Sunday 15 September 2013

Christmas is over for another year ...

You know that feeling ... you love Christmas and look forward to it. You enjoy every minute , eating, drinking and making merry. You could live forever on chocolates and sherry trifle. The  tree lights are on from the moment you get up to the moment you go to bed. The house looks twinkly and festive and wonderful...

Then, one morning you get up and notice that the cards are beginning to fall over, the holly on the mantelpiece has shrivelled up and the needles are dropping off the christmas tree and you want it all OUT immediately ! You want to put away all the candles, the lights and the chocolates and get back to normal. Even, God forbid, have a good hoover ! Eat pasta and nice bread !

Everything suddenly looks tawdry, garish and overblown. Past its sell by date. It has to go !

I woke up this morning with exactly the same feeling about the garden !

All my focus over the last month or so has been to keep it going and squeeze the last little rainbows of colour out of my plants. I didn't want the party to end, but, all of a sudden, I want to pack the party away. Like the old Christmas tree and the shrivelled holly, I want it gone.

From encouraging those last sweetpea flowers, I now want to just pull out the entire plants, tidy up the wigwam and set it all straight. Ready for next year.

(Just for the record, I'm sure you don't want to see photo after photo of my dead and dying garden, so the rest of the photos are more upbeat - things that are still perky and presentable, in some cases, even edible !)

Moving plants around is now seeming like an appealing idea, and whereas before, I didn't want to 'spoil' the borders, now, I just don't seem to mind. I'm visualising new plant and colour combinations and I want to make them happen. Mentally, I am working towards putting the garden to bed, tucking it up and letting it snooze away the coming winter.

Rosa Reinne De Violette

So, what has caused this sudden change of heart and focus ? I just don't know, is the answer! Moving through the seasons is a subtle art, and some of our reponses are, I'm sure, subconscious and almost primitive. Like the need for baked potatoes and casseroles when it is icy outside. Like the need to sleep more as the days get shorter (oh dear, is that just me ?) Maybe a couple of autumnal days are all it took for me to give up on this season, and with the optimism of a true gardener, to turn my thoughts  next growing season.

I am desperate to rip out all the bedding and the annuals and to cut back the dying leaves of hostas and  Rodgersias.

Of course there are still bits which are bursting with life and vigour and I still take so much pleasure from those, but the bits in between ... I want to annihilate !!


  1. I've been tidying up the garden too ... pulled some finished tomato plants, trimmed back lots of plants and of course always pulling those darn weeds. I'm visiting from Trowels forum.

  2. Hi Linda, thanks for visiting! At least at this time of year the weeds are hidden by the plant growth !

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, Washington Gardener. It is a new baby of mine and has only been planted for about three weeks yet has flowered continuously !

  4. Oh gosh, I felt the same way today. I know what you mean--for the longest time I just didn't want the summer to end, and then I started wanting to just pack it all up and start over! It must be a natural human tendency--especially in a climate where plants ultimately die or go dormant. I was out weeding the potager today and I thought "Why am I bothering?" In a few weeks, all of this will be gone. I'm just going to look the other way with the weeds now, and focus on the fleeting beauty of the season. This is one of the best posts I've seen/read lately. It really hits home with me. :)

  5. Thankyou PlantPostings, your comments really mean a lot. I wonder how universal that feeling is ? Didn't know if I was the only one ! It seems to happen to me overnight and, I suspect, is extremely weather-driven!


Thanks for visiting and reading.
I really welcome comments and have learned much from them, over the years of leaning over the virtual garden gate ...