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 email@example.com and quote the offer code APG355.
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