Day 5 of the #100dayproject

Today I knew we would wake up in Manchester, at our older son's house, because we had been babysitting grandson number three, aged three, while his parents had a tiny well earned break.  And today contained a lunch with younger daughter and her family postponed from Easter Sunday when I was ill in bed.  So finding a way of doing something in the garden for day 5 of the 100 day project was going to be a bit of a challenge I thought. 

And yet, astonishingly, three things got done today and none of them by me although I am claiming that both my presence and my focus on the project caused or inspired the things to be done.

The first was the thing I had planned.  Grandaughter number two, aged two and seven months, loves to help in the garden and in life generally.  I thought I could encourage her to do some watering of my scented leaf geraniums which are in the wooden greenhouse, looking dead and sad but quite possibly still alive. 


By the time we got to this she had already fed the chickens and collected the eggs with grandpa, fed the fish in the pond and helped to put the lunch on the table.  This is a child who likes to be doing.  Apart from a slight tendency to get distracted on her way from the water butt to the greenhouse and decide to water something else altogether, she achieved a lot.  After she had gone there were only half a dozen pots out of thirty or so which were still dry.  Thank you Grace!

But as is sometimes the case when you are outside, even though I was still snorting and coughing and sitting on a bench rather than doing very much myself, other things seemed to be done around me.  Ian cut back the old growth on some achillea and euphorbia polychroma in the cutting garden.  Then, secateurs in hand, he got interested in cutting back some ivy by the drive.  I know ivy is good for wildlife and we have a lot and a lot of ivy round here.  Generally we don't cut it back very much but every now and then we notice that its dark green tide has taken an area and is pulling it under.


Somewhere under here is a set of stone steps which are part of the steps which used to lead up from the farmhouse, where we live, to the farmyard which is now where our neighbours, who actually farm the land around us, live .  Even if you found and released all the steps from their ivy entanglement they would stop at a fence high behind the house so they no longer have any practical use.   As a result keeping them visible is never a priority.  But over recent years they have completely disappeared under the ivy and it is actually good to have some access to the area behind the house which curves behind us, giving us shelter from the prevailing wind.


And ta-da!  Here is the bottom of the flight of steps, revealed by Ian after half an hour flourishing the secateurs.  I take no credit for this whatsoever but I think the 100dayproject can take credit.  Just by having the idea of doing something every day we do seem to be connecting with the garden in a different way.  I wonder if the idea would work for me in other areas of my life such as exercise and learning languages?  I suspect it would but I also suspect that I can only do one of these at a time.  I am too contrary, too in love with the freedom and autonomy that comes from not working, to be prepared to tie  myself down with too many challenges.  One project is intriguing.  Three would be a work schedule.  And anyway this is only day 5...

Comments

  1. Whatever we invest with time, love, energy flourishes and rewards us, as your garden is doing now. So glad you are enjoying it and well done for taking up the challenge. I’m far too undisciplined but happy to follow your progress. Lucky you having such a charming little helper!

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    1. I am really interested to see whether I can keep it up Marianne. I shall maybe blog at some point about turning my back on the garden and how difficult it has been to find a way back!

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  2. I’m loving your hundred day challenge, certainly a great way to focus on your garden. We too have masses of ivy but sadly no beautiful steps and gate to reveal. I look forward to how your garden progresses in the next few months. B x

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    1. I am always very reluctant to cut ivy back when it is flower as I think it is a great source of food for bees at a time when there is not very much for them but it really is taking over the world. I have just realised it has choked out a lot of snowdrops. It is a balance like so much in gardening, and life!

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  3. Your blog always inspires me and I love reading it. So I’ve started my own #100dayproject. I needed a boost, a push to get my gardening mojo back. So thank you, I hope I keep it up. I’m sure I will, Jane x

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    1. It's exciting to have someone join me! I'm feeling very positive about the 100day project at the moment. I think it's the sense that it doesn't matter how small a thing I do, it is still a thing and it still counts!

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    2. Thank you, I meant to say I hope you are feeling better. I had the horrible virus followed by a chest infection and it floored me! Back to normal now x

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  4. Not finding much time to comment here, but I'm enjoying seeing you back out in your garden, if primarily in a supervisory role for now ;-)
    And I would be very interested, should you ever decide to write about how you let go of that passion you once had in the garden. Somehow, I wonder if it was connected with that "Important Gardener" who once came through and offered constructive criticism (or have I got that wrong? am I confusing my bloggers?)

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    1. No you haven't got that wrong. That was me it was nothing to do with that. No, she was a model of how to do it, left me with lots to think about and a renewed awareness of the interplay of spaces. That was a few years ago now and she has become a friend. No, that was a challenging but entirely positive experience. Disconnecting from the garden was to do with the amount of time and energy needed for my father as he died. I found I just couldn't do both and when I wasn't doing the garden in my terms properly it pained me. I'll have a go at writing about it on one of those upcoming days when I know I can't garden!

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    2. Ah, thanks for replying; I'm glad to have that clarified. I do understand that the changed direction of your time and energy and the difficulty of compromising on something that you'd put so much creative effort into might lead to a real shut-down. I'm still processing how much the loss of our parents after the lead-up time of caring for them, the grieving that preceded their deaths, how much that continues to manifest itself in ways that aren't immediately identifiable as such -- I'll look forward to whatever you choose to write, whenever.

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    3. I am really not sure at all how the deaths we have experienced in the last few years have impacted me. Sometimes it feels as if losing the responsibility of caring for others has allowed me to get back to the me I used to be, other times it feels as if the whole landscape of my world has shifted and I will never be the same again. Perhaps both are true.

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  5. I have just recently found your blog and look forward to seeing beautiful pictures of Wales every day. My husband's heritage is Welsh/English and mine is Irish/English, so I am drawn
    to things of the British Isles. The stone steps and old gate are delightful! Hope you are feeling better. Pat S. from Lebanon, Pennsylvania, USA.

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    1. Thank you for commenting Pat and welcome to the blog. I am going to put a picture on tomorrow's blog specially for you. It is not my garden but it is what happens when you lift your head in my garden! I hope you continue to read and to let me know what you think.

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