I’m gradually falling into the world of gardening, learning more with each passing season and each new plant bought. The other day a nearby bookstore was having a massive sale of English books, so I ended up walking out the door with two books on gardening.
I’ve had gardening as my hobby for about five years now, and I’ve done all I can to research each plant, learn from the experts like Monty Don and Peter Chan, and borrow books from the library about plants, and still I’m learning new things. The books I bought made me feel like I had only just rushed out to the garden center to randomly buy whatever looked pretty. just reading a few pages from the books reminded me of how far I still have to go.
That being said, I think I’ve started going slightly crazy as a gardener becuase I was impatiently waiting for winter all summer long. Even with the flowers blooming and some (though not many) fruit ripening, I was still counting down the days until winter.
Up until recently, I’d viewed winter as the waiting time for plants. They usually either died or went dormant, and I’d impatiently wait until spring, for some hint that life was growing again.
However, I’ve since learned that most pruning, repotting and major work in the garden should be done on many plants in the winter. Time after time I’d want to prune a tree or a bush, only to read it “should be done in the winter, after its leaves fall off.” I had several plants threatening to overtake my entire garden, but I had to wait until the winter before I could hack away at it.
There’s something quite satisfying about effectively giving your trees a haircut. Mine went from overgrown messes to something that resembles beautiful, young trees. Though there’s the fear that I’ve killed them in the process, Peter Chan is comforting with his “Don’t be afraid” and “Trees are quite hardy and vigorous” words of advice.
Now I’m eagerly awaiting February, when I can repot some of the plants and prevent their roots from being potbound, then I’m waiting for March, when I can trim my citrus plants.
The more I garden, the more I realize there’s no “off” season.