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Where does the 'mojo' go?


By ange2


I have been pondering my reactions to my garden. I have been uninterested in it for a few months to the point where I wondered if I would feel much enthusiasm for it ever again.
There are lots of plants that I have enjoyed in the past and
in January and February my old favourites have come and gone: snowdrops, crocuses, hellebores and not raised as much interest in me as in my OH. I can’t explain why that is but it made me question what consistently ‘sparks joy’ in the garden? (to use the well-known decluttering phrase) Three plants have impacted on me this month and I suspect a lot is to do with their simplicity:
1) Camellia japonica

2) Erythronium ‘Pagoda’

3) My favourite ‘close-to-the-species’ hellebore:

I thought it would be interesting to start a discussion about what really lifts the spirits for you each month? Not just the ‘I like that’ plants but the true joys.
I’ll try and remember to put mine up each month. Perhaps you could too?
(And try and explain where the periods of complete lack of interest come from!!)

More blog posts by ange2

Previous post: Finally venturing out.

Next post: What's been happening in the last week.



winter aconites is one that brings real joy. That's off the top of my head. I will 'ponder' others for the seasons.

19 Mar, 2024


The early favourite that lifts my spirits are Snowdrops and (shhh . . . ) Dandelions!

19 Mar, 2024


I can understand your mojo loss, I lost mine last year, for almost everything, not just the garden.
Even my cacti, some of which I've had since the 60's haven't stirred any enthusiasm from me lately. They need watering now, after their long dry winter rest,
but I can't be bothered to do it.

I've been thinking about this and have come to a conclusion - it isn't the plants and it isn't the weather, it's 'me'.
I find that if things stay the same for a long time the place feels stale and stagnant, and I get bored.

I don't want to move, and couldn't afford it even if I did, so I've decided to revamp the garden - give it a new fresh look.
I'm going to move things around and plant some new things, and I'm going to have the path re-laid and have decking put down the bottom.

Then it will look and feel different and new, and I'll feel the same, and I'll have more enthusiasm about it.

I do the same in the house sometimes - I move all the furniture around and the place looks nice and new and different and I always feel better.

19 Mar, 2024


I can understand you losing interest in such a long, wet winter, Ange. I just felt gloomy, but cheered myself by planning for new plants, reading catalogues etc. My spirits are lifted in February by huge drifts of snowdrops, and now in March by the masses of cherry blossom to be seen all around our town …
Good idea for a blog by the way 🙂.

19 Mar, 2024


Sbg and Klahanie: I would love to be able to grow winter aconites but they refuse to stay here! Thanks for your comments.

Muddy, I know where you're coming from with dandelions. They are such a cheerful gold and the insects love them. I leave them in our grass until they set seed.

Funny how this lack of interest develops, isn't it, Hywel? One minute I can be enthralled by things growing in the garden, next month no response at all! I suspect it's often down to low energy levels, and, as you say, boredom. I would love to shake up the garden plan as you are doing but OH wouldn't contemplate it!

Yes, usually the snowdrops stir me into action, Sheila, but not this year, Sheila. We have started now but the incessant rain is getting on my (and everyone's) nerves.

Meadow, OH has begun the pressure washing and done half the patio but rain has stoppped play. Sometimes I think a small garden is the answer!

20 Mar, 2024


That's a pitty Ange, maybe some new plants would help :)

20 Mar, 2024


Any excuse, Hywel!

20 Mar, 2024


Today has been glorious, sunny and mild, perfect to edge the lawn, deadhead Hellebores and any Daffodils remaining from the slugs and snails feasting on them, and to remove the faded brown heads of Hydrangeas.

It has definitely been a struggle throughout Winter to think of days such as this, but I have put that behind me and am looking forward to more sunny days, despite the forecast for rain on most days next week!

