A gardener’s pre-holiday angst

Two more sleeps and I’m on my way. Inevitably, and no matter how well-organised I think I am, no matter how well-organised I plan to be, there’s always a welling of anxieties. As predictable as a pimple on the eve of the school ball! This time, I find, I’m getting especially anxious about leaving the garden. There’s always something happening … a few days ago the last of the neighbour’s pohutukawa’s red stamens fell. Or something to do. The dahlias need constant deheading. The irises need lifting. The roses are coming into flower again. And as for the all-important veggies … Will it rain while I’m away? Should I ask a friend to come & water? I did that a year ago, when I was in Hong Kong. Reports of days of torrential rain in Wellington made me think I needn’t worry. But I was away three weeks, the friend’s squirting with a hose didn’t really do the job, the return to the garden was disheartening. This year, well … if the courgettes expire during my absence I won’t be too upset, have about eaten my fill of courgettes this summer, but the tomatoes are just ripening. Seem to have been nursing them along for MONTHS and it’d be truly annoying to lose the fruit.


A friend at work did say, how can you leave Wellington in February? I know what he means. The best summer month. Heard my first cicadas the other day. Long, hot days ahead – with luck. But it’ll be fun to be away. And I’ll be back in time for the start of autumn.


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