polishing. There is a great deal of tweaking and polishing to do though so it doesn’t feel like any less work! As long as I can gradually keep chipping away and ticking things off the list, that’s what matters at the moment.

Tammy Schmitt 15/04/2022 - 5:08 am

Don’t torture yourself! You’ll get it all done and it will look spectacular and if anyone dares give you a haughty or superior look, then to hell with them.

Sunil 15/04/2022 - 6:38 pm

Tammy, you’re just going to have to come over and run my “Customer Services” department on the day!

Tammy Schmitt 15/04/2022 - 9:11 pm

I would love to!! Heading back to England is definitely in my future plans so expect to see me again. I’ll evaluate any potential garden visitors and if they’re flaming turd buckets, they’ll get the toss. Should be highly entertaining. Guaranteed to alleviate any garden tour stress on your part.

Sunil 19/04/2022 - 3:00 pm

We’d love to see you again, it’s always highly entertaining when you’re around! Lord knows there’s enough stress all-round that needs alleviating; it sounds like you’re perfectly qualified for the job!


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