Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Where have all the hours gone?



It feels strange to be posting on this blog again - it has been such a hectic ten days with hardly time to draw breath. But here I am back online and anxious to greet new followers (hello), and also to apologise to everyone else who reads about the oddities of my life for lack of postings.

A few days ago, I noticed the first greening of the hawthorn, and rather than feel a lift of the heart at this first true sign of Spring (appropriate to greet last Saturday's equinox), I experienced a definite feeling of dread. Of the seasons inexorably walking forward, overtaking me. Morbid. I cannot keep up – there is so much to do, in the garden, the house, work, my ‘book’ ….. it is as if I am on a treadmill. Not that I don’t enjoy the things I am doing; I just don’t seem able to accomplish all I know I must, in the time there is available.

Maybe the feeling will pass when I get my hands in the earth again. It’s been a long hard slog, completing three little garden keepsake books to accompany an unexpected craft article (which I will document in due course in my journaling blog), but they are done and away to the editor, along with the instructional feature that I was commissioned to write.

In between writing and making sessions, I walked my garden, recalling the good things that uplift the spirit – hearing small birds sweetly twittering in the tall old wild-apple tree in our hedge; looking up, it was a flock of linnets, sounding like so many bright canaries. Seeing the shape of our elderly ‘Bramley’ (cooking apple) – now 120 years old; we have lived here for one-third of its life! Oh, the blossom in Spring, the apples it still showers us with each Autumn, the thought of apple pie, tarte tatin, apple-sage-and-onion compote to accompany an evening roast, let alone the cider or apple wine. Am I wishing the summer away?? !!!




Writing all this brings me back to earth (literally): reminding me how much I love to be in our garden, despite the slave it is to keep it ‘nice’ - and the misery of three years of neglect whilst we were barn-raising.



I recall the happiness of two weekends ago when I spring-cleaned my greenhouse, installed a bench of herbs in readiness for a photo-session, sowed some seeds, some of which a field-mouse subsequently ate!



Then last weekend, I created a herb terrace between my 'square-foot' vegetable beds and the 'cider-apple' garden (I give names to all the small sub-divisions of our acre of ground), and spent a morning back in early February surveying all that needed attention; horrifying and shaming. The square-foot beds need a makeover, or rather a vigorous de-weeding session, but the tiny terrace is now furnished with table and two chairs for when I have the time to write outdoors (when ????), plus a wooden planter that Raymond made me some while back which I unearthed from amidst the wilderness of dead nettles, and numerous pots - all now planted with culinary herbs.







Tomorrow I must withdraw again whilst I write a magazine feature to accompany the herb photos we have been taking for another commissioned article; and I must sow the peas that have been soaking by the sink - and catch up on all the blogging news I have missed.

25 comments:

  1. The photos of your garden look great. It is odd isn't it? When we walk round the garden we see everything we haven't done. When others look at it they see the beauty.
    I suffer from the same thing.
    Spring is a lovely thing, hope you are enjoying it again.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I know exactly how you feel about seeming to never catch up.. I tell everyone I have less time now that I'm retired then I did when I worked and was raising a family.
    Loved your pictures and reading about your gardens.. spring is here and I'm all excited but dreading all the work too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Glad you are 'back'. I guessed that you were in the garden, with your hands full! I would love to see it in full bloom!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thankyou for responding so quickly - yes, it is good to be back, as if I have met long-lost friends again. My equilibrium has returned as the garden part of the garden is gradually being returned to something like its former self - there's a long, long way to go, and Raymond is already talking about the next building project! Thanks for staying with me.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am not a gardener, too hard on my back, and I am too obsessed with creating, but ahhhh I love the smell of earth, of the spring, of being outside.

