Recently I’ve lost my mojo.
I’ve neglected my blog.
I’ve neglected my gardening.
I’ve neglected to make any effort whatsoever to get more paid work this year.
My family are all still alive though so I’m not an abject failure.
I am learning to pick my battles and accept I can’t do everything.
A large stumbling block for me in the garden department has been freak weather.
Now don’t get me wrong.
I love the heat.
Love to lounge in it.
I bask like a lizard on a rock.
But it doesn’t sit happily with my productivity nor that of the garden either.
This time last year, I barely went to the shops.
We were overrun with bountiful homegrown produce.
This year though while I flounce around enjoying the sweltering summer, I’m also having to schlep rather more to the supermarket for my greens.
It’s a very real wake up call for us all about the dangers of climate change and what’s to come.
I’m having to learn a trade while the goal posts are constantly changing on the job.
Bitter cold and freak spring snow hampered my seeds’ germination.
Very little came out of the soil at all.
And what did emerge was often plucked out by my toddler Hugo.
It’s my own fault for enlisting him as slave labour in my weeding efforts.
His Pavlovian training means anything green sticking out of brown must be ruthlessly extracted immediately.
Helpful chap that he is.
Branching out to plant in the wilder parts of Rowan Farm instead of just my raised beds has also flagged up where I don’t know my onions.
I thought gardening was pretty easy last year.
Turns out I didn’t know I was born.
Raised beds are easy.
Fighting nature is really hard.
Despite having pigs lay waste to anything living in the soil, hours of careful weeding and repeatedly using my second hand rotivator…
The brambles and thistles have shown me who’s boss.
With the help of my parents-in-law I diversified into cut flowers this year.
They’ve been a great thing for decorating the house and taking as gifts to friends…
If you can find them among the prickles.
After coming through the cold start to the season, we have now been hit with repeated heat waves.
What has managed to germinate has promptly bolted and run to seed.
There are loads of leggy, frazzled, parched plants lining up in my veg boxes.
It’s like the Kings Road on Kate Moss’s birthday.
Now a responsible gardener would be busy watering three times a day.
There would be care taken to weed.
There would be cultivation and fertilisation of soil.
But I’ve been a poor parent to my plants.
I’ve abandoned them to their fate while I engage in the horticultural equivalent of hiding under the duvet on exam results day.
Put simply I’ve been skiving.
But like with all burying of your head in the sand, it’s never as bad as you think when you actually face the problem head on.
A bit of light weeding has sorted out a great deal when I finally plucked up the courage a few nights ago.
Oli has weighed in to give the poor blighters a drink from the hose every now and then.
And I have renewed plans to rescue any survivors and replace those plants lost.
Some new seedlings are on order for some extra late summer veg.
Some compost and watering should get the soil ready for them.
I have courgettes, sweetcorn, squash, kale, tomatoes, aubergines, cucumber, beetroot, chard, raspberries and salad leaves all looking like they’ll give us some grub to be getting on with.
And I will set about continuing to try and live this self sufficient dream I keep banging on about.
But first I might just finish my coffee on this sun lounger…