Finishing…

As my infrequent posts here suggest, sometimes I struggle to get things done as I would like.

Work, fatherhood, husbanding, impending fatherhood and life in general all seem to conspire against me getting as much done as I would like.

So, at the weekend, a couple of years after beginning, I was glad to reach the final stages of remodelling the front garden.

When we moved into Casa del Phil, the front was one long patch of lawn, with a scraggly bed and a decrepid wall at the front, and a straight concrete path running to the front door.

As we live by a river that has been known to flood, I was determined not to follow many of my neighbours in just paving over the lot, leaving a few pots/specimens here and there, as I wanted to keep the benefits of drainage, and have a bit of kerb appeal.

First job was ripping up old lawn and smashing down the wall, which was fun. Then creating large steps to give more interest than a boring slope, with a nice path meandering through to the door, to create more of a feel of going somewhere.

Using reclaimed/cheap materials was key as – frankly – I couldn’t afford anything else, and I do like the cottage garden feel.

Fast forward a couple of years to a month or so ago, and plants have established, new beech hedging is settling in, and the slate paving slabs have finally been added.

This weekend was a final tinker with some gravel and tidying the planting, and after a couple of hours labour, I paused to sit on the step for a brew with the sun shining over the garden.

And for the first time in years, I  felt like I’d got it somewhere, achieved something.

It just looked “done”.

I just sat there, lost in the moment, finally, after all the times I’ve walked up the path feeling embarrassed by my own failure to complete something, feeling like I’d accomplished something.

Yes, I still need to sort the lawn/path edges (getting some beech logs and I have four types of lavender potted up ready), but it felt like I’d finally shaped something I wanted, as well as I hoped,  

As quick as I’d like? No.

But totally worth it for moments like that after years of on-off trying.

I guess the point I’m making to myself is that it’s easy to get would up by my inabilities and shortcomings that I privately berate myself with, but perseverance, patience and occasional bloody-mindedness can eventually pay off.

So maybe now, I can start finishing off more things.

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