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The joy of pottering
Garden updates and hopes for some May sunshine.
I open my eyes on Monday morning and immediately know the sun is shining. Very fitting for Beltane or May Day, a celebration of the joy and energy of spring. My heart lifts, I’m beyond grateful. It’s been so gloomy and cold but I’d really like to hang up my winter coat and boots for this year please.
Now I don’t know if it’s an age thing, but I absolutely love to just potter. The sun is shining and I have nowhere I need to be, it feels like the perfect pottering sort of day.
to potter. verb.
To move around without hurrying, and in a relaxed and pleasant way.
Although a word mostly used by older people, I find pottering to be somewhat childlike. My attention drifts, starting some weeding in one bed only to be distracted by a new bud somewhere else. Before I know it I’m tying in clematis shoots and wondering if a tree would look nice over there. I’m lead by my senses, pretty things catch my eye. I pause to listen to the birds and forget to go back to whatever job I’d started. Pottering is a little random, messy and I just love it.
I’ve started regular feeding for all of the seedlings, containers and any of my other plants that look like they could use a little pick me up. Carrying the watering can makes my lower back complain and reminds me of my abandoned promise to do regular Pilates.
There’s something therapeutic in the repetitive nature of watering. Fill up the watering can, stir in the feed, pour and repeat. I usually count to 7 as I water each plant. I have no idea why. I try to feed my plants on the same day each week. Feeding Friday is a thing so I’ll go with that. The instructions recommend a feed once every two weeks so perhaps I’ll alternate between the containers and everything else to make it less of a big job.
Officially it’s another week or so until the last frost date in my location, but I decide to plant out some scabious that have been hardened off and are looking untidy. They’ll benefit from getting their roots into the earth and I can always protect them if a late frost is forecast.
I spend time potting on some of the larger seedlings. I’d sown morning glory to cover the fence but the roots aren’t healthy and I don’t think they’ll survive. I don’t know what went wrong, old seeds perhaps.
I have more seeds still to sow. Some biennials for next year and some last minute annuals. My relaxed approach to sowing might be verging on unorganised but I won’t let myself stress. They’ll catch up in the end.
I set about to weed some of the beds, treading carefully as I go. I’m learning my plant IDs but it’s not unheard of for me to mistake an early seedling for a weed. Although my approach to weeding is fairly relaxed. As long as nothing is too unruly or causing issues then I’m not too stressed about it. In fact, this seems to be my approach to much of the garden this year. Relaxed, letting things do their own thing a little more.
The wildflower mini-meadow is coming along nicely. I opted to broadcast sow a mix of clover and meadow grasses, with some wildflowers being started in the greenhouse to add to it later. Giving the garden over to the wildlife in this way feels very fulfilling. I’m lucky enough to be able to tend to this little patch of land, so it feels only right that I share my gratitude by giving back to nature.
I have other projects in various stages. The secret door needs painting and hardware. The patio could use a jet wash. I’m in no rush to finish any of them. The longer my list, the more precious pottering time I have.
Whatever you’re up to this weekend, I hope it’s a good one. If you’re celebrating the Coronation I hope you have fun, if not it’s a bonus day in the garden hey?
Until next week,
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If you don’t know me already I’m a holistic therapist turned nature and gardening nerd and here I write about my garden and the wonderful effects it has on my wellbeing.
If you’re local to Northumberland and fancy joining me for a slow and mindful walk in nature I have two small group walks planned in May. Find all the details here. These walks are offered on a donation basis, you’re more than welcome to walk for free or if you would like to make a donation then it’s very much appreciated.
I also offer one to one walks which you can read about here.