Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Hello Happy Nichola

Hello Happy Nichola

I wanted to share with you what discovering gardening has done for me since I've began my education in this fabulous hobby. I shall try keep it short as to not to bore you but I hope it may be of some use.

So as a typical busy on the go mum & wife getting wrapped up in everyday chores and responsibilities I started to become a bit lost with myself. I can do mum quite well (most of the time when they aren't making me yell or despair) and I can do being Mrs W good too but being Nichola, well I didn't really know how to! I didn't really have anything to escape to or have a hobby that kept me engaged enough (like my 2 year old boy I get bored easy!). Things came to a crunch when I hit my lowest point I had ever been. Things at home weren't great with Mr.W losing a job and wondering how on earth we would cope and trying to keep the family happy just became all a bit too much. I cried lots, I over thought a LOT, and I just couldn't see any light at all. Thankfully a little hope was thrown our way when Mr.W managed to get a new job, great so the 'normal' functions of family life could start to get back on track but I knew that I had to find something for me to do where I could switch off from being mum & wife. 

Hello gardening! I can't really remember exactly how it started but I had a pack of seeds(Cosmos Versailles Tetra) I'd gotten free from a magazine and thought "Oh I'll give it a go and hope for the best!" Wow I couldn't believe I had managed to not kill them. They actually became the start of my obsession. Everyday I got up I would check on them, soon as I returned home they would be checked again. Then when the first flower bud appeared I was elated. What a proud moment I had (sounds a bit pathetic haha) but it was like nurturing a baby-minus the sleepless nights and smelly nappies! So a few more different seeds were sown with success which helped me create my fabulous hanging baskets, and well the rest as they say was history. I had something that I could be good at for ME that gave ME satisfaction and made ME happy, you get the picture here :D. 
A Very happy Nichola 
The lovely thing about gardening is there's always something to learn regardless of experience or age and I love to learn. I got a fab bunch of books off Mum-who is a very good gardener, which I read lots to get to grips with and find rather fascinating. I've got some lovely friendly people on Twitter who offer fantastic advice when you need it too all from different backgrounds. The other nice things are it gives you escapism from everyday woes and offers you down time to reevaluate life's little trivias. It gets you outdoors and out with nature, yes even if it rains a little. It's a good bit of exercise but it's the best for giving you mindfulness & hope! For me it's helped me be Nichola again with extra happiness & a new lease of life. 

Until next time
N xx

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

A Busy time

A busy time for gardeners

Well the sunshine finally arrived in Middlesbrough and it's been non stop since. The summer months bring some of the biggest rewards for gardeners of all levels, reaping the benefits of hard work on the lead up from sowing seeds,buying plugs,organising/planning borders,baskets and pots. BUT it's not quite time to sit back and relax(too much). A few important jobs that become part of my routine begin. The hotter weather means we have to feed feed feed those wonderful plants. Watering my plants has become a daily ritual which I prioritise at the top. Some days life takes over & I did forget once to get out which proved a bit costly! My fabulous baskets succumbed to the heat(you have never seen me run so quick to fastly grab the watering can to save them!!) thankfully they bounced back and look as radiant as ever and nothing stops me from forgetting again!! I also give them a liquid feed once a week (Miracle Gro all purpose soluble feed) that gives them the nutrients needed & helps flower growth.

Another top job to do (and I find this one super therapeutic) is dead heading. I knew it was a job that had to be done before I began gardening seriously but I fully understand why it is done. Not only does it stop your plants looking a little scruffy and drab, it encourages new growth which prolongs the plants giving you more time to enjoy them. There is something calming about pottering around checking on the plants picking up on any little issues or simply being proud of successfully  nurturing such a wonderful part of nature that brings extra lovely benefits to wildlife. Another little added benefit is being able to collect all of the fabulous seeds for future growing & possible gifting if you happen to run out of room!! 

I quickly want to show you some gorgeous plants I have managed to keep alive and are thriving(despite an ongoing war with slugs!) I can quickly become disheartened but having read tweets & posts on Facebook groups I've kept up with removing as many of the little critters as I can each night which is paying off. My little garden is becoming an abundance of colours and sweet smells. 

I have a Gazania Hybrid, Crocosmia Monbretia, Verbena(compact variety) and the gorgeous 'Blacky' Fuchsia.

I shall let you enjoy them and hopefully anyone just starting out gardening like me can see how rewarding it is!!

Until next time 

N xx