In amongst the absolute complete and utter shambles that is to be my wedding, next weekend..I have been mostly unable to find peace. I have been awake at night, when finally asleep my mind has been full of worries such as 'Will my boiler fall through the ceiling into the bedroom?' 'How will my son cope with 'big school TWO YEARS FROM NOW?' ...Y'know, the sort of thoughts that REALLY need not be keeping me awake, and yet, with all this utter tosh that is wedding planning, they do. Random thoughts are haunting me.
I feel frazzled. I have to be honest and say that if this is meant to be a romantic time in my life, in a girl's life..I seem to be missing the secret to make it so. I feel like curling up in a ball and turning off the lights and waking up when it is all over. Urgh.
So, as I was saying before. I have been trying to find a way to cope with feeling like I might scream or cry or just pass out and turn into a wobbling heap of jelly on the floor and that way, the way I have been trying to find..is plants.
PLANTS! - lovely, sweet, healing, pretty, lovely plants.
Each weekend, Monty Don (I love you, thank you for saving my sanity) talks to me about things I know nothing about, Helibores here and Marigolds there, Jewel Gardens, Hot beds and Mounds of soil, soon-to-be turned into meadows of beautiful wildflowers?! It is like a stream of peace washing over me in this shitstorm of a time. I love it.
Two weekends ago, in the middle of what can only be described as a 'funk' I decided that it was time to get out into our garden, divide the huge space up into four sections and work on them one-by-one throughout this year. Section one (The kitchen-garden) was done two weeks ago, weeded, tidied and planted up with new seeds, ferns and flowers. It is a shady area right next to the house, I use it as a nursery for all my seedlings and cuttings. I like it very much here even though it is dark and concretey and not very pretty really...actually, I kinda love it.
Last weekend, it was section two (Patio, 96, sheds and bin store) of the garden..it's where I planted all of the plants I could possibly take from my old garden - 96.
Located right next to our bathroom window, blocking out all the light and being useless whilst doing so is an old coal shed. There are in fact two coal sheds dating from the 80s ish and both are as ugly as sin, I'd been meaning to get rid of it as it is pointless and we need the space it takes up, so I sneaked out..annnd I HIT IT with a sledge hammer REALLY HARD and it felt GOOD, it cracked and a big bit came off and I was happy. I MAY not have told L about my doing this on a whim and he MAY have found me out in the garden with a sledge hammer in the rain looking like a crazed lunatic, and this MAY have angered him for some minutes, before he calmed down and agreed that it was ugly as hell and we could definitely make something better of the space, then he HIT IT as hard as HE could with the sledge hammer.. and the smile on his face! w-o-w
Two hours later, it was gone and a lovely area was created for our recycling boxes so that when you look out of the kitchen window you no longer have a sea of bins and bags full of trash. You now see garden 'cos the bins are round the corner in the lovely new 'bin storage area'
Next came the 18ft Forsythia tree behind it, which is/was trying to rip up the foundations of our house (the previous owner thought it would be good to plant it RIGHT NEXT TO THE HOUSE????? - this is a common theme here!) We chopped it right down to about a foot in height, feeling very guilty but relishing the light it created by being gone. It will grow back but it will take about five years before getting that big again.
Then, after all of that tree mess had been swept up, chopped up and put on the wood pile or disposed of in the green waste bin..THEN came the idea of a path in the area of the garden near the house that we call 'no man's land' it's hellish and barren and awful...look - awful.
And so it grew, our new path idea.
We spent from 10am - 6pm the next day carrying trug after trug of bricks, removing wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of soil until the area was flatter. Then we placed brick after brick until it sort-of resembled a path or patio. I felt proud. Neither of us are gardeners, brick layers or any good at starting a task and completing it and yet, there is was, almost done. It isn't the straightest or most level path/patio..but it suits our higgeldy piggedly garden and it was fun to build. We still have one last bit to put in then it will be done :-D
Next, I planted up a section of the old rubbishy 'flower' bed with baby plants I had grown from cuttings last year. Some of last years Hollyhocks are already coming up..those plants somehow all managed to stay alive (yey) and waved about happily in the sun. Then came the seeds, Chives, Sweet peas, Nasturtiums, Wild flowers, Eccinechea, Red Valerian, Red Yarrow, etc, so many seeds. After a while I realised I would rather like a greenhouse for my seeds (woops- gave that away to L' s parents when we moved in - fail) No money to buy one, so I decided to build a temporary coldframe out of the left-over pavia until I can afford a greenhouse of my own..it's butt ugly but it does the job. I will surround it with pots of pretty things and it will be hidden. Yet functional.
SEE - UGLY, yet functional - soon to be fixed by many pretty plants to hide its ugliness
Finally, whilst browsing on Ebay that evening, my plant kleptomania reached its worst yet, and I accidentally bought FOUR baby spider plants (four different types - as if that is any less weird) as I read they are great for purifying the air in your house (and I am convinced our air is whack as the house has crumbling 1920s plaster on the walls which is basically made up of all kinds of bad and our boiler just got moved to the attic where, I am SURE it is going to leak fumes or explode or something rational like that.)
After they arrived - the next day! I placed them lovingly on the mantle in the lounge on little saucers. They are happy there, waiting for crochet jackets for their pots and cuter saucers to sit in.
Where does one find four cute vintage saucers?
The day before yesterday, I thought I was finally coming down from my soothing garden-based times when I had an overwhelming need to plant more stuff, so I took Baby F off to the kitchen where we sat at the table and planted up some Hollyhocks and runner beans in pots.
Much to my delight, this morning (two days later) the Hollyhocks have already sprouted and are standing up looking rather pleased with themselves..so, all in all not a bad week, despite the crappy wedding hoo-ha.
And it turns out that I love gardening, I don't like weddings and I have created life, just not as I know it!