Summer has most definately arrived! It’s been 10 weeks since we returned from Kefalonia and I started my new job. We’ve had some beautiful weather and it’s barely rained.
I sit again on the couch planning nothing but a weekend of rest, maybe a little pottering, my heavy eyelids imply an afternoon nap may be on the cards and my sore throat needs a trip to the shop for some fresh orange juice. All other plans have taken a back seat as the exhaustion sets in. I tell myself it will ease itself, balance itself out and it is summer. Summer is a busy time for gardeners. This week I was reminded that I like meeting new people. As someone who picks up easily on the energy of others I’ve been making sure I’m grounded and protected through my meditations and hypnotherapy sessions that I’ve recorded onto my phone. I find this helps. I do get into the past cycles of trying to please others rather than listen to my intuition and do what’s right for me. Then theres the perfectionist that I have to fight. Reminding myself that I dont need to put in 100% all the time, just turning up and being there is good enough.
When I have managed to get to the allotment there’s been lots of harvesting. The freezer is full of green beans, mange tout, sugar snap peas, blueberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, whitecurrants, raspberries, gooseberries… etc! etc! I’ve got beetroot to boil and a drawer full of rocket, spinach, courgettes, tomatoes and salad. I think I’m overwhelmed by the need to preserve it all in some way and not waste it. Knowing how tight money has been (I’ve only just been paid for my second job, phew!) I’m keen not to waste anything but as Mike says, it’ll go back and make compost if we dont eat it in time!
My mind has been busy with lists of resources and creative ideas for all the gardening groups that I’m juggling right now.
My main job is a lovely huge garden in the middle of an urban town. There’s about 11 volunteers who all get on well together. This was confirmed at our volunteer barbecue on Thursday evening this week where the conversation flowed. It’s good to see these very different people get together and enjoy this open space in different ways. Some enjoy watering, harvesting, mowing or building. It’s my humble job to co-ordinate it, develop the space, help the volunteers get the skills they want, the wood, the seeds, and the confidence to take ownership and pride in the amazing community garden that theyv’e created. I love it when people drop in and ask what we’re doing, wonder what’s growing or tell us about their garden and it makes me smile when they tell us they voted against it because they thought the local kids would wreck it, it would be over run with rats or nothing would grow on this concrete rubble ground and they’re happy that we’ve prooved them wrong.
Now my friday morning job is not yet at this stage. The anti-social behaviour has caused problems and things have been wrecked, the ground is an ex-bowling green, hard and compacted, prone to flooding when it does rain, things do get dumped there or sunflowers snapped. But a recent entry into #BootleInBloom showed passer-by’s that we’re making a difference. We’ve planted sunflowers, flowers, courgette plants, squash and pumpkins, potatoes and herbs. A couple of apple trees too. Last week we had 3 people ask about volunteering, two actually done a little bit of work before the heat got the better of them! Some negativity was covered with explanations about how we struggled to get the ‘Friends of the Park’ group up and running. Finally I feel like people want to engage rather than walk past with their dogs.
The more daunting part of my job was working with school age children again. I wonder what I was worried about!!! I fall back into that role without even thinking about it, helping in gardening after school club and I’m looking forward to the summer activity club in the park. It’ll be fun!
Work aside, I’ve still been doing everything else and more to fill the days, helping at the plot barbecue, volunteering in drama shows, out with Layla, going through the menopause, looking for cars with Lizzie, the car breaking down in Aigburth, doing research into grants and funding, entering our flat gardens into a housing association competition, and here’s me wondering why I’m so exhausted! Right, I’m off to get a bit a shopping for tea, no rest for the wicked!