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6So, for most people, lockdown will soon be a thing of the past. Not so those of us who are shielding. At the beginning I decided I’d keep active and I (with help from Him Indoors) emptied, tidied and cleaned all the kitchen cupboards over the first few weeks. I was also tending my small garden and was delighted with all the healthy and colourful plants that are thriving. Deadheading? Almost every day. Rearranging? As often as I could. The problem though is that my beds are packed so finding room for others was very difficult.

Next I planned to clean, again with help (why should I have to do it alone?), all the inside windows. Now I’m a dreadful window cleaner, smears all over, but as the sun shone day after day I knew it was no good even thinking of cleaning windows. They still haven’t been done. I concentrated on cleaning the house instead and was on the way to becoming a domestic goddess. Eventually though, the novelty wore off so back to the gardening.

I decided I’d cut back the clem Montana as it was outgrowing it’s allotted space and seemed too heavy for the fence. I decided to dig it up and move it. But where? The only place was at the back of the triangular pergola and I know from experience that whoever built it and the circular paving beneath left plenty of concrete and stone and little space for planting. On advice from other GOY members I jettisoned that idea though I’d still like to have a go. Anyway, it’s now just a few stems against the fence but even after only a few days it’s growing again.

So, apart from keeping busy, I‘ve been trying to hide my resentment and anger at the foolish system which said shielders MUST stay at home. I still can’t see why when being shut up adversely affects the mental processes and it’s quite easy to keep one’s distance. Himself, who had a brilliant memory is now very forgetful almost all the time though as an economist he can still remember the cost of things. I don’t even know the price of a bottle of milk! Things will get better but will the memory recover or will it stay in lockdown? We have now begun to go for a walk. Not in the park where it gets crowded but just around local roads. I was appalled to find that I was frightened. If I saw someone else on the same side of the road as me I panicked slightly but gradually most of that wore off as people were/are considerate and polite for the most part. The anger mostly dissipated but I still don’t understand the mindset of those who wrote that NHS letter. Mental health is important and now there are so many people suffering from depression, insomnia and other ailments.
Anyway, enough of that.
I’ve posted some pictures of my spring garden. Not great design but I like it.

The rose is Gertrude Jekyll, Gertie to me. And she smells as good as she looks. Thank you all for the kind comments.
I’ve attached another two pictures. One is the Sambucus at its best but now going over. It’s spreading too much so will get a trim when flowering is done. The other picture is Lady of Shalott. A scented climbing rose, she’s never looked so good. Neither photo really does them justice though.

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Your frustration is understandable, but I am very impressed with your dedication to keeping busy. We who have cleared our cupboards and emptied our overstuffed garages and outhouses etc. are now stuck with the 'stuff' till the tips open fully. I, for one, can't be bothered to book a slot for getting rid, especially as it will need more than one trip. I still can't imagine everyone will be patient enough to queue up at different shops for every single thing they may want to purchase. It will take hours out of each day!!
Anyway, your garden is really pretty and I hope the clematis shoots off for you. The rose is a smashing colour. Does it have good scent? We have spent a happy couple of hours deadheading roses and the scent has been wonderful in the warmth.

14 Jun, 2020


Your garden is very nice Arbuthnot and it has been interesting to see it develop in the time you have been posting about it. That rose is glorious and the Clematis is a picture! How do you achieve that perfect curve to your lawn, I was lost in admiration!
I feel rather guilty reading about all your cleaning etc. I have been rather lazy and done lots of reading...but did get the hall carpet shampooed at long last...Housework tends to come rather low on my list of jolly things to do...I did clean a few windows but they wouldn't win any prizes...

Sending sympathy with your frustration- yes it is hard but I would rather do without my walks than increase my chances of catching the virus with the odds against survival at our age.. I'm not afraid, just trying to be sensible. Sadly there can't be different rules for people who have lots of space to go out in and those who are more crowded. When I see pics of people in eg central London who clearly are making no effort at all to co-operate I despair.Lets be grateful that we now have a five mile radius allowed and a garden to enjoy what sunshine there is.
OH has done lots of trimming of shrubs etc and like Anget we have heaps of stuff waiting for the tip. We always used to burn our trimmed branches etc but we can't now and there is far too much to go in the boot of the car.
Anyway hang on in there, everything passes.

