Happy new year (I hope)

Well, here we are in 2014 and I’m glad to see the back of 2013 to be honest.

What started out as a promising year ground to a sudden halt at the beginning of May when a ladder fell from under me (I did not fall off the ladder; in fact I was still holding on to my bit of it for dear life when I hit the ground!). And so started a catalogue of ailments. Muscle problems developed in my lower back. I managed to damage three out of four biceps tendons and the various x-rays showed up some permanent damage to one shoulder joint. To cap it all, I fell down the stairs when the ankle that I’d injured in the ladder fall, and which had not had a chance to heal properly, gave way and so I bruised several ribs. I’m still taking painkillers!

Illnesses and deaths of others came one after another in the latter half of the year adding to my general feeling of fed-upness at being so immobile and useless. Even the cat chipped in by becoming ill and ending up in a pet hospital as the Old Year turned to the New. But at least he’s better now.

But there have been plusses. Almost all of the plants I’d bought through April, ready to plant in May, gave up the ghost but that presents opportunities for this year. Will I buy the same plants or, having spent so much time reading gardening books, will I branch out and experiment? I was pleasantly surprised that the garden managed quite well despite the neglect I lovingly bestowed on it. The areas that hadn’t been cleared ready for new plants burst into bloom at the appointed times; the cleared areas were not immediately covered by weeds and, once the ground dries enough to take my weight, will be easily relieved of the few colonists that have appeared. Which means, I suppose, that I’ve got a head start this year.

And I spent a lot of time last year doing something I rarely do – looking at the garden rather than individual plants in it from a kneeling position. And I have ideas. There are plants to move, to regroup, to divide, to cut back hard. The other half of the pond needs clearing a bit. The shrubbery needs drastic action; one tree will have to go (it’s being co-operative by leaning over at a crazy angle so I’ll be able to chop it to pieces rather than getting a tree surgeon in).

So 2014 is going to be a busy year. And I’m looking forward to it.