Sunday, April 8, 2012

Radical rejungling: part two

So, there I was, feeling a little dejected, with aching arms, a scruffy garden and a looming hosepipe ban. The hosepipe ban was particularly worrying - how was I to tidy up the garden, plant replacements for winter casualties, sort out ponds and pressure-wash the paving within the space of two short weeks?
Well, I wasn't going to achieve it by sitting around feeling sorry for myself, that was for sure. I decided to abandon my customary endless wrestling match with guilt. (Should I really spend that much on plants? Could I really afford a new shed? Was it extravagant of me to go and buy an old water tank at the salvage depot?)
First step was to hire some help in the garden. Normally, I do everything myself (my son Rory helps out with the heavy lifting if he's around), and I'm proud of this. It was quite difficult to give up that sense of ownership of labour.
Also, I didn't want someone who would come round and tell me I was doing everything all wrong. I just wanted someone to do what they were told!
I asked my friend Pamela Johnson if she could recommend someone and she put me in touch with her neighbour, Martin. He agreed to come round for a couple of hours a week.
The minute I made the arrangement with Martin, I felt much more positive about everything. Yes, I thought, I would buy some new plants. I would get a new shed. I would go and buy that old water tank I'd seen on the internet. Suddenly, it was all do-able. Indeed, it was difficult to see why I'd been so reluctant to ask for help.
I had no real reason to feel guilty about spending money on plants - I had the money, and I needed the plants. I needed a new shed - my old one leaks, the door doesn't shut properly and it will probably fall over in the next strong wind. (Besides, I've always hated it.)
To be scrupulously honest, I didn't actually need a salvaged water tank. But I liked it, I thought it would look good, and the idea of installing something that would hold quite a lot of water when we were in the middle of a drought seemed prudent.
Sometimes we need to stop as we trundle along our well-worn mental grooves, and ask why we are being so hard on ourselves.