I've been living in my little house for two years and a half now. When I fist moved here I left behind my beautiful garden that I created with my partner before he died.
When I left I tried to take as many plants that had some meaning to but a lot got left behind.
The pic above is from my first spring in this house that patch is the sum of planting I'd done so far. Its also as far as I got. Two things I didn't plan on happened. First I got shed loads of crochet work all at once and it completely consumed my time. Secondly I just didn't love gardening anymore and couldn't find the will to do it, I'd even stopped watching Gardeners world.
I know most of us have gone through the horrible grief process when we lose someone we love. We all deal with it differently and its only now I'm starting to feel more like myself I can look back and see it made me completely numb. I functioned but it was more auto pilot than anything else. I concentrated on my crochet work and nothing else. I was a human robot. I could respond well enough to pretend to be ok but I was far from it if you scratched the surface.
Let me give you an example. I got Cal my second cat just after Andy died, (in hind-site it was a huge mistake to get another cat at that time and a begal kitten is just a mad ball of fun and energy and not what I was in the mood for. I love her, shes wonderful and I wouldn't be without her now but still it was a bad idea at the time) I remember a time quite a white after Andy died and I was cleaning the kitchen and having a bit of a sing song to myself. Cal got really scared and was howling at me. I thought she must have hurt herself somehow but couldn't find anything wrong and after a cuddle she calmed down.
It was only later that I realized that was the first time in months I'd sung out-loud. Cal had no idea what was going on as she'd never heard it before and she thought I was in pain and was trying to help me.
I'm not a great singer but I don't care and that not the point anyway. Just ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you I sing all the time. I sing jingles or, show intros or just the song thats stuck in my head at the time. Its a part of me, its who I am and for months I had been silent to the point that when I started to sing again it scared the cat.
That was a bit of a shocker to me after all I thought I was coping quite well.
Looking back now it doesn't seem strange that I had no interest in doing anything I'd used to enjoy. I put my head down, worked hard and that was about it.
For more than a year I practically ignored that my little house had a garden. It was something on the long list of things to do when I had lots of pennies which was never gonna happen anytime soon. I made excuses as the grass got over grown (the lawn mower doesn't work, can afford another) and all I could see out of the kitchen windows was cobwebs (I convinced myself there were mock widow spiders webs) and mess (fallen apples and millions of wasps) .
I was convinced I would need help, man power and lots of money to make it into a workable garden again but at the beginning of this year I decided it was time to make a start and clear it.
14 bags of straw, weeds and rubbish, a lot of swearing and a day on the sofa after hurting my back later and I had it clear.
This is the first photo I took of my garden from since taking the one above just after I moved it. I'm proud of this photo. I've dug over where I want the new beds to go and cleared most of the area. I know how much work when into getting the garden to this state so this pic makes me happy.
It was mainly grunt work at first. I was lucky I had a few quiet week as far as crochet work was going so I could crack on. As I cleared thing I found that old plant friends where still in there and I hadn't lost any of my special plants.
A lot of research when into the best way to cut the bottles down and I got a bottle cutter and everything but I gave up and in the end just dug bigger hole and buried the bottles whole. The finished border catches the light in the most beautiful way and when it rains the water pooling in the bottom of the bottles and makes the most wonderful sound.
The weed proof membrane was pretty easy to put down but I found out the next morning it wasn't cat proof as I found this little girl merrily ripping it up.
I've always grown a lot from seed before, its the cheapest way to get lots of plants and its fairly easy if your happy to wait. Cal does have a habit of trying to eat them mind and I don't think Cass was to happy as slowly all the windowsills got covered with propagators and there was nowhere for her to sit.
The half way point. It was slow going as I could only get to the shop that sold the gravel once a week when my mum came through and we could only fit so many bags of gravel in with the shopping.
My goal was to get it finished for the Harrogate flower show in April so I could buy some lovely plants there in the end I got it finished just after my birthday at the end of March.
I got gravel as my birthday present and it was one of my favorite birthday presents ever.
I had my first bbq the first bank holiday weekend of the year. Sure it was only me and my friend Richard cause I only have two chairs and Richard had to google how to light a bbq cause he's a big geek but it was lovely to be out in the sun.
I had the bug back now and I spending hours looking at planting websites and watch old eps of gardeners world. I was a gardener again and I wondered how I'd managed to live so long without a hobby that was such a huge part of me.
With the hard work done I had a garden I could potter in once again as everything started it green up and the first roses came out.
Then last week my mum brought me a old table over and some more chairs and for the first time the weather was consistently good enough that I could start taking the laptop out and doing some crochet work outside.