Monday... I knew that the task of preparing the garden for the winter months was going to be an arduous, if not a brutal endeavor. And all throughout the summer these thoughts have been pressing on my mind. Fearing the task, but also already envisioning the wonderful, final results after all had been done.
I cannot say I have lost my love for gardening in a bit. My flower-passionate heart would never feel that way, but I have definitely lost some interest over to disappointment at how things work here in the south for gardens and gardeners. It is such a cruel world down here for the passionate gardener. And I haven't been working outside as much as I should, or would have liked to do so this summer. Only going out in the early morning when levels of heat and humidity are not as high, and mosquitoes are not as active. Doing only small tasks, like taking care of the unstoppable weeds that love growing on the beautiful pea pebble paths, and such. Thus, I have let the garden grow a bit on the wild side, a bit rampant and a bit lost, whilst my mind filled with guilt and the burden of knowing how much it needed be done out there, and how much I dreaded the task. But alas, the chore couldn't be postponed any longer, and I have been assaulted by all and every one of my fears as I relentlessly worked my garden this past week.
...Working working, been eaten alive by mosquitoes, jiggers and whatever else may be flying out there in this blood-sucking insect world of mine, been scratched by poison ivy, weather-beaten, stabbed by thorns, pruning the roses, the lovely Crepe Myrtles and butterfly bushes under such heat and humidity. I have to learn how to stop. Learn to leave some things as they are, or want to be and just be good to myself. I have to learn. But again, I have been learning, and that's why the garden had been in such disarray... life is just made of contradictions, indeed.
Pruning has allowed me to bring in some lovely bouquets too...
Yarrow... who would have thought that the wild yarrow grew this tall, or this wide? Two years ago I planted a small yarrow plant on a pot, the yarrow plant died that winter, but seeds exploded and blew out and the yarrow reseeded itself and grew outside the pot. The foliage is beautiful, and delicate as can be, and I love the scent that waft from it... today, as I was pruning the crepe myrtles and pulling out all that vinca vine, I decided to trim down the yarrow to the ground. Would it grow again? Did I kill it? I have never cultivated yarrow before, so I'll have to wait to see. I cut the tips of some of the super tall branches and made a lovely flowerless bouquet. I love the delicate, sweet-smelling foliage.
Tuesday... all the vinca vine has finally been removed and all the flower beds pruned and cleaned. I have been hating the vinca vines all summer, and have been wanting to remove it all throughout the entire summer. It never cease to amaze me how something as beautiful and precious could be so invasive and noxious at the same time. And thus it turned out that what I saw as a blessing when we first moved here it has been such a huge mess; gobbling up every other plant that grows by it, every raised bed and lower perennial. Be very careful with what you plant in your garden. With some plants, pruning alone is not enough. To thwart the destructive nature of some climbing plants and vines they will have to be removed by hand to the roots. And that's what I've been doing... playing tug of war with the vinca vines in my garden. My wrists, my back and legs, my entire body aches. But there, I did it. It's all done.
Wednesday... I have spent another two straight hours this morning working on the front gardens of our little white cottage. Trimming the fast-growing spiky holly hedge was such a nightmare. This hedge has grown too big and too close to the house, making it difficult, if not impossible to be trimmed off from the back, unless you squeeze yourself in there and dare get spiked and scratched and God forbid, bitten by some spider or something else.
I guess you can say I'm a daredevil when it comes to gardening. And isn't it like that for every daredevil out there when it comes to whatever passion may fill their soul? We never think anything bad can happen, an we go into it without having think twice. Thus, all the holly hedge around our little white cottage is now done. It was a hell of a job!
We'll be busy busy from now on until the end of year. Some very exciting things coming up our way, traveling by road and air, singing with Willie Nelson "goin' places that I've never been, seein' things that I may never see again... like a band of gypsies we go down the highway"... and thus, we'll be on our way to Spain tomorrow, excited as I can be and as edgy as a leaf in a tornado... airplanes and foreign countries can get you feeling a little tense these days, but I will think of only lovely things. Follow me on Instagram if you'd like to see what we'll be doing!