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An extract from my gardening journal

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Adamn Greathead
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree

Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 44
Location: West Midlands

PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 5:01 pm    Post subject: An extract from my gardening journal Reply with quote

To me gardening is not a job full of chores, which need doing; instead it is a close relationship between myself, the soil and the plants, which grow in it. I find it tedious when people dismiss gardening in such a way.

My garden is personal to me and to me only, when friends come round I don't openly wish them to view the garden and give me feedback; the most useful and salient analysis comes from within, not from outsiders. Many a time have I spent dreaming how the garden should be, planning things, planting new things and out with the old. All this and more happens within me and no one else, all of it in my mind eventually resolving into a final picture of what the garden should look like. It never gets there, naturally, mother nature always steps in, but as most people would argue that nature ruins the final idea I think very differently, nature is worth working with, not against.

Throughout the year, as I garden, I keep a journal of what each day has brought which helps me when planning for the following years, as a garden never reaches full maturity it keeps growing and needs constant taming. Here is an extract from my journal, which I wish to share:

November 16th 2005
We are greeted with a real harsh ground frost already. The temperature of my cold house measuring a mere -10c! Maybe we are in for a white Christmas after all? To us gardeners a hard frost is a godsend, killing the last surviving slugs, other pests and diseases. But a winter frost has a benefit to all of us. There is no other picture so beautiful than an established garden painted with a layer of crystal white frost. This morning the purple foliage of Heuchera "fireworks" is edged with frost; the standard hollies (ilex) and the box-hedging crisp with the cold glistens in the early winter sun. Walking round my garden, even in such cold conditions, my body fills with a warmth fulfilment knowing that I have witnessed one of the prettiest wonders of Mother nature. It amazes me how verbena rigida stands strong clasping onto it's cap of frost, myself trying to forget the fact that it will soon fall victim to the winter of 2005.

I try desperately to hang on to the last burst of colour, which the garden supplies. Even my allotment is alive with colour, the dazzling stems of Swiss chard "Bright lights" rise from the ground ignoring the blanket of frost, which surrounds them. Just away from these, next to the wood chip path, the tall majestic kings of vegetables, the brussell sprouts stand proud of all the other veg. I'm hoping to be eating fresh sprouts come Christmas day. The Calabrese, which I grow in the fruit cage to keep the pigeons out, are cropping heavily. Unfortunately, the Runner beans have fell victim to the frosts but after a whopping 120lbs from two 10ft rows I'd better not push my luck and complain.

Planted a dozen or so Allium bulbs three weeks previous and still I await their arrival with great anticipation knowing that their glossy emerald growing tips will not appear without the warmth of spring. Still I feel something is missing from the garden and still I frustrate myself, nothing can be planted so late in the year except shrubs. However big my love for shrubs, with their hardy foliage in such varied textures, I don't want anymore in the garden. My true compassion and what my soul longs for is perennials. Mass upon mass of perennials all standing tall; their peaks amidst the mist of the early summer sun, radiating their significance in the garden. No other group of plants have so much to offer, a lifelong guarantee secured by the fact that each year they return and brighten up both my being and my garden. The foxgloves; the coreopsis and the verbena all blending with each other yet, managing to create a blend of mature tones just when the garden needs it. It's just magical.

How one day the garden is at it's worst (every garden has it's days numbered) and in a matter of three or four weeks a strong regiment dressed in green emerge from their winter hiding, later followed by a continuous attack of reds, mauves, crimsons, whites, blues and every other colour of the spectrum. To me this is personal. A personal creation; a personal achievement and above all a personal pleasure.
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