366 Days of Gardening! E34 – W23

Project Garden

“The Used To Be’s For My Sins!!”

366 Days of Gardening Directory

E34 – W23

Introduction …

It used to be that the gardening and composting was relaxing – but the world is made up now of the ‘used to be’s’ and the issues with the used to be’s are quite simply things that used to be but sadly are no more! Gone are the days presently when gardening and composting used to be fun for now they are replaced with ‘Oh bloody hell l am so stressed, my head is filled with spaghetti and noodles and now l have to deconstruct everything – where’s the fun in that?!” That’s currently how l am viewing the gardening – everything comically or not, is ‘for my sins‘.

Last week’s episode photo of courgettes, beans, pak choi’s and spinach.

Like l said last episode some of the garden is performing seriously well and yet others – which were excellent for their growth in previous seasons are struggling this year and not just a little, but lots. Vegetations that should be now double their heights and widths are mere fractions ‘of used to be’s!’

You can’t help yourself when there is nothing but stress in your life to think of stress, to think of this, that, to think of the this’s and the that’s and the what if’s and the which evers! It cannot be helped, it doesn’t matter how hard you try to switch off either! Now my head is filled with rentings and rentals and expectations, wants and desires – compared to what do l really need …………………… no MATE, really??!

This week – digging out the pak choi, slimming down the spinach.

Do l really need access to grass and nature? Can l not find serenity, calmness, mindfulness and wellbeing elsewhere? Does it need to be in my backyard? There are birds everywhere. Does Ava need to be outside or in a nice position of certainty and warmth and securement? Well, l need to feel more certainty, security and warmth! If l got that l would be content, so why should not be Ava the Avocado too? Could she be happy with a couple of indoor buddies as company?


How about somewhere spacious and light and airy would that not do? What trade offs can you negotiate with and which expectations can you drop? How fluid neutral can you become to the way of lifestyle? Because these are the questions you need to be asking yourself. The time has come to let go of the ‘used to be’s’ and move forwards.

At my own concession l am quite impressed with myself over the last few months – l have had to take on board some mighty changes and alterations to my Bubbled Aspergian behaviours! I now handle changes and suddeness like a pro – just go with the flow mate, what other choices do you have?? Things change, life changes … get on with it!

The back of the garden spinach, mixed salads, rhubarbs, horseradish, potatoes and comfreys and fennels are doing pretty well now in the shaded garden zone.

To those interested in the house situation, currently it s best to say ‘It’s complicated and that’s being polite! My dream flat may be available ….. no guarantee …. at the end of July start August ….. maybe. But l can’t live with that kind of uncertain maybe. I will pondercate upon this subject at a later time as it is still being processed mentally by me. But l am back in the search game for a property – but my own expectations have changed as well.

Do l need the stresses of growing for the table? I can be an environmentalist in other ways. Do l need to be a composter to write about it or indeed gardening?? Will l miss the inspiration of working with and in the dirt or can l be settled just getting down and dirty in the theory? Maybe l could join a community garden project? I mean there are certain plants l can easily grow indoors or in a much smaller containment space .. l know this first hand – l don’t need a garden to grow food in, l just need some quality composted dirt!

Kale and Garlic/onion bed was tended to with the kale being taken out and distributed to three of our neighbours. The garlic and onions are not due out till end July.

So yesterday l started looking at different specs for property – mostly open plan, light and airy flats with lots of windows! I just literally dropped my entire expectation and wants table and started afresh and completely let go of ‘what used to be’.

The deconstruction of the garden and gardening and composting started in earnest this week. Garden was performed on Monday and compost stations were handled yesterday.

Completely emptied out the radish, turnip, chives, beetroot and giant mustard bed.

Purple sprouting and kohl rabi dug out and spring onions, onions and fennels left although these too may have to be dug out as well if they are not ready for harvest next month.

