New Season: New Plans

I am not alone in feeling that September is the beginning of a new year, Charlotte agrees and so does Nancy. Holidays over and done with, a fresh new school term under way and a wonderful new season begun. So strongly do I feel a sense of new beginnings in September that I buy a new diary. This year I have bought a bigger, better version of my favourite Moleskine 18 month weekly planner. It has plenty of space to write appointments and whatnot and a lined page for my lists, menu plans and acoounting. The children have their new exercise books and I have my new diary.


The new school year has brought with it many new demands on my purse.
Fed up of being greeted with  'I need new football socks/a copy of The Odyssey/sketching pencils/a Spanish dictionary/a drum syllabus/ trainer socks/a rubber' each time they walked through the door I put a piece of paper on the fridge with 'Stuff We Need' written across the top. I took it shopping with me this morning and was relieved to see that they hadn't added 'an iphone/an xbox/ a Superdry coat' to it.


I have made a new year's resolution too. It is, to do the ironing every day. Every day. I don't know why I never worked this out before, but if you iron every day you never have to spend two hours on Sunday afternoon standing at the ironing board ironing shirts. I probably only iron about a third of all the laundry I do but it can quickly build up. Now, the most I have to iron at a time is five things, it's so liberating.



In my garden new plans are being developed and pondered. I have neglected my garden badly.


My garden seen from my back door

Looking towards the house



A bed of weeds


 Although it is very small I find it quite overwhelming to contemplate how much needs doing in order for it to become the flower and fragrance filled sanctuary of my dreams.
I have, therefore, come to the realisation that I must not make big plans for my garden but little plans, tiny little plans. I will tackle one small area at a time.




This is the area I am going to begin with, between these two trees; a prunus serrula and a himalyan birch. It's only about four foot by two foot. I have in mind a woodland spot. The untidy, uninteresting shrubs will be removed, the raspberries will be removed, compost will be applied and bulbs will be planted. Lily of the valley and woodland bluebells. Possibly aconite and snowdrops too. Maybe something tall against the fence would be a good idea? There is ivy already but perhaps foxgloves would add to the woodland theme? I'm not a gardener, I will be consulting an expert (my mum).


Comments

  1. Hi Sue - yes I iron every (most!!) days and it is good not to have mountains of the stuff.
    Our garden is huge and I try to garden regularly in between the trees as you have described and then when I have completed the circuit I start again deadheading, edging, weeding, renewing etc from the start - that way there is never much to do - like the ironing!

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  2. I never, ever iron anything! I only make an exceptions for weddings and funerals. I did iron my wedding dress this summer.

    G irons his work shirts and everything else is hung on hangers when damp and I ignore any remaining creases.

    I do admire your approach to the garden. My approach is more 'ignore and deny' but I think yours is better.

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  3. Anonymous4:31 pm BST

    Oh yes, daily ironing, I'm a big fan. A days worth can be whipped off apace, whereas the momenum goes with a large pile to tackle. You'll soon become a gardener once you start. My daughter, who is your age embraced gardening this year and now she is the expert and I stand in awe.

    Bellaquidsin.

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  4. I think the new year beginning in September is a great idea. January resolutions seem doomed to failure in the gloom. I've never managed to get further than day four of a 365 photo project for example! Hopeless! I think I could manage daily ironing if there was somewhere to leave the ironing board up and ready at any time. Perhaps I need a laundry room!?!

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  5. I too do as little ironing as possible every day, the trick is though, to do it early when you are rested and there is something good on the radio to distract you from one of the most boring and thankless tasks known to man. Leave it till later and the thought of it hangs in the air like a black cloud.

    I have a thoroughly boring garden ( all green) every year I say I will remedy the situation, we have been here 18 years now, yes I am THAT idle. Your planting ideas sound lovely, a tiny patch at a time I can manage I think. I wish I had your Mum as a backup though I am pretty clueless.

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  6. I iron every other day, have done for years!
    Like you I need to do the garden, just ordered a Garden Wheelie Bin from our Council so we don't have to worry about going to the tip, another job OFF the list!
    Julie xxxxxxx

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  7. I love your ironing plan, but my two hours is always filled with pure guilt free TV - I couldn't give that up. It's guilt free.

    Nina xxx

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  8. Hi Sue
    I agree about September feeling like a new beginning. It is a month which I very much like. Especially when it comes to cooking and baking!
    Ironing...I too recently decided to iron every day or as and when there is ironing to be done and it does work. So much better and satisfying!
    Isabelle x

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  9. I love the idea of new year starting in September. January is such a dull and uninspiring time to start a year. Ironing...I do it only when absolutely necessary (i.e. pressing patchwork projects!)

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  10. Oh ironing is a mega pain, doing it every day is such a good idea, i wonder if i would stick to such a commitment. Your garden reminds me of mine, i def feel over whelmed at times when i look at all that needs doing, a bit at a time sounds good, best of luck with yours, the plan so far is lovely, specislly the snowdrops & bluebells Mmmm
    Have a great week Karen x

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  11. I have always ironed clothes at the 'still slightly damp' stage. It's much easier. Then, they finish airing on the hanger or on a small clothes horse that I have known all my life. It stands in the kitchen - which is warm enough in the summer, when the heating is not on. I will put my ironing board up for just one or two items quite happily!
    Regarding the garden, before you commit yourself to a plan of action, or spend any money, work out which way each side faces. With three sides to the garden, you could have three different 'zones'. For example, woodland plants do well here in north-facing shade, while other plants need as much sun as possible, or even to be shaded from early morning sun. You will save a lot of money by getting this right before your start!

