Last Friday the gardening season began here in the Zollinger household. We had been neglecting it long enough , and we could no longer ignore it.
We have a ton of weeding to do, and pruning that we didn’t get done in the fall.
For a long time gardening has been a rather overwhelming chore. Our yard is pretty large for Swiss standards, but what makes it hard to maintain is the use of stones and gravel all over. The lining has long needed to be replaced and so weeds are coming up every which way we look. The pond is also in need of a revamp.
Last year, trying to be respectful of the wildlife in our garden, we tried to manage the weeds by using an organic solution of vinegar and dish soap, but it was more work than it was worth and it didn’t last very long. This year we’ve abandoned that method as we just can’t see being a slave to the garden and the weeds.
Believe it or not, there was a time when I enjoyed pottering in the garden and planting pots of flowers and trying my hand at the vegetable garden. Harvesting a few fresh vegetables and herbs when a meal called for it.
When I think back to the time when my in-laws lived in the house, I remember a beautifully maintained and functioning garden. It was beautiful sitting around the pond and listening to the water trickling down the fountain. When we first moved here. I would sit out there often. But last year and probably for the last couple of years, we’ve been spending less and less time in the garden.
I would go to my friend’s house and see her wonderful garden (below)
and be ashamed that I couldn’t maintain my garden like she could or like my in-laws could ours, or my neighbour.
My friend would always offer me plants, but I couldn’t take them because I had no where to put them,. All I had energy for was the gruelling work of weeding.
I became so depressed by the fact that we could never get our garden looking nice. The joy of gardening was totally lost to me. Last year I don’t even think we sat once outside to eat, I was so ashamed of going in the garden.
This year I say, enough of that. I’ve got to make a daily effort to work in the garden and my husband has to help me on the weekends to do as much as possible towards gaining back our beautiful garden and an outdoor lifestyle. I know it will be a mountain of work, but I just can’t live like this anymore. We didn’t even invite anyone to eat last year because I was so ashamed of the garden.
Now we have only just begun the journey towards a more well kept garden, but yesterday was just so beautiful that I just couldn’t resist but to go out in it and enjoy it. No matter that the lawn needs to be mowed or that the dead weeds (now freshly sprayed with weed killer) need to be removed. The sky was so blue and there was an unusually warm breeze blowing. Now I have yet to clean up the outdoor furniture so what did I do?
I grabbed an old ( mass produced) but beautiful quilt and spread it out in my meadow of ‘wild flowers’ and layed there for my lunch break and after my ‘working day’.
I tried to ignore the fact that the weeds were growing up around me or that any one passing by could see me ‘being lazy’ in my garden.
And that is the way it is going to have to be this year, work and pleasure all mixed together. And no I will no longer be ashamed, it is what it is.
Right now I am going to enjoy my cherry tree which is in bloom.
What about you, how is your garden looking this season? I would love to hear from you.