Breaking the Rules: The Gentle Art of the To Do List
|January's To Do list from last year's calendar, which sparked off today's musing|
I'm a firm believer in the To Do list - it's most satisfying to tick things off as the final nod to a job well done. It seems I'm not alone - monthly lists of gardening jobs are a regular feature in gardening magazines. Websites like the RHS feature them too - here's theirs for January.
Pick any one of these you have to hand and look at it carefully. Does it bear any resemblance to what actually needs doing in your garden? No, it's nothing like mine either. Here's what I need to do this month:
In the garden
- Clear up December's fallen leaves and use them to mulch borders (remember Compost Direct?)
- Cut back fallen stems which no longer have seed heads
- Shred stems, plus the twigs etc brought down by December's storms
- Weed garden path
- See what I have on hand already for the GQT border (my new name for the front garden side border) - I'm thinking Alchemilla, ferns, a grass from a hanging basket (also need to look up whether spider plants are hardy or find out what the hanging basket plant is)
Have the snowdrops started flowering?Yes :)
- RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch on Jan 25-26 (includes regular topping up of the bird feeders)
On the allotment
- Weed raised beds
- Top up 1 raised bed with compost
- Plant garlic
- Gird self and check the compost bins for rats - hope it was a mouse I saw!
- Regular sprouted seed growing
- Some salad leaves each week
Sort out seed tin
- Use up the started salad leaves & herbs packets I have for microgreens
- Sow peas and beans for shoots
- Air cold frames, cloches and fleece on the odd sunny day (both garden & allotment)
Pot up hyacinth bulbs
- Hyacinths + alcohol experiment (see this from Cornell University re alcohol and paperwhites)
- Find the harlequin potatoes I saved for seed which got tidied away for Christmas
I think of the published lists as more of a reminder that I need to create my own rather than seeing a checklist I need to follow. I'll always have jobs left over from their 'proper' month and there'll always be items on the list which aren't applicable owing to the weather at the time, or because I can't grow acid loving plants, or because I planted out my bare rooted fruit bushes years ago, or whatever.
I see them as more of a satisfying reminder of the season's rhythms, the detail of which needs to be bent to suit my needs.
I realise that by writing this I've also published a list of garden jobs for this month. But that's OK, it's my way of making sure I set to and actually do them* - feel free to ignore my list, just like I do with the others ;)
What are you planning To Do this month?
* bearing in mind that "actions speak louder than words" is my motto for 2014