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Magic Garden Diaries: How Shann got her groove back…

July 4 2023

Hmmph….I’ve got a bad case of the blahs.

My enthusiasm for my garden has been unrelenting this year, until now. I was passionate in January (planting early sweet peas), patient in February (more early sowing), keen as mustard in March and overwhelmed in April. May was super busy – felt like I was never without a trowel in hand, and June! Well, I spent at least two hours a night watering and trying to keep things alive during that heat spell.

And now that it’s July – now that the tomatoes have finally got their toes into the ground and the beans are flowering and even the melons look like they’re going to do a bit – I’ve just gone all – meh. Can’t account for it, really. 

Is it the grey weather? Is it the aftermath of the keep-watering-panic? Is it post-viral fatigue from the Covid-style virus that knocked me out for a couple of weeks? Couldn’t say. But I just wander around the garden, looking at it idly like it belongs to someone else. Dunno. Just really, truly, cannot be bovvered…

It could be the fact that we’re having the kitchen redone and the whole thing has turned into a dark cavern producing endless amounts of sticky dust – and I am now really, truly over the novelty of not having a sink to wash my dishes in. 

Or it could be that July is kind of – IT. As in, all the early expectations and “Let’s see how it turns out” energy has now been locked into place. It is what it is. The containers are what they are. They’re nice, but they’re done. Nothing is going to change that much at this point. They’re just going to get bigger. And then die. 

It’s what happens to an innovator, once everything gets settled into recipes and standardised products. Rich always teases me about having the attention span of a gnat. And it’s true! I had the same issue with the business – the most exciting time for me was in the beginning when I was whizzing around trying out different things, inventing, exploring, trialling, discarding, failing, trying again – whoa, I loved that bit! 

These days, the recipes are set in stone, because we’ve had them all Safety Assessed. Our talented team members make the actual products. They make them by hand, exactly the same way I used to, but it doesn’t happen in my kitchen. (Which is just as well, the way it looks at the moment!) Everything has to be traceable, identical, measured and weighed. It has to all be the SAME. And of course, I get it. I really do. Trading Standards couldn’t protect consumer interests otherwise. 

But oh, sometimes I do miss the frenetic uncertainty of those early days making experimental wonky bars of soap on the kitchen table, and never knowing how things would turn out! 

Anyhow, the only thing that is still firing me with the tiniest bit of enthusiasm is the wildflower meadow. Maybe because that was SUCH an experiment – I literally just flung loads of seeds by the handful over the lumpy, turbulent earth – and just look how it’s all turned out! That’s Nature doing its Nature thing, in the most beautiful and satisfying way possible. 

Watching the bees humming busily through the gorgeous wildflowers actually DOES make me happy…

…and the tiny pepper plant has, with tremendous effort, sprouted a single pepper almost as big as itself! Cracks me up!

And there are two little cukes to slice up for lunch…

… and I’ve got a bunch of lovely silver-leaved plants sitting there waiting to go into the Wishing Grove…and the new bench to put together…

Well, I guess there is quite a bit to do outside after all, I’d better shake myself out of my blahs and get back to it! 

Wishing you boundless enthusiasm and lots of groove –

Hugs from the garden, 


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