And we all know what that is paved with. I have long since discarded my well intentioned New Year’s resolutions as gin soaked Xmas pipe dreams. I may never be able to play the cello, sing like Callas or fit a dress size eight. I’m certainly not going to get any taller at this late stage. If I am to achieve Sissinghurst by the Sea, I need to make some plans, quickly, before my determination evaporates. I have a list of essential prerequisites:
– Moss treatment for lawns
– Highly adhesive systemic weed killer for ground elder (including vital accurate application method).
– Bricklayer’s telephone number to repair two crumbling walls.
– Strange wire brush/”V” shaped implement for removing scrot from paving.
– Sensible purchases of seeds and plants to cover known weaknesses.
– No more Dahlias, not one, I’ve got enough.
– Refurbished spine, shoulders and legs for the implementation of the points above.
Rose hips

Rose hips

I have spent the last two weeks in the kitchen, wrangling arcane ingredients into tasty meals for family, guests, neighbours and the occasional passing stranger. Throughout the culinary binge I have been aware of a small part of my brain, dedicated to various strategies for garden improvement. There is a tiny voice which nags me about necessary but unglamorous jobs such as pond clearout and manure dispersal. She bitches regarding getting serious about eradicating jack by the hedge, dandelions, dock and other perennial weeds. The woman badgers, pesters and plagues me about any possible plan for ventilation in the conservatory which doesn’t allow access to cold air.
Ophiopogon planiscapus 'nigrescens' (black lilyturf)

Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘nigrescens’ (black lilyturf)

I find that the internal dialog can be quietened by judicious application of chilled white wine. Chocolate is something of a quick fix, lasting little longer than the moment of consumption. Domestic disaster such as exploding ovens and defrosting fridges claim my attention for longer, until ceiling, walls and floors are swabbed and the appropriate craftsman has been called to the rescue.
Crab apple

Crab apple

There is a hard frost outside, so the weeding will have to wait. No-one needs feeding and the household equipment is behaving normally. Boxes or bottles are empty and recycled and the tide of adversity has been stemmed so I’m free to wallow in the fabulous books on plants that I received as gifts. I can browse the heaps of shiny catalogues which tempt me to purchase the unsuitable, expensive or illicit. I’m off to my favourite armchair for further important research. The sensible supervisor in my head can get stuffed and go to…