I even sowed some flower seeds last Sunday, having said I wasn't going to bother this year ... :o))

20 Mar, 2024


I find that my Forsythia really cheers me up. A bright yellow splash which I can see from my bed! It’s like the sun, even when it is raining. I think it is good to have new projects from time to time .It gives one something to focus on thus staving off any tendency for boredom. I love your Camellias & the Erythronium.

20 Mar, 2024


Hmmm…I can empathise with this Ange. I think it’s more about the weather and time of year than anything. I bet your Mojo will return with the spring..unless there are deeper reasons for a depressive spell. As for the moments of Joy, I don’t think they can be ‘expected’. I think they are always spontaneous. I have been seeing daffodils since Feb. None have moved me. Raised a smile perhaps, but not joy. Then, in the car one day, en route to a retail park and stuck in a traffic jam, we had a spell of sunshine and there were really pretty daffodils in the verge. And there it was..the joy of spring rose in my spirit. It was fleeting and I haven’t experienced it since. But I’d have to say Daffodils will do it for me at some point, most years. Never snowdrops. Pulsatilla vulgaris always thrill me as well. Freshly unfurled leaves on trees, the first flower on any newly planted specimen, ferns unfurling in spring sunshine. Frogspawn. The first woodpecker, fresh Bamboo colms, scents (rose, philadelphus, honeysuckle, coronilla, lilac etc). Birds…often. I was wrong. So many of these can indeed be expected and never disappoint. But I think that first joy of Spring is almost always a surprise! Nice blog, thank you!

20 Mar, 2024


Shirley, I have been doing those jobs too. It's hard to get on with all the downpours, though! It doesn't feel much like spring at the moment.

Ff: I saw a stunning golden forsythia when we were out. We used to have an enormous unpruned one in our garden when we were little. I remember it caused some vicious cuts from broken branches. We made it our den!

21 Mar, 2024


The wind has been taken out of my sails over the last 18 months too; it started with a TIA in September 2022, followed by severe vitamin D deficiency in January 2023. The not knowing when my hip replacement op would take place ended last September and I thought I would soon be able to enjoy walking my dog again, but epilepsy ended his life in December. I began this year with persistent brain zaps, no mojo and the diagnosis of Trendenlenburg Gait, so apparently I won't be able to walk properly again for a bout 2 - 3 years. I used to set myself up for each day by spending a bit of time at my bobbin lace pillow but I couldn't face that either. The snowdrops put on a fantastic although late display which put the notion into my head of getting outside and throwing myself into restoring the garden. It has eased the pain of losing Benji a bit although the hip and back have whinged. My lacemaking friends have encouraged me to keep my bobbins moving too, I'm looking forward to spending time in the Summer months making lace surrounded by the perfume and colour of the roses, and perhaps exploring some of our favourite local walks in the beech woods too, I love seeing the carpet of bluebells there, though I shall miss my little walking companion.

21 Mar, 2024


Ange, today is not the sunny one as was forecast, there is a mist or sea fret hanging around ... :o(

21 Mar, 2024


Oh put my issues into perspective. I hope you overcome all of these horrible health challenges! And I’m sorry about your furry companion. :(

21 Mar, 2024


Karen, thank you for your thoughtful response. I think maybe the lack of sunshine has something to do with it. The continuous grey for weeks on end, perhaps. Today I cheered myself up by buying a Phoenix canariensis for £10 from B&M. A really good-sized plant, too. I suppose the desire to start buying plants is a good (or bad!!) sign.

Xela, I agree with Karen. Losing a beloved pet is such a painful thing on top of other challenges. Having good friends like yours are such a positive help. I hope the spring brings you the personal steps you are looking to take.

