Tidying the Garden

Tidying the Garden

With a spot of sunny weather, and an empty skip replacing the full one, we spent a little time tidying the garden. And I ended with a daffodil on my desk (collected by DB) in memory of it.

The garden has slipped down the priority list over the year. The last time I wrote about it was September 2022, not long after we cut down some trees to make room for the granny flat.

Which is well under way at this point – probably closer to finishing than starting now.

Tidying up the Brains

Usually, people are good at screening out irrelevant sights, sounds, and textures. Like brightly coloured clothes, the sound of different kinds of music or spoken words, and the texture of smooth or rough clothing. Being able to screen them out gives you more capacity to concentrate on what really matters at any given time.

Most people don’t notice they’re doing it.

But since I had the stroke, I get into trouble when there’s too much going on. I can’t concentrate, focus, or even decide what to look or or listen at.

To an extent, I can manged it by wearing smooth black clothes, tidying up and creating dedicated piles of things (like books) I can ignore, and not listening to the radio or music while I work.

Coping during construction has been difficult as I can’t control what’s going on outside…

So I found it interesting that an hour or so spent tottering around tidying up stray builder’s refuse (take out coffee cups, lunch wrappings and small wood offcuts) and putting them in the new empty skip has made such a difference to the way I feel.

Especially in conjunction with a freshly mown lawn and a little light prune.

Thinking more about the Garden

It’s been nice to have moments of underwhelm instead of overwhelm.

I feel less stressed by all the bits blown around the garden. Way less stressed about it getting out into the street and my neighbours gardens.

And wondering whether we can transplant some of the self-seeded shrubs in other parts of the garden, or if it’ll be too late by the time we can.

Tidying the garden has given my eyes “blank” space to rest in. And having a place to rest, my brain has started filling in details of the garden to come.

It’s filling up with imagined statuary, water features and plants. Decks and furniture.

It’s going to be wonderful!

Given the numbers of hungry possums we have around here, we’ll have to overplant the garden to give some of it the opportunity to grow up. And still make sure there’s plenty of food for our seed and bug eating birds.

And, or course, somewhere for Clever Girl to play.

Making More of the Garden

Spring will be well advanced by the time we can start planting (assuming it happens this year and not next).

But before I get to that, they have to finish the construction, and I’ll need to hire a metal detector to make sure all the screws, nails, and fragments of metal have been removed so it’s safe to start work.

And relaxing without worrying about walking on them in my bare feet.

Or Clever Girl cutting her foot open again.

The grass in unconstructed parts of the garden is lush and growing well. Conjuring images of picnics.

And spending more more time out there, enjoying the warmth before it gets too warm.

Pressing Pause on the Garden

But maybe planting out the garden will have to wait until Autumn.

The weather boffins are already predicting a long hot Summer, and I don’t want to plant everything out just to see it die.

So maybe the better thing is to focus on the hard landscaping; the decks, water features and fountains.

And when the weather starts to cool again, start planting.

Which is enough for my brain to start spinning again.

I think I’ll go look at my newly tidied garden again to calm down.


Photo by Nagesh Badu on Unsplash

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