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Can't prove anything

So I'm digging my first ever border in my new garden. It's proving to be a real task, as I've mentioned in another post. And now it's raining non-stop. Hasn't given up since the beginning of last week, other than yesterday when it was OK. So it's taking me a while to get it sorted out and ready to plant, 'cause I'm not going out in the soaking wet...I'm not quite that mad! Plus the soil is quite 'heavy' so it's no good to work with when it's very wet anyway.

I moved into a bungalow 'cause I can no longer handle stairs and I have various on-going health problems.

I've recently been getting little clues as to how I might be being seen by my neighbors. Just little things, and I know they might be nothing and I might just be taking it all the wrong way(wouldn't be the first time, admittedly). Just things like being asked if I have enough garden bags or if I would like to borrow a sieve etc. I know it sounds like nothing when it's put into type like that.

I worry so much that I might be seen as scruffy or messy and I worry that people will think badly of me. Where I live now is a very well kept cul-de-sac. Everyone has lovely gardens, well kept lawns and lots of colourful plants and borders. People look after things here. I'm starting to worry that they think I won't.

My neighbors are aware that I have health problems, but not the specifics of them. And I'm all too used to people commenting that because I'm 26 that I can't possibly have anything that wrong with me 'cause "I'm still so young". And so maybe I'm just fretting 'cause I have that in my mind.

As I say, it's my first border and I'm having to just take my time with it. I can do it, just not as quickly as I (or anyone else) would like. How long has your borders taken to sort out? Am I just being impatient?

I have herbs and veg in pots at the back, spring bulbs in pots at the front, hanging baskets with salads and flowers. I'm growing more than I ever have before in my little greenhouse. I've bought new hanging baskets for more flowers, herbs and salads, and large pots for my Honeysuckles that I'm hopefully going to be able to 'posh-i-fy' and make big fan supports for them to climb up. And I'll be planting out my tomatoes when it's time. I'm also trying to find a way I can have sunflowers this year (wouldn't have dared have them at my old place, would have just been kicked down and ruined). So it's not like I have nothing to show.

I just want to make a good impression as a new neighbor, and be able to convince them that I do care just as much as they do and I do plan on having a lovely garden too.

Am I just being paranoid and silly?


And I feel I should point out that my neighbors (the ones I know at least) have been very nice to me since I moved. I actually have a fear of people so I can really struggle to go out and especially meeting and being around people I don't know can be impossible for me to cope with, and they're making sure to keep an eye on me and make sure I'm OK : 3



  • BiljeBilje Posts: 771
    Ahh give yourself a break, you know yourself best and you're trying your best. It takes us all a while to meet and mix with new neighbours and by your own admission you have certain problems so it's more difficult for you. Just take your time with the garden, folk will see you are busy and trying hard. Experienced gardeners generally love advising new gardeners but they can also hold back incase they are seen as interfering. I'm sure they are not being judgemental so just be patient with yourself and enjoy the creative process that's called gardening.

    All the very best.

    This is a great forum on all levels.
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,355

    No future in wondering how others see you, be yourself and make a gardenimage


    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,250

    If you are attempting to bring a garden up to the standard of your neighbours then in the end they are going to be pleased rather than critical.

    And I know the feeling about being ill and folks not realising it. One of the reasons we moved here was because I had to take very early retirement, but I looked as fit as a fiddle. I was well known in the town where we lived and people did comment about how well I looked.

    Forget about what others think and just enjoy doing what you can.

