That Place Called the Garden

I don't watch too much reality TV including the evening news, because folks I support never win, but I have been mesmerized by the various hoarder shows. It's never about my yarn stash, because although I've a lot, I'm not overwhelmed by the contents/quality, just annoyed by the space it takes up and how slowly I work through them. But it is about when I was depressed, unable to make decisions, and postponed everything. It is about the unwillingness to start things if I knew I couldn't finish perfectly. And it is about my guilt associated with throwing out plastics. (There's so much we can't recycle here.)

Stash-busting is progressing slowly and the house is a mess and we see it better in the bright soon-to-be summer lights. (Oh, the hall ceiling and walls need washing so badly!) But it's the garden that continues to overwhelm/frustrate/depress me; the scope of work, the futility of weeding in a temperate climate, the voracity of English Black Birds, (I watched one topple a new small shrub in 12 minutes; they also decimate my bulbs even when they are in flower,) gravity, various mulching and weed-suppression methods/materials vs Black Birds and gravity, but not the least, the time, effort and money we sunk into this place in the 17 5/6 years of prettifying. And the irony where the weeds are bad, Black Birds can't dig. But most of all the disinterest/unwillingness of my dear cohabitant gets me down, and the astonishingly high probability it rains on days he takes days off  work, or his old arm problem acting up. (It is a real problem, not imaginary, but because it's related to computer usage and posture, so we all know the math.)

This spring has been extremely windy, more often, for longer, and in spite of the many rain forecasts, we've had almost none for a while, and I've spent a lot of time this spring guestimating and deciding what to do, or not going outside. Wrongly, I might add, more often than not. 

Whatever excuses I can concoct, no matter how I put it, ("I'd rather weave," is convenient but not true,) I don't like living like this, and I am very embarrassed.

With this overlong intro and negativity, I bet you didn't expect the next bit, because I sure didn't; I don't even know where it came from.

A few weeks ago, even while I was feeling imposed upon by longer days, brighter sun, and other people's flowers coming to bloom, memories of earlier summers popped in my head in bits.  First was the gentle warmth, (not the piercing mid-summer rays,) then bits and pieces of conversations that took place while we lunched outside with friends, (so many have left Nelson,) and then flashes of small patches where flours or veggies flourished. And I was reminded how lucky I am to be living in Nelson where the weather is seriously mild and beautiful, and what a sad, ungrateful, small person I've become not to appreciate this even a little bit, but emotionally holding my breath for almost the entire spring and summer, (though I have honestly always had problems with bright lights including sun, indoors or out.)

Yeah, right-wing politics is terrible, wars escalate, I'm fat, we can't afford to travel except to Japan, and there are no big art exhibitions here. But Ben has a regular job even in this climate and at a workplace that's become a local joke with their habitual reorganizing, and except for Dad, my family is well. And I get to weave.

So right or wrong, I decided I must really be moving away from a decade of clinical depression. That even though I'll never stop complaining about politics, the world, the garden, and the sun, I'm able to put thing into context better than I have been this side of 2003.

What a relief.

Plus I don't need mental preparation to go out to the garden these days, and once out there I can work for half a day, or longer, until the sun gets too hot or the bugs come out. You'd be amazed what I prune with a tiny, foldable Japanese floral arrangement saw with a 15cm blade. And some years, like this year, I'll also go all out with chemical warfare. 

Ben has the next two weeks off. For For months I looked forward to a road trip for at least a week, go to Christchurch for the first time since 2001, and see the city of Oamaru which I heard a lot about, (Terri and Alan were just there!), and sketch, relax, and chill out.

One recent Saturday Ben spent eight or nine hours sprucing up the candy car. At the end of the day he had strange muscle spasms and aches and realized how he never uses certain muscles any more. Last Sunday we had to go to the hardware store and I wandered into the garden section and enjoyed not so much looking at the plants, but at the folks who were looking at the plants. And seeds and pots and soil and even the garden hose.

This is how we reached the decision to make this a staycation. We hope to clean the garden a bit while discussing long-term plans, (much of which are best carried out in autumn/winter, or March-September-ish,) put some money into plants, clean out the garage, maybe paint the outdoor furniture, maybe extend other house things, and get rid of junk. I have a realistic expectation on how little can be done by us in two weeks, and we won't be working 24/7, but at least I'll have his cooperation, enabling cutting/moving/removing bigger and heavier things than I can on my own. And faster. And we'll still go out to late lunches or cook good food and enjoy the season.

I may have to halt stash busting temporarily, but I'm really looking forward to the next couple of weeks. It's like a harbinger to the real work we can do next winter. I might even post some before and after pics. At least it's better than no good news.

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My baby sister is 50 today. She's a little sad because yesterday she got her first ever traffic ticket, and has to fork out a fine that would have afforded her, say, a nice haircut. But she's looking forward to a some cosmetic changes in her condo later in the month.So here's to being 50-years-young.


Maria Julkunen said...

Lovely! Sending you a warm hug and thoughts from my garden that is also undergoing the forever-weeding-and-pruning kind of slow transformation.Three cheers for positive thinking :)

Meg said...

Ah, Maria, you know my place. It's even worse than before our 2012 exhibition. But we're getting started at least. No time to be embarrassed or worried or even skeptical but just head-down-bum-up.

Cate Rose said...

Staycations are the best! That's all I ever do. Hope you two have a great time, aches and pains notwithstanding. Putting positive energy into your home environment is always the right thing to do. xo

Meg said...

"Putting positive energy into your home environment is always the right thing to do." Absolutely. But staycation is all we do nowadays so I'm a tiny bit disappointed still. And if it rains a lot in the next fortnight, I'll really be cross. LOL.