Sunday, April 8, 2012

Radical rejungling: part two


So, there I was, feeling a little dejected, with aching arms, a scruffy garden and a looming hosepipe ban. The hosepipe ban was particularly worrying - how was I to tidy up the garden, plant replacements for winter casualties, sort out ponds and pressure-wash the paving within the space of two short weeks?
Well, I wasn't going to achieve it by sitting around feeling sorry for myself, that was for sure. I decided to abandon my customary endless wrestling match with guilt. (Should I really spend that much on plants? Could I really afford a new shed? Was it extravagant of me to go and buy an old water tank at the salvage depot?)
First step was to hire some help in the garden. Normally, I do everything myself (my son Rory helps out with the heavy lifting if he's around), and I'm proud of this. It was quite difficult to give up that sense of ownership of labour.
Also, I didn't want someone who would come round and tell me I was doing everything all wrong. I just wanted someone to do what they were told!
I asked my friend Pamela Johnson if she could recommend someone and she put me in touch with her neighbour, Martin. He agreed to come round for a couple of hours a week.
The minute I made the arrangement with Martin, I felt much more positive about everything. Yes, I thought, I would buy some new plants. I would get a new shed. I would go and buy that old water tank I'd seen on the internet. Suddenly, it was all do-able. Indeed, it was difficult to see why I'd been so reluctant to ask for help.
I had no real reason to feel guilty about spending money on plants - I had the money, and I needed the plants. I needed a new shed - my old one leaks, the door doesn't shut properly and it will probably fall over in the next strong wind. (Besides, I've always hated it.)
To be scrupulously honest, I didn't actually need a salvaged water tank. But I liked it, I thought it would look good, and the idea of installing something that would hold quite a lot of water when we were in the middle of a drought seemed prudent.
Sometimes we need to stop as we trundle along our well-worn mental grooves, and ask why we are being so hard on ourselves.

11 comments:

Esther Montgomery said...

Hurray!

Margaret said...

Lovely post, Victoria and so true. We can be so hard on ourselves sometimes and all that's needed is to think things out then we can convince ourselves we were right in the first place! I would also want someone who just got on and did the work and not tell me what I should be doing. Good luck with all that hard work and enjoy your new plants:)

EB said...

I think the water-tank is an excellent idea (as is the help, now you've found the right person). I'm glad you're feeling better about it all.

Lancashire rose said...

I am feeling I need to hire some help to sort out my jungle. What a fun shopping trip you will have-new shed, and new plants always make a gardener feel better. Hope you get some rain as much as I hope we do!

petoskystone said...

The water tank does indeed sound like a good idea. How fares the pond, with the dryness & all? *So* glad that you have some help.....it's hard to enjoy a garden when you've wrenched your back severely!

Maureen said...

Great! Your garden is fantastic and you shouldnt feel guilty about spending some money to make it easier to look after.

James Golden said...

Just the thing I want to see. Someone else spending money on the garden. Good for you.

Elephant's Eye said...

Is it raining - as yowindow shows it? I know there's a drought in SE England, but it still seems odd to know we're both hoping for rain.

Jayne said...

I used to have help with the lawn, but now husband and I do it ALL ourselves. Not easy, as I have a job in antiques and also help out at the local book store. I used to say, why let the paid gardening help have all the fun - but I now quite understand that it is so nice to SHARE the fun, to free us up to do the more creative part of the gardening....and the shopping, of course. Wishing you rain!

Mark and Gaz said...

Your post made me smile :) It is true, sometimes we can be too hard and rigid on ourselves, and sometimes it's worth relaxing your personal rules a bit and just indulge on personal treats.

Well done with the new plants, and yes getting a new shed and tank is a very good idea, and Martin too!

Søren said...

The water tank seems like a VERY sensible purchase, and if the old shed was really in that bad a state I think it is fair to replace it. As for buying plants... Well, come on; nobody who reads a gardening blog is going to reprimand you for that, are they?

And getting help? I really want to get my garden into a state where the beds and borders are clearly discernible from the lawn (i.e. with less grass growing rampant in them) so I can pay somebody to mow that blasted lawn.