14 Jun, 2020


yes indeed the shielding has been a blanket thing.
one of our dearest friends is in the final stage of cancer and her oncologist rang her and said. Do what you wish to do in your final weeks/months. Obviously be sensible but do not stay in the house and waste those precious last weeks. So far she is doing ok.

Glad you have kept busy. Helps to keep us sane doesn't it.

14 Jun, 2020


I did it the other way around, all of us have to be confined to quarters as all high risk, decorating ideas went out of the window, as did sorting out drawers and cupboards, no point whatsoever in sorting and chucking stuff out when we cannot get rid, the trailer has gradually filled up though, garden came first, that happens anyway at this time of the year, so no real change there, except it didn't matter if the house was neglected as nobody could visit us, daughter has been working from home so couldn't hoover upstairs during the week, certainly was not doing it of an evening, good excuse, lol... plus hubby is always here, nightmare at times for the first couple of weeks until he got his head around it all, we have so far stayed healthy and sane, given up watching the news reports in the last two weeks, just catch the headlines to see if there is anything I need to know, nothing I can do to change things except continue to be sensible, some of it makes me so angry, that is definitely bad for ones wellbeing.....
Ironic really as two days before lockdown we took possession of a motorhome, hubby and daughter really got frustrated about that, new rules two weeks back did allow us to go out as long as we return home every night so we have been out to local nature reserves, social distancing no problem and we had our own kitchen and toilet facilities with us, that has made a huge difference and we don't feel trapped any longer...
Lovely photographs of your garden

15 Jun, 2020


I think your garden looks lovely, how I envy those Aubretia and your Heuchera look lovely. Aubretia gets eaten by peacocks here and the Heuchera dug up by rabbits, but I keep trying.
I'm glad you can get out a bit again now, I wasn't shielding but OH did all the shopping and when I eventually had to go out, I found it all a bit surreal! all those closed shops and empty pavements.
I admire you for doing all that cleaning! Me I'm with Stera, basics and into the garden, no one is going to visit after all. Like Lincs I found it strange to have OH working from home, but we have now got into a routine.
I love the Black Lace Elder, mine I keep as a tree but the garden man who calls with the woodchip thinks I should cut it to the ground every year, do you cut yours?

16 Jun, 2020


You have a very pretty garden and I too am a big fan of 'Gertie' and all she has to offer.

I can understand your frustration with the lockdown as it must be tedious for you by now. We started off, as you did, sorting everything in sight both indoors and outdoors but alas the novelty has worn off! Still keen on looking after the garden but not so keen on regular housework at the moment!!

Pleased you are able to go out for short walks at least, but I hope that soon you will be allowed to be a little more adventurous but do stay safe from harm.

16 Jun, 2020


Thank you for all the comments on what was basically a moan!

No, Honeysuckle, I don’t cut my Sambucus down each year as it was initially planted to hide the house wall behind. I realise now though that it is almost as wide as it is tall and the plants either side of it are in too much shade. It only gets partial sunlight there anyway.

The ‘perfect’ curve to the lawn is nothing to do with me, Stera. That’s Him Indoors who, when I said I didn’t want a square lawn, marked it all out, asked for approval then went ahead. I do like those small gardens we see on the gardening programmes where they have hidden areas and are filled with lots of tall plants but being slightly claustrophobic and missing the open views of our last home, I decided I wanted to see all my garden at once and I love looking down on it from upstairs.

I deadhead constantly which takes me all of ten minutes but it does seem to be paying off as on one side I have Doronicum still flowering. The same plant on the opposite side has been finished for a while. Very strange.

Thanks again, everyone. I’ll try not to sound so fed up in my next blog!

17 Jun, 2020


Lol Arbuthnot, thank you for making me laugh...

17 Jun, 2020


Glad I could make you laugh, Stera. I love doing that to people but often my kind of humour falls flat so I’ve tried to learn (not very well) to judge my audience before I speak. It’s rather like a comedian who has a poor audience so I’d clearly never earn money with my type of humour. Anyway, if you don’t laugh at life you’d frequently cry given the way the world is.

18 Jun, 2020

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