November 20, 2012

Momentum Lost

I've been hunkered inside all of November. I've gone out to clean up perennials a bit, and snip a few things back, but not to do much more than that. I've been inside with the heat on, complaining I can't get warm enough.


And yet the chill weather outside is ideal for digging without overheating, the partly cloudy grayish skies won't bake me, and the ground is soft, damp, and easy to work. Leaves are down and I can see what needs doing. These are perfect conditions for getting at the one project I have been putting off for cooler weather -- expanding the edges of several gardens.

This is the weather I waited for all season, holding off on edging until hot humid summer was over. This is weather that rewards a day of digging in the garden with rosy cheeks and an appetite when you come in.

The curve of the bed under the doublefile viburnum needs to be expanded since the viburnum has grown into the yard. The strip of ground under the bottlebrush buckeyes needs to be wider, as they have grown out into the lawn too. Around the patio needs to be enlarged. The gardens under the white birches need to be made larger to accommodate the shrubs growing there. A little here, a little there.

Just small adjustments, but it involves digging and hauling away the strips of sod. Dirty work, hands and knees work, up and down work.


I think I lost my ooomph when I was resting up after my eye surgery in late October and didn't go outside much. Then it snowed briefly in early November. Then autumn seemed to be suddenly gone by. I lost my momentum.

There are rhythms to the maintenance tasks that need doing in the garden beyond what each season calls for. There is a physical tempo to putting your garden pants on each week and going outside. There is a pattern to puttering.

You can't keep up with all the little jobs out there by sitting inside writing blog posts and reminder lists.

I could always edge the gardens when it warms up in spring, after the ground starts to thaw and before the weather gets too hot again.

Maybe I'll do that.

 

30 comments:

  1. It is funny how this happens some years. I don't think you should fret about it. Just relax and enjoy this beautiful garden of yours. Make lists for Spring and dream a little.

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  2. I know that working in the garden takes a lot of efforts.
    You want to do all!
    So if you can relax in the winter then in the spring of your physical rhythm will appear.

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    1. Nadezda, thanks, I agree that sometimes a little rest is needed!

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  3. Yes, sometimes you need a break. I've got a similar problem here, I've lost my momentum, but not because I don't want to get out there. I do, but it's been raining non-stop here for the last month.

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    1. Alison, We had a wet autumn too, but nothing like constant rain for a month. I hope you dry out soon!

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  4. I know how you feel...sometimes it's hard to motivate yourself to get out there...although this weather is perfect for such things :-)

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    1. Scott, it's funny, but I really do want to be outside working -- I love it. I just lost the pattern of actually getting out there for a while.

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  5. I feel the same way right now. I just want to look at my garden from under a blanket. Oh, to be telekinetic!

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    1. Heather, it has to be the darkness too--- it comes so early now and climbing under the blanket seems the best thing to do. Need light!

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  6. I've not gotten to many desired gardening tasks as well. Although on my end it has been that "momentum" has carried me, full speed ahead, for the past month into storm damage clean up. Everything else has fallen by the way side.
    I'm wondering if we will have a repeat of last winter (I hope not). If we do then you may have plenty of warm days ahead to get to your "to do list"

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    1. Forest Keeper, it did seem like storm Sandy ended everything. We had very little damage, but it just seemed like the season was over all at once after the storm. Glad to hear you've been busy cleaning up.

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  7. It is hard to get the momentum back once you pause. Maybe you'll think of something you'd do differently over the winter and be glad you waited.

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    1. Gardener on Sherlock, You are probably right -- I'll spend lots of time over the winter planning, and that's a good thing.

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  8. Sounds like a plan, Laurrie. Pausing is good for storing up energy and passion to be unleashed later. Enjoy some nothingness. If you can.

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    1. Lee, I'm pretty good at pursuing nothingness, so I'm right on track to rest up!

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  9. Gardening does require a certain momentum at times, doesn't it? As long as it isn't May I would just enjoy the break and not fret over it too much.

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    1. Sue, good advice -- I won't fret. I'm enjoying the rest actually, and I'll get back out there when the time seems right.

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  10. Didn't a wise sage once say that you get the best garden by working only when you feel like it? ;)

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    1. Sweetbay, I like that. And I have the luxury of working on the garden when I want to, since I am retired. So there is time -- later -- to get things done.

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  11. There definitely comes a time to rest. I never get everything done. I count those things done, not those undone. I have major projects that still wait for another year. It's all good. Spring is a great time to work!

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    1. Deborah, Spring seems so far away, but I know it will be here in a flash, and all those chores we delayed will still be waiting : )

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  12. Hello Laurrie, it's so nice to meet you! I absolutely love the creativity and positive energy that flows from your "about me" page. You have led such an adventurous life! I look forward to following you on your journey.

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    1. Rosemary, welcome! I have been greatly enjoying a tour of the Tales as well.

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  13. Laurrie, whether you dig in now or wait till spring I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

    Maybe the holiday will renew your desire to get outside. You know if you don't get some of your To-Do list done now you will regret it in the busy spring.

    Just thought I'd give you a little nudge ...

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    1. Joene, I actually did go outside today and Jim and I knocked off a whole section of edging. The day was cool and nice and sunny and I got a start on it. Boy do I feel good! Your nudge worked : )

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  14. Your completely right about garden tasks having a certain amount of momentum and fluidity to them. But they'll all still be there in the spring. Removing sod is a pain in the butt,literally! By spring you'll be ready for the task. Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. Tammy, I got a little edging done today. I may have my momentum back -- just in time for an eating / celebrating / day off for the holiday. Enjoy your Thanksgiving. I plan on doing no work outdoors tomorrow, and none inside that does not involve eating and being immensely grateful!

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  15. Laurrie, I completely understand this situation. Happens to me quite frequently actually. Days where the weather is perfect and yet I just don't have the motivation. Then I kick myself later for not getting the work done. A bad cycle. the trick must be to just enjoy whatever the day brings and not worry about lists of chores.

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    1. Marguerite, I am pretty good at enjoying whatever the day brings. But I do need to get some pattern going again, or I will start to get frustrated with the list of abandoned tasks.

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