21 Mar, 2024


.Ange that gave me food for thought, obviously I know why my mojo disappeared in the last few months, feeling lonely, made worse by the awful weather, arthritis really giving me gyp to the point that I cannot walk up my own stairs or even the hill back to my home without being in agony, and hands that swell up every night and won't work when I get up in the mornings...
However !!!!!
I'm not allowing it to beat me, my garden still gives me joy, I've cut the lawns twice in the last month, used my long handled tools to work around the planting in the beds and as long as I don't bend too much or try to kneel down I'm doing okay....
Any new growth appearing in the garden after being asleep through the winter is what delights me the most Ange, even before the buds appear, it doesn't really matter whether its bulbs showing or shoots on the trees and the shrubs, I'm especially ecstatic when my Acers start to sprout as some of them are getting on in years now and to lose them would be devastating and very costly for me to replace....
I love it when buds appear on my roses, get excited when I see the frogs back in the pond and the birds collecting nesting materials, I guess what I really mean is that I like nurturing the contents of my garden and it makes me happy to see them surviving and bringing shape and colour in my space...
Too many to choose from Ange its just a great feeling to see and encourage the cycle of life.....

22 Mar, 2024


xela, I ‘m sorry to hear that your lovely pet Benji has gone. Never forgotten though. We just have to remember all the good times spent together when this happens. It’s nice that you are able to find so much positive in the garden & the Spring flowers everywhere. The Magnolias & Camellias have been brilliant this year. ‘ Keep your Pecker up’ is what we used to say in Manchester, where I grew up. I hope you have a good year to come.
Linclass, the arthritis sounds horrid. I’m so fortunate to escape it. My message is for you too as well as Xela.

23 Mar, 2024


I can empathise, Ange. I found myself feeling a little disenchanted with gardening from last summer, I suppose.
I'm not sure why? I can't really explain. Maybe because my job has been a bit overwhelming for some time. We had 2 staff off sick for months and there are only 6 of us altogether.
For the first year ever, I threw myself in to yoga, going to more classes and sound bath sessions..
Even now, despite gardening today and cutting the grass for the first time this year, I'm not overly elated. I'm peeved as my bulbs have been munched.. plus OH put topsoil on last year, the back lawn looks dreadful.
I'm not a big Spring person. More summer and autumn. I like the warmth of both.
I'm not sure which plants resonate for me in the early months..possibly the hellebores, from late January through to now.
I bought some Erythronium late last year, so I'll plant them in August and look forward to seeing them next Spring.
I think you've come up with a good idea there, having everyone comment on their favourites every month.🤗

23 Mar, 2024


OH, lincs, I'm sorry you're hving mobility issues. I moan enough when I crouch down and can't get back up without a lot of effort! And I can sympathise with your emotional reaction to the last few months. I am inspired by your mental 'get up and go'. I think I could do with some of that..
My acers are also coming into bud in the g'house and in the garden. Unlike last year we don't seem to have lost any. I also enjoy the froglets and birds. We have been serenaded by a beautiful blackbird for the last few days so their thoughts are obviously turning amorous. Thanks for your commets.

Kate, I think you and I are on the same wavelength! I agree that if we are mentally or physically overwhemed that can have a severe knock-on effect. And I agree with the experts that the best way to recover mental good health is to get out in nature and be active. So I was surprised by my unusual lack of reaction to my garden this season.
Yep, my bulbs have all been munched too. It seems to be an epidemic this winter! P'raps when we've put a lot of effort in it's hard to be phlegmatic when it doesn't come up to expectation. We all like to see bonny results and I have been particularly peeved about results here over the last couple of years :-) That's my problem, not Nature's!!
I hope members will take the trouble to follow up with their 'joy-makers' each month. Quite often suggestions for discussion seem to fall flat.

23 Mar, 2024


Must agree, Ange. Things can happen and either knock you back or for some, spur them on for distraction. Sometimes, despite the will, the actual momentum isn’t there, for reasons unknown at times.
I think winter doesn’t help, it’s cold, wet, windy etc. the thought of getting wrapped up and going out there in January or February in sludgy wet gardens..I’m a girl who likes the heat!
I’m so limited in our small back garden, not so much out front. My ideas are limited also..
Regarding the joy-makers, I will endeavour to do so, monthly! 🤞

24 Mar, 2024


Thanks, Kate.

24 Mar, 2024

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