Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Head Gardener is Grumpy ...

And so am I.  It's our least favorite kind of late winter weather.  The skies are overcast, the air is damp and it's impossible to feel anything but disgruntled and discouraged.  Particularly since the weather for much of the last week has been near perfect ... sunny and just cool enough to make it possible to work outside all day.

The HG and I are also suffering from the crushing pressure of all that needs doing in the gardens here at Wit's End.  We were both much younger when we started gardening on this corner of Katy ... 16 years younger, to be precise.  We were bursting with ideas and enthusiasm, most of which centered around ripping out the boring suburban landscape and creating a Texas version of an English cottage garden.  We knew no bounds and we certainly never once paused to contemplate how, as the years passed and we were no longer quite so young and able, we would manage to maintain the extensive gardens we were so happily creating. 

We are certainly thinking of it now ... more than once in the last week, we have admitted not just to ourselves, but to the friends and neighbors who stop to admire the gardens, that we unwittingly created way more work than we can handle on our own.  A full-time staff, such as must be employed by the likes of Downton Abbey, would be most welcome to us, although not to the Executive Producer.  Since the budget does not run to such an item, however, we make do with occasional help from outside sources.   

Today we have the welcome assistance of Rainscape owner Ricky and his stalwart minion Mario.  Although irrigation systems are their main business, Ricky is always willing to help us out when time permits.  Their mission is to clear the gardens of the oak leaves that are cluttering the front beds.   Much as we hate to consign such valuable compost material to trash bins, we haven't the time, energy or space to devote to doing otherwise.  

Once the beds are cleared of leaves, the Head Gardener and I can proceed with our efforts to bring a semblance of order to the chaotic front gardens.  We're well aware that it's a matter of perception and that it's mainly in our own mind that such chaos exists.  We are grateful that friends, neighbors and passers-by focus on the beauty to be found in the gardens.    Still, we are growing weary of our annual descent into despair and desperation ... when we feel so overwhelmed by all that seemingly needs doing that we are unable to enjoy our time in the garden, we are in rare but total agreement that something needs to change.  


To be continued ...

9 comments:

Layanee said...

If you lived closer we could help each other now and then. What fun would that be?

Alison said...

Your description of your current weather? That is our entire winter here in the PNW. So I can totally understand your frustration at having too much to do and not enough good weather to do it in.

When we first moved here four years ago, I wanted to transform my entire garden immediately, but my husband (smartly) convinced me to do it in stages, so that I would have a better handle on when I would start to feel overwhelmed. I realize that advice isn't much help to you. It's not like you can reasonably move and start over, on a smaller scale.

Glad you have some help today cleaning out the oak leaves.

Christys Cottage Wildlife Garden said...

Please don't get discouraged!! Just enjoy your gardens and do what you can do. If you're like me we put too much pressure on ourselves to complete garden tasks. Don't worry about what didn't get done today....there's always tomorrow! Take time to enjoy all of the hard work you've put into your gardens.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Admitting you need help is the first step. ;^) It's hard to rein in our creative gardening urges for purposes of practicality. It's like locking a dieter inside a bakery. No wonder you're grumpy.

Lancashire rose said...

Oh we have had so much sun here but I still feel overwhelmed by all that has to be done. Yes, I need the help of the Downton Abbey gardeners whom we have never seen. Cheer up. Your garden will soon be looking lovely, I know.

Pam/Digging said...

I'm still ripping out grass and making beds, but my back protests a lot more these days. As a result I'm focusing much more on evergreen shrubs, agave, yucca, and grasses than flowering perennials. They are a lot less work. I too rely on hired help from time to time. Good luck with your winter clean-up, and I bet spring will cheer you up soon.

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

I'm so sorry you're grumpy, and I don't blame you.~~Dee

Erin/Mom said...

My family is likely relocating to Katy soon- from Alaska! My children and I love vegetable gardening here in the summer, and we are thrilled to live somewhere where we can have a year round veg garden. Any advice?

Cindy, MCOK said...

Thanks, y'all ... I'm in a much better frame of mind than I was (and so is the HG).

Erin, the best advice I can give you - since I'm not an experienced veggie gardener - is to check out the information available through the Texas AgriLife Extension Service. The Harris County and Fort Bend County Master Gardeners have all sorts of publications available online about veggie gardening here.