A wet August has made for a decidedly sodden garden and allotment, and at times a soggy gardener. I wouldn’t have minded so much if it was just drizzle but it has been the sort of rain, those big fat drops, which soaks you in minutes.
I’ll admit I’m a bit of a fair weather gardener. It’s the cold that mainly makes me retreat indoors. Rain doesn’t bother me so much, particularly if I’m prepared and wearing full waterproofs, even if I do make a passing attempt at the ‘trawlerman off to sea’ look. The problem with gardening when it’s wet is the mess that results. It’s impossible to not end up looking like a creature from the deep or like I’ve spent the last few hours bog snorkelling rather than gardening. Or is this just me?
Weeding is initially quite pleasurable as dandelions and thistles with long tap roots slip from the rain-softened earth so much more easily than from sun-baked soil. It’s not long though before I’m covered in mud. Using the trowel or hoe elicits a squelching noise from my rain-soaked gloves as another weed is removed. Deadheading isn’t too bad but then the petals and leaves stick to me.
I trimmed my yew topiary cones by the front door last week. The forecast promised wall to wall sunshine and little chance of rain. The yew needed taming. It had taken on an unkempt shagginess which meant it was no longer possible to distinguish any real shape. I wish I hadn’t planted them in the first place. Clipping them, although a task only needed to be done once a year, has become a chore. One of those jobs I’ll put off until I have to accept I need to do it or we won’t be able to get to the front door. Of course the wall to wall sunshine included a series of heavy downpours – it’s been that kind of summer. I sheltered in the hall during these cloud bursts but each time I returned outside the soggy yew clippings would cling to everything – me, the shears, the path and the brush. Much muttering about stupid yews and their annoying need to grow and chastisements of the inexperienced gardener who planted them 8 years ago ensued.
I absent-mindedly left the shed door open last week. The next morning it looked like a torrent had streamed through it. A neighbour asked if I’d heard the storm that night. I sleep with ear plugs in so had been oblivious to the deluge the heavens had deposited on the village.
At least showers have replaced incessant rain. In the intervening dry spells I have been trying to get as many garden jobs done as possible. Hardy annuals have been sown, biennials are in their final homes on the cut flower patch, the plot has been weeded and the box balls no longer look like shaggy hedgehogs. All this means I can go off for a bit of a break knowing everything is as it should be, well, for a couple of weeks at least.
So it’s finally here. The Crafted Garden is published today. It’s an exciting and nerve-racking time. I’ve had some lovely feedback already which is always a bit of a relief. I really hope if you get a chance to read it you’ll feel inspired to try some crafting using nature. Whether it’s simply collecting a few bits and pieces on a walk and creating your own nature table at home, making natural wreaths or finding ideas for home crafted Christmas decorations. Even if crafting isn’t your thing I’ve included some fabulous garden-worthy plants that will make great additions to any green space and there are tips along the way on how to grow a variety of plants. And of course, there are plenty of flowers.
The Crafted Garden is available from bookshops and online, or you could take advantage of this special discount price.
To order The Crafted Garden by Louise Curley at the discounted price of £13.99 including p&p* (RRP: £16.99), telephone 01903 828503 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and quote the offer code APG355.
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Exciting times, good luck with the new book…
Thank you Sue. 🙂
What a lovely idea for your your new book Louise, good luck and hope it does very well.
Thank you Julie. I hope people like the idea. Fingers crossed. 🙂
Judy @ NewEnglandGardenAndThread said:
As always, I hope your new book is a huge success. Sorry you had so much rain, but the first photo is lovely, looks like diamonds.
Thank you Judy. Even when it’s raining there’s beauty to be found. 🙂
rusty duck said:
It’s not you at all, I have the exact same aversion to gardening in the rain, the mud being the worst of it.
Congratulations on the new book!
Glad to hear it’s not just me. 😉 Thank you! 🙂
Ugh, the weather’s been dreadful for gardening hasn’t it. My allotment has got away from me a bit, so much to do. Lovely to see your new book published, many congratulations, it looks wonderful. CJ xx
Yes, it’s tricky trying to squeeze so much gardening into a short window of decent weather. Thank you for your kind words about the book. 🙂 Lou x
I understand you completely! My sentiments for the summer! I can’t decide what’s worse – braving the elements and getting cold and soaked, or being imprisoned indoors looking out, fuming with frustration!
Never mind, there’s always a good book! What better way to while away the wet hours? Your book sounds interesting – I’ll be looking out for it! And the best of luck!
Yes, it has been a bit of a frustrating summer. Thank you Ali, hope you like it if you get a chance to read it. x
Diana Studer said:
Good luck! I’ve already seen one happy review amongst the blogs I read.
Thank you Diana. I’m very pleased to hear it’s had a good review.
Backlane Notebook said:
Yes damn weather has really got to me too especially because when it’s not raining it’s horribly cold. But in the light of what’s happening in the rest of Europe I am counting my blessings and putting on a jumper and putting up a brolly. Congratulations on your latest book Louise and have a lovely break to celebrate.
Hi Sue, Yes, a bit of rain and cold is fine when we’ve got a safe, dry and warm home to go to. The world feels very wrong at the moment. Wish we could stop fighting each other and live together. Thanks so much. We had a lovely break in Scotland which was the perfect way to celebrate.
It was a wet August here too and the dry days between have often been punctuated by nasty inconsiderate winds. As you say weeding in wet weather is initially fun until the hands are wet, cold and covered with slime. Despite the rain your dahlias have thrived and look fabulous in that bowl. Which varieties are in there Lou? Congratulations on your new book reaching the bookshelves. I’m no crafter but am looking forward to a good read and some inspiration. Enjoy your break in what I hope are drier and warmer conditions.
The dahlias are a white one – Karma ‘Serena’, peachy ‘Amberglow’ and ‘American Moon’. I did a list the other day of the ones I’d like to grow next year – not sure the bank balance will cope. 😉 Thank you. The crafting projects are all quite simple. Birch bark vases and pumpkin vases are really easy but really effective. There’s lots of gardening and growing tips in there too. Hope you like it if you get a chance to read it. We had a fantastic week in Scotland with lovely weather, thank you. x
I think that most of us are fair weather gardeners. There’s nothing worse than plotting when it’s muddy and soggy.
Well done with the book, which has already received plenty of excellent reviews. xx
Hi Flighty. Yes, and there seems to have been too much of that this summer unfortunately. Thank you. xx
Congratulations. I’m sure your new book will be just as wonderful as the last.
Thank you Jo. x
You are absolutely not alone in getting up close with mud. I picked brown for my head to toe rain gear, knowing it would shortly be that colour. Even the dog doesn’t seem to get as muddy as I do, and he’s only inches from the ground.
🙂 Glad to hear it’s not just me. I’ve never seen brown rain gear. Now that might be worth remembering when I replace my current outfit.
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