The effectiveness of the small Grow and Go raised beds has been remarkable and they have yielded excellent returns of pak choi, rocket and mixed salads. These will not need to be deconstructed until the last week thankfully.

As far as the garden is concerned it is still awarding good Grow and Go returns from the raised beds – small and mediums – and some of the containers although in truth l am still not overly happy with the environmental containers l think they may even be a bit of scam. I have had to dig out plants that would be harvesting later in the year sadly as we will not be here and they would not successfully survive a transplanting from bed to container.

The carrot and salad containers are doing very well ‘top soil’ so to speak .. the carrots have great bushy heads, but beneath the soil whilst straight they seem to be struggling. The celery and lambs lettuce is doing very well and the chards are now finally catching up.

Yesterday l started to take down the composting stations … this is a three stage process and is quite labour intensive to boot.

It involved digging over the main wooden compost unit which comprises three cubes and currently two of those are occupied and one was empty. One cube was filled with raw cooked uncut compost mixture which is usuable now as a ground compost spreader or if it had been sieved it would’ve made an excellent potting compost mixture and the other unit was filled with a workable but unsieved compost mixture ideal only for potting.

My next door neighbour Sam said he would take the ‘raw cooked uncut compost mixture’ last week and so yesterday morning, l was at the back of his garden gearing up the new system for him and digging over his own compost before l was to transfer the one tonne of my own mixture.

Sam’s single unit compost bin standing next to two of my gifted three units awaiting digging over and set up.

The shape of Sam’s existing compost mixture – very poor!

That was the first stage, the second stage was to prep up the system l would be leaving here when l am gone whilst the third stage is/was to dig over the workable mixture and to start to break down the wooden units themselves ready for packing and hopeful sales.

The real hardship was getting between the gardens as this was restricted to literally me humping myself and my tools through the back of my garden behins my shed over Sam’s fence and then behind his own shed, it was this way as opposed to walking backwards and fowards to the front and backs of our houses which would take three minutes a time if not more as opposed to thirty uncomfortable seconds.

Suze told me off for everything l did mostly because of my strapped up knee and all the climbing over and stepping over l had to do just for that 30 seconds – but it was logical to take the quickest route!

The space cleared properly and his compost dug over and cut properly – big difference with a little bit of TLC and some hard work.

Sam wants to compost but was a composter that believed in just leaving things to their own devices and l instructed him that was not the way to get a quality material to work with and the reason l was digging over someone else’s compost pile was so that l believed in starting out as you mean to carry on. I typed him up the formula for producing a much richer and stable compost mixture. But also l prepped it up, because l had to shift a further tonne of uncut compost to him and l needed to make sure the old system was able to supprt this.

Sam helped shift the tonne of uncut out which made hard work a lot easier thank goodness. Now with stage one out of the way, stage 2 50% complete and stage 3 25% established l can finish off this composting station and start to allow the wooden units to dry out and be taken down once the warping has subsided.

But hey that’s another job out of the way.

Anyway, there we go, another update from Project Garden, thanks for both visiting and reading! Catch you next time! Rory

10 thoughts on “366 Days of Gardening! E34 – W23

  1. I’m really sorry for that garden! Everything looks so great!
    But as you said is time to move forwards! I live in a small apartment with a little balcony and I still can grow a few plants 🌱😉

  2. I can tell you from experience, if outdoor space, grass and gardening are your ‘happy place’ then do not give them up. All my life, even when I lived in apartment buildings, even when I lived in the middle of Manhattan, there was always trees and sky and bird song right outside my windows. I took that all for granted, I didn’t know I needed that for my feeling of well being until – I lived in a place that did not have any of that! Not even a stinking city pigeon. The view out my window was utility poles and wires, not a tree or a bird or a squirrel – the only sounds were traffic. Now, while I live in an apartment building my views are all tree and sky and those damn birds start cooing and cawing at 5am – And I love it and I’m happy. Make sure you have some happy space…

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