Monday, March 31, 2014

The joy of getting physical

This has been the strangest year of my life so far; the saddest too. It's cognitive dissonance, living in my old family home with echoes of Mum in every room. I expect her to be there, but she's not. I talk to her anyway.

The weird thing is, I can't spend all day at a computer any more. I get twitchy. I also feel like falling asleep. I long to get up and DO something. Herbert knows there is plenty to do.

So my goal now is to do something for the house every day. It could be something small, such as tidying a cupboard. It could be washing a wall. It could be garden work. As long as it is something physical, which gets me away from the computer and the slightly depressed attitude I get when I sit at it for too long.

Most of my weekends are now largely computer-free. I catch up with Facebook but often on a mobile device rather than the computer.

Last weekend was lovely. Lots of outdoor work in the garden - poisoning morning glory (how romantic, the two of us under a camellia bush, one clipping the awful vines, one dipping them in a lethal mix of Resolva and diesel), weeding the lawn of dandelions yet again, recementing the stone coping around one garden bed, digging old and hopeless soil out of same.... Just great. I was sweating like a bastard in the early autumn sun, covered in dirt with a light coating of herbicide. Utter joy. My muscles ached pleasantly and my mind was on the vision of what this garden will look like when I've finished ripping out dead stuff, underperforming plants and a multitude of weeds.

Understandably I had trouble focussing on work today. The sun shone outside, beckoning me. We'd started the day with a brisk 30 minute walk as G was flying our for work at lunchtime so we didn't have to get up at six and get him out the door by 7.30 after a full breakfast. Nope, it was a leisurely if physical start.

I put up with work stuff until four, then headed for the garden, to finish digging out a bed we'd started on over the weekend. There was a ten year old golden diosma in there which I was heartily sick of, as it had gone scrawny and was too big for the bed, realistically. Ten minutes of tugging and carefully finding and pulling at roots saw it gone. We've had plenty of rain lately so it was a fairly easy job pulling it out. My back feels fine right now.

After digging I was able to plant out some young plants I had collected in readiness. It's so satisfying seeing a garden bed come together. I've chosen a predominantly blue and white scheme with occasional forays into red. I think too I'll have to pop a few more plants in there to bulk it up a bit - and keep the weeds out.

This is the smallest bed I'll be working on. I have grand plans for the rest of the garden area which will see me busy for months. And of course once it's all done it will need regular maintenance to keep it looking good. I'm planning a mix of ornamental and edible plants. It's funny how good a broccoli plant can look next door to something ornamental like a hydrangea.

Whatever goes in my garden will have to either be edible, look good or smell good. Or a mix of at least two out of those three! I can foresee some very physical times ahead. I think my winter workdays may be rather short as winter, with the cool days, is the best time to be outside, digging madly.

My Mum originally planted a rose garden in one bed, so one plan is to reinstate that. That's definitely a winter job, while the roses are dormant. If only I could get paid for doing the gardening, I would happily give up the day job.

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