There are going to be some big changes here over the next few months: I will be leaving my garden and allotment early next year because I have sold my house!
My children and I have lived here for almost 20 years and it wasn’t an easy decision for us to make, but sometimes life and circumstances mean that moving is the right thing to do. For those new to my blog, my children are now 21, 23 and 26 and are all students. The boys (21 and 23) are in the third year of their respective degrees and my daughter is about 2/3 through her PhD.
I decided to keep this off social media and not mention it on this blog until I had accepted an offer. We didn’t expect it to happen this quickly, that was a lovely surprise and hopefully it will all go through ok. Of course I am going to respect the privacy of the buyers, but they seem great.
Where am I going? Well, I’d like to keep that to myself just for now because I haven’t found a house yet – will reveal all in due course. It is out of Somerset, and it is likely that I will rent for a few months there in order to be able to view the potential properties (it’s quite a long drive from here). I am looking for a bigger garden (hurrah!) and a house with enough space for my work and so that my children can come and stay. And good wifi 🙂
So this will be our last Christmas here. All being well (and frankly we can’t take anything for granted this year, can we?) all three children will be home and we can celebrate together. That’s one reason why I have been making festive drinks today (see this blog for the recipes), in readiness for our time together.
It has been a very strange autumn in the garden. I have beds planted for over wintering crops at the allotment and home, many of which I am cropping now, but didn’t plant any garlic or broadbeans. There are still all of the other usual autumnal jobs, so I am spending plenty of time outside gardening – tidying the brassicas for example: removing dead or damaged leaves to reduce slug habitat and increase airflow.
I’m also spending a lot of time packing and decluttering – a huge amount of time! Many, many trips to the local tip/recycling centre…. over 19 years of “keeping something just in case”!! When you’re paying someone to move (and quite likely store for a few months) your possessions, you really start to question the value of each item. It’s so satisfying. Fortunately most things are recyclable and we have excellent facilities nearby – I’ve been there so many times recently I have lost count… And also donations to the local charity shop (when there isn’t lockdown), and giving things away locally so that someone else can enjoy them.
This is my life just now … filling up empty boxes. It is a lot of work. Some kind people have noticed that sometimes I don’t post on my social media for a few days – this is probably why, lots of box packing.
Fortunately Charles is selling a lot of books from his website and keeping me supplied with empty boxes, which is very handy. Charles and I will continue to work together (we co-own a business) and look forward to speaking at garden shows next year (if they go ahead….) but for geographical reasons I’ll no longer be doing the Homeacres courses with him. If you’re wondering, we were a couple for about eight years, but broke up six months ago.
I’ve almost finished packing up the greenhouse and will be starting on the shed next week. I will of course be taking an awful lot of gardening things with me: dalek composters, hotbins, waterbutts, loads of module trays etc.
As I empty a dalek composter and mulch with the compost, it is going into the polytunnel to store and keep dry. This is another big change. Usually I am growing all kinds of edibles in the polytunnel over winter, but this year the priority is getting everything clean and dry so it can be moved. That’s why there won’t be any lovely polytunnel photos – there are some edibles in there, but it is gradually becoming a crucial storage facility. (The polytunnel itself is part of the house sale – don’t worry, I will have a new one in my next garden.)
This is the polytunnel in November a few years ago.
I stopped using the Hotbins a few months ago so that the compost could be used in the garden with plenty of time to clean and dry them for removal (it takes 3 months to be ready). Kitchen waste is going into the pallet compost heaps that I am leaving behind, but any food waste is now sent to the council recycling facility. Another change!
So for the next few months I will be blogging (and posting on my social media) about how I am preparing my garden, home and allotment for moving – and recipes and other things too. I have been so lucky to have a garden for almost 20 years, the longest I have lived anywhere, and being able grow along side it as it evolved from a garden which was half productive and half for children to play in to one in which I have tried to grow as much as possible, year round.
It is going to be so weird leaving this tiny market town where my kids grew up and we know so many people, but my friends are rather keen to come and visit me when I get my new place. I am especially going to miss Audrey, the best neighbour in the world.
I’m also going to miss my wild things. I was watching a queen wasp in the garden a few days ago and wondering if she would like to move with me….!!
So I have been making the wild things little houses out of broken pots and odds and ends 🙂
It’s the start of a new big adventure, I hope you will enjoy sharing the journey with me.