Wet and mushy

I think that sums up the weather this week perfectly!  It was the autumn equinox yesterday and the weather’s been taking a run up to the astronomical change of season with torrential rain, howling winds and a definite drop in temperature – although yesterday, the sun was shining and I was actually able to get out into the garden.  That seems fairly typical for autumn in the UK!

I’ve been procrastinating about finishing the veg border to flower border because I couldn’t decide what I needed to do about raising the level of the soil and also putting something else in there that would feed the plants when they eventually go in.  I was umm-ing and ahh-ing last week about compost and top soil, and in the end, I decided to consult my gardening friend for her view.  I’ll be honest, the thought of barrowing a ton of top soil was not appealing and I thought that if I talked to her about it, she’d be able to see the situation without worrying about doing any barrowing because she wouldn’t be doing it – but at least I’d have an opinion that wasn’t coloured by my reluctance to shift the soil myself if I ended up having to do it!  Isn’t it lovely when you’ve got a friend who you can talk to about things that are important to you but nobody else might know much about?  I’m very lucky to have that with my yarn-related interests, but this friend is my gardening pal – not only is she one of my oldest and best friends, we did our gardening qualifications together and have spent many hours in and walked many miles around gardens and gardening shows, so I don’t know why I hadn’t asked her about it before.

A garden border with a few plantsA large empty garden border edged by a wooden frame

In the end, it was all sorted very easily.  There was to be no barrowing of topsoil but instead, I spoke to a local stables who were more than happy for me to dig out their muck mountain for some well-rotted horse muck which I’d be able to mix with compost.  Easy peasy – or so I thought…

A huge mound of horse manure and straw

“You might have a dig a bit,” said the lady at the stables, “we’ve got a bit of a midden going at the moment” – and she was right!  I didn’t want the fresh manure, and I didn’t really want the straw or shavings either, but I figured that the further down I could get into the pile, the more it would all have rotted down and it would be OK.

Would it have been easier to barrow topsoil than mountaineering over that muck heap to get to the back and then start digging down as far as I could go?  Ah, maybe, but maybe not.  Phew, it was quite a job!  Even a long way down, you could feel the heat from the muck as it was decomposing but I eventually got to the stuff that I wanted and loaded up my bags.  I think you always feel that you should have got more than you did, but it was all very wet (even a long way down) and that makes it all very heavy, so I took what I could carry and was grateful.

Back home, I unloaded the bags of muck, went to the local DIY store for some multi-purpose compost and then set to getting it all into the border.  Thanks for your suggestions about the no-dig cardboard – I’ve got it buried under there although the bindweed and couch grass were growing through weedproof membrane so I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

A large garden border with piles of horse manure and compost ready to be dug in

Some of the muck isn’t quite as well-rotted as I’d have liked but I’d filled the bag up by that point and I wasn’t going to empty it – it will rot down over the winter so I’m not worried!  There was still plenty of heat in it and there were plenty of worms in the bags of muck too, so hopefully it won’t take too long.

Once that was done, I had a lovely time rounding up all the plants in pots that I’ve got waiting to go in.  There doesn’t look to be as many of them as were crowded on the path and patio now that I’ve got them onto the soil – it shows how big my border is!  I’ve got a few that I’m going to move from my other garden borders and lots of bulbs to plant so it’ll fill up, and there’s room for everything to spread out as well.

A large garden border with potted plants ready to be planted in the groundA tabby and white cat wearing a red harness inspects the plants in a garden border

The Site Inspector said she thought it was all going pretty well, but she wouldn’t be getting her paws dirty by helping 🙂

I’ve resisted planting everything this weekend as I’ve got a clean slate to really plan the colours and layout so I’m going to take my time and enjoy doing that this week.  Could I have done it earlier so everything could have gone in this weekend?  Of course I could, but I didn’t, and that’s how it is 🙂

What I have done this week is continued with the re-organisation of my time and projects which I told you about in last week’s post: I’m keeping on very well with my zero inbox for my emails (oh, it’s so easy now that I’ve done it!) and this week was about clearing my desk to be my Command Central space.  I was surprised how long it took me to actually get on and do it – the course that I’m doing (the STEP course from LearnDoBecome) encourages you to simply sweep everything that’s not immediately urgent off your desk into a box to deal with later and I’ve had years of practice at doing that so I’m already very good at it  (although not so good at going back to empty the box! ) – but I found it really hard to even do that this time as I really want to be living a simpler, less cluttered life but making that first conscious step towards that and know that this time, I will be going back to empty the box, felt very difficult!  Anyway, onwards and upwards with a clear desk – and I’ve been astonishingly productive this week with my new, improved context-based task list, so that’s all very encouraging.

