Living in the now….

You know that thing we all do….

….where we convince ourselves that when such and such a thing has happened things will be easier, different, better. When I pass my exams, leave school, lose weight, get that job, find the perfect man, ditch the perfect man when he turns out to be not so perfect, (actually I’ve stuck with mine and am really pleased that I have but you know what I mean), have a baby, get promoted, retire; when the children pass their exams, leave school, lose weight…. oops here we go again….

So anyway – when any and all of these things happen I will have arrived at the place I was waiting for and life will be better.

Well you know what I’ve discovered…. it doesn’t work like that. There are a few problems with this approach. First off, what if the thing you’ve been waiting for never happens? Does that mean life will never be as good as it was supposed to be, you were hoping it to be, you deserve it to be? And secondly, what if you get the thing you’ve been waiting for and it turns out to be different from how and what you were expecting?

Because you know what I’ve learnt…. life is invariably different from what we expect. And thank heavens it is. Because how boring it would be if it was just a question of planning and waiting. The problem is that when we get stuck in the groove of always looking ahead, waiting for the big event that is going to change our lives forever, then we don’t see what is going on around us. And what is going on around us is the really interesting stuff.

Gardens and gardening have taught me a lot about this. Because they never do what they’re told, things rarely work out the way you think they are going to, and even on the darkest days stuff is going on below the surface to bring delight when you least expect it.

You know how it is…. You can pin all your hopes on the roses blooming in June, and like this year they bloom in July. IMG_2900You can plan your entire garden around box topiary for structure and form – and end up with box blight….. aaaaaarggghhhIMG_1555You can plant four malus coronaria var. dasycalyx (that’s crab apple trees to the uninitiated) and only three of them thrive.

Spot the weedy one in the corner!
Spot the weedy one in the corner!

These are the challenges. We have to adapt and move forwards. And more often than not we find that what looked like disaster is a window to a different and better way of looking at things.

That’s gardening for you. If you want order and predictability then you’re in for disappointment. But if you stay alert, keep your eyes open and live in the moment then there is so much pleasure to be had. Like the aquilegia in my garden earlier this year that has self seeded in abundance and joined hands with the tulips. IMG_0849Like the stachys that miraculously appeared out of nowhere  (in the compost I’m thinking) because it knew how good it would look with the iris and allium.IMG_2906 Like the shuttlecock fern that has spread around the tiny dancer flowers of the dicentra.IMG_0854

These are the joys of gardening – the unpredictable, the unexpected, the unanticipated. We all need goals, we need direction and focus. But if we’re too busy pinning our hopes on the future we might miss what’s going on in the present. And the now is where it’s all happening….

Absence makes the heart grow fonder……

Hello blog….. Have you missed me? I’ve missed you.

I can’t believe it’s been three weeks since my last post.

There are two main reasons why I haven’t been keeping up with my writing. The first is a change in my sleep patterns; the other is the weather.

The sleep thing first. I haven’t been very good at it. Sleeping, that is. Too much to think about. There’s the challenge of the Crane Park Project and the get down and get on with it Construction File, both to be handed in on the first day of next term. There’s prospect of two weeks work experience at Great Dixter in July and an opportunity of spending a week at Long Barn, the stunning house and garden in Weald, once owned by Vita Sackville West and Harold Nicholson. There are the exams – which I am sitting in one go next Wednesday before flying to Majorca in the evening.

All very exciting. And rather terrifying. How am I going to fit it all in? Let alone deal with all those family things that have to be dealt with – like my dear lovely father-in-law who is so very ill, and my dear lovely husband who is having to deal with it, and my dear lovely son who is trying to get his new business venture off the ground, and my dear lovely daughters who are changing jobs and moving into a new flat.

These aaaaaargggghhhhh moments in my life get in the way of me sleeping. Hours awake in the middle of the night mean I don’t wake up early like I usually do. Which means I don’t get to sit down with my cup of tea to write my posts.

The other reason is the weather. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but it’s been ‘s***’. And my garden is taking it personally and refusing to play ball. Usually at this time of year we go away to Majorca – and I miss one of the best times in the year for the garden. So this year, with the KLC course requiring me to be at home, I was really excited at the thought of being there for fabulousness of the garden in June. But nothing’s happening…..

Or to be fair, quite a lot is happening. But a lot of it is of the ‘in a week or two it’s going to be amazing’ variety of happening. And guess what….. I’m going to be away.

But there have been some great moments. And here are some pictures of the action so far….

These Crab Apples were amazing at the end of May
These Crab Apples were amazing at the end of May

Wonderful wisteria
Wonderful wisteria

View through the Amalanchier
View through the Amalanchier

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Old Blush China rose

And a few close ups ….IMG_2921

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So maybe things aren’t that bad after all……..