Gardening Magazine

Giving Myself a Pep Talk

By Patientgardener @patientgardener
Echeveria La Femme

Echeveria La Femme

It has surprised me recently how many people have commented about the disparity between my blog name and my temperament.  My response is always – “Its aspirational!”probably said with more and more exasperation.

I like to think I am a fairly patient person but I don’t suffer fools and moaners gladly and I get frustrated at bureaucracy etc so I need the garden and allotment to help counteract this and make me feel more level-headed.  I can be very patient when it comes to growing plants. I am even growing s tulips from seed  and I have some Bottlebrush shrubs grown from seed which I have nurtured over the last 2 years.

I have no idea what this  succulent is

I have no idea what this succulent is

However, if I was to describe myself at the moment it would be a combination of panicking, exhaustion, frustration and ambition.  I have been in a limbo land for the last two years due to a family bereavement, it’s as though I have been in a sort of trance and going through the motions.  Finally this summer something clicked when I was visiting a garden and my enthusiasm for the garden returned along with lots of ideas and projects; I have always been a person of extreme emotion!  On top of this I have a new allotment plot and am coming to the end of my first year. After a year getting to grips with having a plot I have a whole list of jobs that need doing to improve the plot including a windbreak and raised beds.  None of the ideas or projects in either the garden or plot are simple and many are interlinked and its all becoming a little daunting.

Echeveria elegans

Echeveria elegans

Add to this the fact that summer definitely seems to be behind us and it has turned so chilly and windy that it feels as though we might fly through autumn far too quickly and I am certainly beginning to panic about everything I want to achieve before the ground freezes.  I have realised today that visiting the allotment on the way home from work is becoming less and less of an option as the evenings close in plus work is so full on that by the time I leave all I want to do is have dinner and go to bed.

I have had to give myself a good talking to today and remind myself that gardening, even the allotment, is a hobby and not a job.  I mustn’t get myself in a state about what needs doing or my precarious returning enjoyment will vanish again.  I have drawn up a list of the jobs that need doing over the next few weeks at the allotment just so I can clear my head and quantify the chores.

Aeonium schwarzkopf

Aeonium schwarzkopf

As for the garden I was wondering if I had bitten off more than I can chew.  I  stood there this weekend looking at what had been the pond which is now a large hole full of mud and wondering what on earth possessed me to think that converting it into a bog garden was a good idea.  I had to remind myself sternly that the pond hasn’t worked well for the last few years and how much better a bog garden will be for the Ligularias I love and not to admit defeat at the first hurdle.

So  this evening I didn’t go to the allotment, instead my eldest son and  I came up with an action plan for the weekend for the plot and I had a quiet wander around the garden to clear my head.  I ended up  in the greenhouse which is my favorite place especially  as the nights draw in.  Here my collection of succulents is safely ensconced to protect it from winter cold – one job off the long list but an important one.  I love these succulents they are so easy to look after and so delightful to look at and they remind me of the enjoyment I should be getting from my garden if only I could be patient and not so hard on myself. Then maybe ‘The Patient Gardener’ might not be so aspirational.

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