    I love all the pots of plants and herbs in your photos.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nice to have you back! I sympathize with too much to do as we work to get our house ready to sell. Like you, we see endless things to be done. Your pictures are beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Lovely to have you back again and I so enjoyed the post! You make me ashamed of how little I seem to do in comparison! What a wonderfully creative woman you are!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Glad to see you back and posting again. Oh that there were more hours in the day!
    Laurie

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thankyou for these further comments; it's so lovely to keep in touch in this way. Many seeds planted today (in the greenhouse, for there have been heavy showers continuously all day) but I managed to dig over part of one of my 'square-foot' beds this last half-hour.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Do you know,earlier this evening, my husband and I had the same kind of conversation about the seasons rushing past! It certainly feels like that when we only get an hour or two here and there to get our hands in the earth. I resolve toslow down and appreciate the present (again) Your photos are great - looks like Spring.xx

    ReplyDelete
  11. Your musings on the apple tree sound delicious, and oh what an interesting garden you have. I love the pictures! Good luck on your writing.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Your musings on the apples to come sound delicious... and oh what an interesting garden you have! Good luck on your writing.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ann, these photos are just lovely - beautiful garden areas! - I know the feeling of time slipping away and so much to be done, but my motto is: it's not about the things I don't get done, but about the things I do get done - it feels better that way.....

    ReplyDelete
  14. Beautiful garden,it must take a lot of work.
    I get so excited at seeing the first signs of spring.x

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yes, I feel this onward movement too, end of March, moving clocks forward...
    The herbs look wonderful, well done and the thought of Bramleys, delicious, can't grow them here.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thankyou for further comments - it seems wonderful how art and gardens, and the movement of the seasons,inspires our creativity.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh you sound just like me. I was just commiserating on my blog about how work seems to be taking over my life. And I'm not NEARLY as busy as you!
    Love your garden shots. I adore herbs and grow several in my own garden. I'm anxious to see them again. Soon...

    ReplyDelete
  18. How I do agree with you about the speedy way that times passes, leaving us with the feeling of playing eternal catch-up.

    The pictures of your greenhouse are so beautiful, and very tantalizing to someone, like myself, who lives in a tiny city apartment longing to have a garden.

    All the same, I so love to have a window that can show me the great outdoors!

    xo

    ReplyDelete
  19. What a lovely garden. I have been putting in some overtime on mine as I have extended the veg and soft fruit areas (doubled the size) by putting a new intake area in a corner of the paddock. I've finished the soft fruit side and now it is muchly digging (which kills my lower back!), but hey-ho, faint heart never won fair lady . . . I am fast running out of room for seeds too - two seed stacks and two cold frames full so far . . .

    Mine was sorely neglected whilst I had the horses, and mum, to care for. Now it is starting to look loved again.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I am so glad our garden is giving pleasure - it is gradually (very gradually) being reclaimed from the wilderness that ensued after five years of intense self-build activities. It;s good to have hands in the soil again, though I cut my finger yesterday!

    Welcome to Frances - thankyou for following.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Just found your blog - its so interesting! That leaning apple tree reminds me of our old garden where we lived before! I love the "wilder" sort of gardens. And I especially love that little "sitting" bit with the chairs. Can imagine myself enjoying a coffee there!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Gilly - hello and thankyou; the garden is wild indeed with some parts become re-tamed, but not to the detriment of birds and wild plants and all the things I love. I am emailing you a more detailed reply. Ann.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I found you on Elizabeth's "Welsh Hills again" and saw you had grey hair and sounded interesting!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Wow! Three posts in a row!Just been reading some of your archive posts. You obviously have a lot of varied interests, and an excellent ability to write about them. I will enjoy reading more when I have the time. We are interested in birds too, and do the BTO Garden Birdwatch project. Our garden backs onto a big park, so we do get quite a lot of different birds, even though we are rather urban otherwise. But we are further north than you, so get a few migrant species off to warmer climes! But this winter we've had Blackcaps, and our usual flock of aggressive Redpoll, plus Siskins, and the usual garden species. Keeping our ears open for Chiffchaffs, though they are around this region in more countrified areas. Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thankyou Gilly. I've never seen a redpoll, and we don't get siskins here (not enough woodland trees; we did when we lived in Surrey). We have blackcaps all year round now, which is lovely. Lots of yellowhammers (in the garden) and have just seen our first swallow of the year (30th March) and house martins, too. Not in the numbers they used to be, but here's hoping for a good summer for them.

    ReplyDelete