It is a painful thwack to the head when the obvious hits me, especially when accompanied by that hateful know-it-all voice inside your head that says, “I told you so”. Professionally I’d call this having ‘insight’ but since I’m amongst friends and family I’ll admit I am just a slow learner. Or rather, I am slow to take instruction on account of the stubbornly independent streak in me that means I have to find my own way of doing things. Unsurprising the effects of such a single-minded approach results in endless frustrations when things don’t turn out quite as you would expect.
After five years of kitchen gardening, this spring seems to be better than the previous ones. Finally, the endless reading and planning for an ideal way of gardening is beginning to make sense. Also, experience has shown that there is no perfect way to produce food, and you can only do your best and hope nature helps you along the way. It does of course help to spend time in the garden to get ahead of the growing season instead of prioritising other things.
My attempts to stay in tune with natures way seem less frantic than in the past. Seeds germinated on cue, and the mice didn’t eat them as I used the conservatory for raising the seeds away from the pesky mice that visit the greenhouse. There are more plants in the beds rather than growing in the paths as I finally relented and sprayed the paths with weedkiller instead of spending hours hand weeding. There are of course things I have forgotten to plant yet like sunflowers, but I’m confident that their sprint growing abilities will see them right. I have somewhat more sweet pea seedlings than there is space in the garden so I shall experiment growing them in a pot for the veranda instead.
My big moment of realisation was that breaking down the chores in the garden is better than trying to do it all in one go. No more feeling of being overwhelmed or exhausted with it all. Small accomplishments will in time build up to a bigger achievement. I am no longer fretting the lettuce has gone to seed and the weeds are going crazy in the salad beds because if I turn around I can see the peas and beans are in the ground and starting their upward climbs. Also, the fruit has been pruned and tied down before the wind does its work and the gooseberries grow their thorny crowns. The garlic shoots look smart in orderly rows. The greenhouse is overflowing with greens and herbs so those salad beds can wait a week before getting their makeover.
It may be tempting fate so early in the season to be so satisfied, but I am going to enjoy it anyway. After all, who could resist a bit of happiness with a plate of freshly picked asparagus, spring greens and herbs for dinner, even if was blowing a southerly gale outside.