I am ashamed to say that first thing this morning my garden looked more than a little unkempt. Last years cabbages, carrots, parsnips, canes and netting were still in situ and a thick mat of weeds and grass had started to take over one of the ground beds. Many the time over the last few months, I have wondered up to that end of the garden to survey the damage, anxious to make a start but opting instead to return to the house and do something a little less strenuous. Today, however, the sun was shining, the air temperature was warm and I finally felt up to making a start on the garden maintenance.
So what has been the cause of my lack of action, almost disinterest in the garden?
In a word – backache! Or to be more precise my sciatic nerve has stopped play.
I can’t pinpoint exactly when my sciatic pain started, or indeed what caused it to flare up but I’ve been suffering sciatic pain since the beginning of Autumn and it has been an almost constant presence since. That said I have tried to keep mobile, cycling the 8.5 miles to work and back whenever the weather has allowed and that’s no mean feat I can assure you because whilst the route to work is mostly gentle down hill slopes, the journey back has been gentle inclines which have sorely tested my stamina and resolve. Oddly enough these journeys haven’t aggravated my nerve as much as I’d have thought. Quite the opposite, in fact, and I’m guessing that this is due to the stretch and relax motion cycling creates.
But I digress.
So within an hour I had cleared the long ground bed and partitioned it into three sections. Both Mudlets want a patch of their own this year and so I’ve paced out two 5 foot lengths of bed marked by the bricks. Little Mudlet has claimed the middle section, Middle Mudlet has the far section and the large section nearest the camera is for the potatoes this year.
Another hour saw the smaller bed in front of the little greenhouse and the flower bed weeded and cleared of fallen twigs. The Buddleia needed trimming back quite drastically and a quick snip with the secateurs dealt with the brambles which were starting to emerge and spread from behind the greenhouse. Into that bed went some of the Lupins that Middle Mudlet had grown from seed last year and which had over-wintered in one of the raised beds. A couple more of the Lupins have gone into the flower bed by our back door along with Dwarf Delphiniums, also grown from seed whilst the rest are now in one of the half barrel planters.
By the end of the third hour, four of the raised beds had been cleared and dug over, with netting removed, folded and stored in the larger greenhouse. I was amazed to discover that a number of pansy plants had appeared in one of the raised beds, presumably self-seeded from the plant Little Mudlet had grown from seed back in 2017 and which had produced a beautiful show of flowers last year. I dug out as many of the young plants as I could and planted them into the empty cells of the seed tray which has been home to a dozen or so strawberry plants, grown from seed last year.
As well as the beds, along the way tubs and pots were weeded and trimmed back and I ruthlessly tipped any strawberry pots which showed no signs of life, into the compost bin. Three hours in and I was aching but feeling pretty please with my progress and decided to call it a day, putting my tools back into the greenhouse before heading in for a much needed soak in the bath.
There is still a lot to be done but I’m hoping that the weather stays mild, so that I can spend an hour or so of an evening clearing the rest of the beds and tubs ….. and I also need to get the greenhouses cleared and cleaned.