  • 4thPanda4thPanda Posts: 4,145

    Hi Blue Dragon image

    It sounds like you are doing the right things in your garden.  It must be very difficult to see the completed borders and think that you are "letting the side down".  They will have already spent the time that you are now getting their borders into shape.  Or they will have paid someone to do it for them image image

    I am sure that no one is looking at you in a bad way, and I know it is hard, but just ignore the comments that may not seem nice image

    Keep up the good work, you will get there in the end image

    Oh, and if you photograph your efforts we will reward you with ooo's and ahh's image


  •  Hi Blue Dragon

    Gardening is usually a ice breaker with new neighbours. 29 years ago we moved in to our present house and the garden needed work on it. The first time I really met our neighbours was on the second week when I totally cut down and removed a overgrown hedge from the garden. I just said "Hello there" as I removed the last part of the hedge They were so pleased as the original owners just left it to go overgrown.Mind you once the hedge was gone the existing fence of theirs was needing replacing as it had been damaged over the years. We have got on great ever since.I think your neighbours are genuinely offering a hand of friendship and help.

    Happy Gardening

    PS I grow sunflowers good choice

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,957

    Bless you - try not to get anxious about things.  It sounds to me as if your new neighbours are trying to be helpful to someone new in the area. 

    As you say they probably know that you have a difficulty and they want to help. I'm sure they don't expect you to wave a magic wand and create a wonderful garden overnight - if they like gardening they know how much hard work it takes - also, as you'll learn on here, most gardeners like to share.image

    Don't worry about having a disability and being young - most people with any amount of intelligence know that disability is no respecter of age and things can strike at any time.  A very dear member of my ex in-law family started having strokes in her late 20s - she had a tough time to start with, but then she moved to somewhere where the neighbours were kind and helpful and she got to know them. 

    They knew that she wanted to be as independent as possible, but all gardeners lend and borrow tools and give cuttings and seeds, and soon she had a lovely garden she and her children could play in, and as her health took a turn for the worse the garden became a sanctuary for her, and her neighbours always knew where to find her, resting in her little garden. 

    Don't put too much pressure on yourself - talk to your neighbours when you feel up to it - explain that you're shy (or something like that) so they know to give you a bit of space, then you'll feel in control of things.  A smile can work wonders even if you're not up to talking that day. image

    And one day you'll be the person offering to help your neighbours or give them a cutting or seedling or two - how lovely will that be?! image

    So no, you're not paranoid and silly - just a little shy and anxious, and gardening is a great way to get some confidence and make some friends - just take little steps - you don't have to do everything at once image



    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • DaisydayDaisyday Posts: 373

    Blue Dragon, it sounds to me that they just want to be friendly and helpful. I do hope you find peace in your garden and don't get too stressy abouti it. You could make some good friends, I'm sure, if you give them half a chanceimage it really doesn't matter how long it takes you to complete your border. What matters is that you enjoy the making of it. Good luck in your new home and may you find happiness and friendship thereimage

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,843

    Relax.   People who have well kept gardens themselves appreciate all the effort and preparation needed to make new beds or revitalise old ones.   They will freely offer help, advice, plants and all sorts.

    No-one expects beds to be dug in pouring rain or in your best clothes.   Once you border is dug and planted don't expect it to remain static.  Plants will grow, weeds will grow, plants will thrive and plants will fail.  It's a dynamic, never ending seasonal cycle looking after beds and gardens.  Enjoy the process and, as your plants get bigger and need dividing, enjoy swapping with your new neighbours whom I hope will become firm friends.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Blue DragonBlue Dragon Posts: 74

    Aww, Thanks Peoples : 3

    That's all really good to read. I am glad I moved here, with older and nicer people. Where I lived before people were not nice at all and when my neighbors there helped themselves into my garden and hacked down both my mature Elder trees that was the last straw for me. I loved those trees.

    I've gone from having bottles thrown at my windows to having Christmas cards put through the door from people that don't know me from Adam. So maybe I just need to get used to all this and stop thinking backwards : /

  • LynLyn Posts: 23,075

    There is nothing a gardener likes more than to be asked a gardening question. Maybe you could approach some of them and ask something, even if you already know, just ask,. I bet they will be only too happy to talk to you.

    Everyone is a bit worried when there' s a new kid on the block, but I am sure you will fit in just fine.

    Just dont think about digging up the front garden and planting spuds and cabbages just yet.image


    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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