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  12. I love the idea of a 'Stuff we Need' list on the fridge. Ironing ... um, my husband does it (sorry ladies, he's mine!).
    Looking forward to seeing your garden transformed, even if it is one little bit at a time. I think maybe I need to take the same approach with my house ... I can't think of a room that wouldn't be better for some paint and new curtains!

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  13. I never iron anything and in fact I wanted my iron today and I seem to have lost it. (I wanted to gently press some knitting).

    I wish I had green fingers but for anything that enters my garden it is the kiss of death. I can't prune or cut back things as it feels cruel, and I especially hate to hear such phrases as 'pinch off the flowers', I couldn't possibly. The basil I bought for eating has been sitting on my kitchen sill untouched all summer as I don't like pulling leaves off. That explains why my garden tends to look after itself. When you leave your garden alone, at some stage or another, you tend to get brambles and with them blackberries. My last garden had amazing berries. Sadly I don't have them here. I would love to have raspberries as I like them more than strawberries.

    I find gardening very confusing, I imagine in the same way some people find cooking difficult. It sounds simple but it never is. Making changes a titchy bit at a time seems a good way to go.

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  14. I *think* about ironing every day. Does that count?

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  15. Veg Artist, thanks so much for that advice. Fortunately that particular bit between the trees does face north.

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  16. Admire anyone who irons regularly and "wow" to every day. I iron on a need basis. I've got a rack drier above the cooker (no peg marks) and take the time to carefully fold. Of course, not as neat as ironing but much less hassle.

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  17. I resolve to do the ironing every day at least once a week, and I think I need to use your Stuff We Need list idea!

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  18. Rachel F10:59 pm BST

    ironing is fun Sue, really! You can daydream while you do it and put off other more onerous tasks by saying you have a 'pressing engagement!'
    Dont have a garden but have yet to tackle my window boxes so sympathise with you on that one - little by little is the way to go!

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  19. That is my absolutely favorite planner, and my daughter is also addicted! My mother is a nut for ironing. It is her time to sit on her high stool, iron and relax. If it fits on the ironing board she will iron it! I don't have that gene, but luckily my husband does. It's in the place where his "tidy up" gene should be.

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  20. DeborahS8:05 am BST

    Hi Sue

    First of all, thanks for a lovely blog - always interesting and a good start to my day.

    For me September has always felt like the start of the new year - maybe because Jewish New Year does indeed start in September/ October (depending on when the new moon comes). This seems entirely fitting.

    Your garden will be lovely - such a nice canvas to work on. especially with the lovely tree view at the end of it.

    All good wishes for you own new year.

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  21. DeborahS8:11 am BST

    Me again. Just a thought. My top tip for the garden (having remodeled mine this year) is to make a good sized herb and edible flower bed right near the kitchen. I can step outside and pick every kitchen herb I want without ever getting muddy and if I'm quick without getting too wet. I have sage, mint (in a pot) fennel, hyssop, lavender, rosemary, thyme, parsley, lots of marigolds, pansies, and an alpine strawberry and chive edging. It looks lovely and tastes great.

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  22. Thank you Deborah. I've got that bit right then. If you look at my second picture you can see a bed near my back door with a crab apple tree in the middle of it. It isn't very big but it has my currant bushes, my bay tree and all my herbs. It needs some attention too and I am thinking of enlarging it a bit. It is indeed very convenient to have the herbs just by the back door.

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  23. Anonymous8:59 am BST

    I say to myself "I'll iron for half an hour" - it's amazing what you can get done. Also, I think your garden looks lovely, weeds and all.

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  24. Perfect time of year to be planning a garden revamp. Go for foxgloves I'd say in a mix of pinks and whites, they look so poretty underneath trees. You can start seeds off now to flower next year, then they'll set seed for the following and so on. All the best with your plans.

    I rarely iron either (luckily no shorts required yet, still in non iron uniforms) I do the bits and pieces that really need it as and when. life's far too short!

    Have a lovley week.
    Stephx

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  25. I iron on Sunday nights while Mr Coffee cleans the floors. This has been presented to him as a fair division of labour. In reality, I get to stand in front of the TV for an hour whilst he gets wet feet.

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  26. Yep - thSept is definately the new year and I love it! perhaps its working in education as well as having school age children. My new spet resolution is to teahc my son to iron his own shirts - then i won't have to break my own 'I don't iron' policy

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  27. I love my molskine 18 month planner. It is brilliant and I don't understand why more planners do not have the facing page for notes, lists, etc. I just bought one for my daughter gone away for her first year of college in Georgia. Oh, and I never iron anything either. My poor husband has it done at the cleaners; I'm terrible at it. I hang my own things in the steamy bathroom and it's good enough.

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