The garden's worst enemy: Autumn Malaise

21:21, May 16 2013

The garden is falling into rack and ruin. I can't keep up. I've been so focused lately on finishing up my job at the Dominion Post and fighting off various illnesses that I can hardly make out the leeks for the weeds. The raspberries, which have been attacked by the evil duo of some sort of disease and some sort of bug, wizen up on the cane before I can attend to them. I haven't sown my carrots because I really just can't be bothered. I'm suffering from a disease far worse than the tummy bug that had me in bed for two days this week; Autumn Malaise.

I had made the decision not to plant too many things this winter, to just plant stuff that was low maintenance and forget about it in order to ease the load of chores I have to do around here. How on earth I managed last year with chickens, a partner who was studying and working fulltime, and everything else is beyond me, because this year it all seems just far too hard. I would show you a photo of the garden with its increasingly jungle-like tendencies, but going out and taking one is also far too much effort. Instead, here is a photo from before the autumn malaise struck; my Trusty Assistant with a pair of once brand new and never worn jandals that we found during the great Old Man's Beard clearout.

The days of popping out to the garden for something for dinner are over - apart from the ever present bucket of green/ripening tomatoes, herbs and leafy greens, there is nothing much to eat. The herbs all need a haircut now that they've flowered and set seed, and the empty beds look pretty ugly with plastic trellis laid on to keep cats out, weeds sticking out of the little squares. I would usually be out there tidying up, scavenging for leaves and seaweed, and starting new projects, but I have this urge right now to only work on what I've started, to introduce no more plants into this garden until I can maintain what I already have. In fact, I'm embracing this new philosophy - no new plants until the paths in Shirley's garden are done, the strawberry patch has been fed and mulched and runners planted, the garlic bed prepared for June's planting, and the raspberries pruned.

I'll start ... next week.

Does your garden sometimes overwhelm you? How do you deal with it?

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