Leaving a garden in its prime & discovering a new perspective

July 27, 2012

Blue skies – a rare sight in Ireland this summer – but at what price?

I’m taking a break from my garden in Ireland.

There I’ve said it. After a tremendous amount of work and effort to get here, three airports, two plane journeys and over five thousand miles later, we’ve now in the U.S. where we’re staying with close family.

As we’re taking a long break I needed to arrange house sitters to look after our home, cats, dogs, fish, hens and garden and these are now firmly ensconced in our unusually clean and tidy house and I can finally relax.

Part of the reason I’ve been so busy on the run up to this trip is that I’ve had to scrub my house from top to bottom in preparation for our house sitters. That took some doing I can tell you as domestic goddess isn’t one of my usual titles. I cook, clean and tidy but in all honestly can’t remember the last time I washed the skirting boards, swept the cobwebs from the light fittings or cleaned out the hot press.

Freshly decorated

As if that wasn’t enough, a couple of weeks before we set off on our journey I had a notion (as women are apt to do) and got the builders in to finish off some outstanding rendering and plastering work in the hallway, one of the few jobs that needed doing to finish off our house renovations and make it more attractive for our house sitters, which of course added painting, decorating, more hoovering and scrubbing to the already overflowing job list.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get the garden in tip-top condition with all the rain we’ve had over recent weeks (and housework!), but it’ll survive. Knowing we’d be away is also why I haven’t sown as many vegetables as usual this year. Just two days before we left my potatoes succumbed to blight and I’ve had to leave the tubers in the ground knowing I wouldn’t be home to dig them up (am hoping the lad who’s cutting the lawns will do that!). My onions will be ready for harvesting while we’re away and all the outdoor strawberries will have come and gone by the time we return.

A new perspective – desert flora


It’s difficult leaving gardens that you care for and work so hard at – planning, planting, sowing and then watching them growing – but trips in a lifetime don’t come along that often and I can’t deny the thought of seeing the sun again made it easier! The garden will still be there when we return, though it may take a bit of rediscovering under all the weeds!


So now we’re here and the unwinding process is starting to take place. Instead of blogging about damp but gloriously green gardens in Ireland I’ll be sharing a few observations from an exceptionally hot (by Irish standards) and drought ridden Albuquerque in New Mexico – a sprawling city surrounded by desert, where anything remotely green stands out like a flashy neon sign.

My next post will be about one of the most enjoyable days out we’ve experienced in a long time – the Albuquerque Botanical Gardens, where we were enthralled by multicoloured butterflies, entranced by enormous beatles and mesmerised by darting dragonflies.

I hope you’ll join me.

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