There’s not been a great deal of sock progress this week as I’ve not found myself with much time to sit and knit, and I’ve been very tired this week too.  I think it’s all the energy that’s shifted with my decluttering – I am certain that I have read somewhere that decluttering either physically or emotionally moves energy and that can make you really tired until you adjust to the new unblocked flow of energy in yourself or your home, but I can’t find anything online that I can link to so that you know I haven’t just made that up 🙂  That’s my story and I’m going to stick to it and hopefully in a few months’ time when I am living my simpler, less cluttered life then I’ll have more energy than I know what to do with!

I’ve got a couple more things to show you and then I’ll leave you to your Sunday.  First up, treasure from the greenhouse …

Small red plum tomatoes on a vine in a greenhouse

There were a few pit stops during the border digging whilst I shovelled tomatoes into my mouth.  They’re a baby plum variety called Santonio and they are without doubt the very best thing that I grow in the garden … especially when they’re a little bit warm from the greenhouse glass and you can eat them with the sun on your face, the last few bees buzzing around and a robin hopping about on the grass.

And finally, this.

A road bridge swinging aside to let a boat through on the water below
A steam boat on a canal waiting for the road bridge to be opened
A steam boat sailing through the gap left by a swing bridge 
A steam boat on a canal A steam boat on a canal

Not so small daughter met up with some of the group from her Japan trip last weekend and when I went to pick her up, I got caught in a queue as a swing bridge across the road opened to let a steam boat through.  I know this boat – it’s called the SS Daniel Adamson or The Danny, and it’s usually moored on a stretch of canal that we pass when we go to big daughter’s house.  I hadn’t realised that the boat actually moved so I was surprised to see it there and instead of getting cross because I was going to be late, I decided to be glad that I was at the front of the queue and could take some photos to show you instead.

For some reason, I’d always thought this was just a “party boat” moored in the same place where people could go for a different sort of party on board and looking at the website, it looks like you can hire it for that, but you can also go on cruises too (I like the sound of the fish and chip cruise!) and the boat is actually a living museum cared for by volunteers.  Sometimes, we just need to stop to find out something new, don’t we?


And with perfect timing, I’m going to stop now and wish you a lovely week, and I’ll catch up with you again soon! xx



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13 Responses

  1. Susan Rayner says:

    Do enoy the planning of th colour scheme etc for the new flower border – it will be lovely. Not sure I would have enjoyed digging out the midden at the local stables – but good for you. We used to be able to go and buy it by the bag full from our local stables – I think they had young pony club hopefulls bag it up.
    Autumn is my favourite time of year and I have also been decluttering – something about getting everything in order that is just bliss. My husband was a little surprised by the huge amount I was taking to the charity shop – and he only saw half of it if that.
    That steam boat is lovely. I hope you get your fish and chip trip on it soon.
    Happy weekend.

    • winwickmum says:

      I think it’s quite amazing how much we have to let go of when we start to look – well done for letting it all go! I’ve seen bags of horse muck outside stables before too, but not for a while so maybe that’s not really a thing any more. I was just glad to get hold of some! 🙂 xx

  2. Tineke says:

    Was it Foxesafloat on YouTube talking about the Barry? I think it was. Don’t worry, decluttering moves a lot of clutter in your head too. It was a strange year in the garden. There will be a next year, I promise you ;>P

    • winwickmum says:

      I haven’t heard of Foxes Afloat before so I’ve been to have a look at the website – it looks fascinating! I’m glad you know about the decluttering energy too; it means I’m not going daft! 🙂 xx

  3. Jeanie Maier says:

    Enjoy your weekend newsletters so much! Thanks for sharing!

  4. SARAH MURRAY says:

    Your vegetable patch looks lovely. At least it isn’t wet and mucky! X

  5. Helen says:

    I stopped teaching a few years ago, menopause and put management don’t mix so I left before I said something. My house is now bursting at the seams with my stuff, teacher stuff and just stuff… I always find it so overfacing. I don’t drive either so that doesn’t help! Well done you for starting!

    • winwickmum says:

      It’s so easy to get overwhelmed by the stuff, isn’t it? I feel like I’ve made a good start but I know there’s so much more to go and I am hoping I can keep up the momentum! 🙂 xx

  6. Audrey says:

    you’ve been very busy. I don’t have space for clutter.
    Enjoy reading your posts .

  7. Carol John says:

    sending you a big hug x

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