2008年11月8日土曜日

An Autumn misconception

First I have to apologise for turning this blog into my own personal pity party- oh I'm lonely, my FIL sucks, I'm tired rah rah rah.  I started this blog to record our life here in what I think is a pretty amazing place.  But you're all so kind and supportive it's just so tempting to whinge and complain so everyone will say 'there, there, you'll be ok.'  But no more!  (well maybe once in February when I am totally over winter and snow and cold and my sister emails me pictures of her sunbaking in some cute bikini?) ;P But for now, back to Shinshu Life.

We first saw this house in November.  It was being sold under sad circumstances and was in a rather unloved state.  A don't take your shoes off before you go inside kind of state.  So when I saw the garden looking like this:



I assumed all that bare brownness was just a lick of TLC away from a beautiful English garden.  We finally moved into the house the following Golden Week after a lot of weekends spent working here.  By Spring the bulbs that are hiding EVERYWHERE had all pushed through and had turned the garden into something out of a Monet calendar.  Spring eased into Summer and the blooms continued and I planted a whole lot of  pansies and daisies and some fruit trees.  My first Autumn I was in awe.  The ornamental maples in the front garden turned brilliant red, the other trees turned yellow and orange and red as well.   Coming from decidedly green all year round Australia I was in love with the season- even before my neighbours started dropping off crates of apples. ;P  Amy was born the end of September that year.  So all the Autumn work was done by DH in an hour or so of invigorating early morning activity before work.  I remained oblivious to Autumn's labours and found myself with a bare garden come November.

The next year I had a three year old and a one year old.  Life was exciting to say the least.  I was so thrilled to leave the children with DH and move at my own pace that I flew through the Autumn leaf raking and dead grass pulling without realising how big a job it was.  

The next year DH got a promotion and worked longer hours.  I was over my excitement at clearing the yard and in a bit of a funk about the long cold winter to come.  Noone cleaned the garden in Autumn and I justified it by thinking of all that leaf mulch I was giving my garden.  

Well the next spring I learnt my lesson when I had to remove bagfulls of rotten and rotting leaves from the garden as my poor bulbs couldn't push through the lank, dank layer.  It is a far more pleasant job raking leaves when they're dry and papery than when they're slimy and mouldy!

And that brings me to this year.  The girls are bigger and need less constant attention but I've taken on that big vegetable garden as well as my  not inconsiderable front and back gardens. What seemed totally manageable in Summer is becoming a bit of a marathon of thankless garden labour.  I'm afraid I'm no longer whistling while I work. :(  The start of Autumn looks like this:


All dead and dry perennials.  All those lilies and lupines and irises and cosmos (I know they're annuals but they come back every year tenfold so clearing them out is a perennial problem!) ;P die back and have to be pulled out, raked up and burnt.

This is a job that makes straight raking leaves feel like a breeze.  Which is lucky as there's plenty of that to do as well.  


One of three shedding trees on the lawn areas.

And now that we have these lawn areas I worked so hard to create and nurture I am out raking leaves every other day.  The longer you leave them the more chance it will rain and the lawn under the leaves will go yellow and .... well I'm beginning to understand why we have the only lawn in the neighbourhood!

So now when I see a bare and brown yard this time of year I don't think, as I used to 'Man, you'd think they could find something to plant that would look nice this time of year.  It's just so bleak.'  Nope, now I'm all 'Wow!  Not a single leaf on the ground!  And all the dead flowers have been cut back, as well.  Wow.  That's a well tended and loved garden if ever I saw one.'  And it reinvigorates me to grab my rake and get out there again.


Aren't I lucky to have such great helpers?

7 件のコメント:

Lulu さんのコメント...

Oh that is so cute.

I love autumn also (and spring) and coming from a place like Queensland where you basically have two seasons- hot and mildly cold, it is nice to be in a place that has seasons.

I think your garden is lovely, it is great that your girls have space to run around too.

Would love to see it in Spring as well!!!!

Tigermama さんのコメント...

What a ton of work to keep your garden gorgeous. I imagine it`s soooo worth it when you see the fruits of your labour! Have you always been a gardener or did you have to learn from scratch when you moved there?

Kim さんのコメント...

Too cute! And, we certainly don't mind your reality blogs, either! We all have similar days! Well, gotta go - Ryu has the coffee on! BTW - I tagged you on my blog! SMILE!

Vicky さんのコメント...

Very nice! I had a brain fart and tagged you for the same thing after Kim tagged me, so now you have to do it!

I love your garden. Please post lots of photos in the spring...

I haven't cleaned up my garden yet, I always think I will get to it after the Halloween party but it's always too late by then, and this year I was caught out by endless rain and now a bad cold, and now it's snowing. Yikes. Another messy garden slime pit to deal with next spring... Now I am wishing for deep snow to hide my sins.

Gina さんのコメント...

I'm looking forward to seing pics of your garden in the Fall as well. : ) And I agree, kids have to have space to run and jump and play! : )

Gina さんのコメント...

Meant in the spring, not fall, duh me. : ) Sorry I snoozed in this morning and just now barely woke up. : )

thefukases さんのコメント...

lulu- thanks. Yeah, it's great. I get to enjoy Autumn with the same excitement as my girls. :) Double thank you for thinking my Autumn garden is lovely- not it's best season!

Tigermama, yeah, lots of work but the upside is no need to join the gym, right? ;P I've had house plants before but full on gardening I've only done since I came here. My mum is a dead keen gardener and my dad runs a one man landscaping business so I've been around gardening for a long time, though.

Kim- thanks for the sympathy- and a husband who makes drinkable coffee? You lucky thing!

Vicky- I hope you got your cleansing and covering snow and fingers crossed for a forgiving Spring. :)

Gina- I'm sure they'd love your jungle gym more but they're happy with pace to run and I m thankful every day that we no longer live in an apartment- what would they do with all that energy??? @_@

And you slept in till 9:30? wow. double wow.