I Went And Lost My Mojo

My gardening mojo that is; my gardening wherewithal or my gardening oomph, if you prefer. I distinctly remember seeing it just before Christmas – if only fleetingly.

To be honest we’ve not been constant companions these past few weeks.

And then during Christmas and barrelling through into the New Year, we seem to have parted company altogether.

I’ve had little appetite for getting mud on my boots and dirt under my finger nails. Little inclination to wield my secateurs and brandish my digging fork.

But now there is a huge amount of gardening to do. Work has been piling up. And for a professional gardener the loss of his (or her) gardening mojo is a problem. Without it, it has proved impossible to get motivated; to pull myself up by my bootstraps and knuckle down to some good honest, mucky graft.

But then, today, after some persistent stormy weather, there was some, well, there was some light. That light. That sunlight of mid winter. Low and sharp and dazzling, shooting long thin shadows out across the lawns. And do you know what? It helped me find my mojo. Wet, bedraggled and deflated maybe (and skulking behind a gooseberry bush) but I found it. Yay!

And all of a sudden the world seems a fine and grand place once again. With my mojo back (and safely stashed in my back pocket) I want to garden again. I need to garden again.

I’m raring to go.

22 thoughts on “I Went And Lost My Mojo

  1. Read this in early December 2015, but the dilemna of losing one’s gardening mojo as winter creeps up, is a perennial one…The weather gets colder and soggier, the ground muckier, and the light lower, and ones motivation to bundle up, felcoes and fork at the ready decides that hibernation isn’t only for animals. After spending most of the year immersed in the seasonal tasks a garden demands, it’s not surprising, as creatures of nature ourselves, that we might slow a little, reflect on the year, plot new horticutural forays, and enjoy the still and peace of the winter season. As soon as reddish tinges appear on the trees, and the sun summons the tiny leaves to show a hint of green, the urge to head out yet again seems to return. Not to say I don’t have to kick myself out the door sometimes in a good rain ; )

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    • Fancy seeing you in this dusty archive, Jo. I’d mostly forgotten this post but it seems my mojo slips away every year. Which is almost reassuring. I’m hoping mine completely returns very soon – there is already so much to do but a bad back has slowed me right down. D

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  2. Hi GS, I used to try and go away for two or three weeks every winter; off to somewhere hot and exotic. Haven't done it for a while now but am definately going to start again.

    Hi Donna, thanks for dropping by and I'm pleased you're finding your gardening spirit again too.

    Dave

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  3. Boy this post hit a spot. Christmas for me was a real mojo drain. It was like it was sucked dry. I need to see some brightness back in the landscape and winter only just begun. We have been lucky lately, at least we have had a lot of sun, time to fill the mojo coffers again.

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  4. Dave, for me it's harder to get going in the winter. There is less sunlight and it's diffused. It also feels more like family time and less like work time. Glad you got going again. The powers that be could give half of us December off and the other half January off to renew everyone for the New Year. Just a thought!

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  5. Oh no. Not you too Janet? I can't believe you'd ever be so careless as to misplace your mojo. Now put the book down and go find it for goodness sake. At once. Tut.

    Hi Nat, you're always so chipper. It helps to hear that I'm not the only one who, just sometimes, just wants to ignore gardens, compost and plants and instead tunnel into a big pile of duvets and pillows (that last bit might be only me). I like the skipping cd analogy. Spot on. And I'm going to nail the mojo into place so it can't drift off again!

    Dave

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  6. Not your mojo! I know how you feel, especially in the winter. Somedays I snap out of it, look around at the 100's of plants and gasp. My whole life has suddenly began to revolve around the plants, I look around erratically and think to myself, have I lost my mind!? Then, much like a skipping cd, I'm back to who I am, a plant lunatic. Happy the mojo is back, and hopefully here to stay. Spring is coming early this year!

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  7. I nearly missed this post…it must have gone up when I was looking for my mojo… so I just decided to get out a good book until it comes back ie the days are longer and the sap rises..

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  8. Thanks Esther, sound words indeed. Being self employed, I've rarely taken more than a couple of days off at Christmas in the past. Taking almost two weeks off this year seems to have alienated me even more from the garden. But after this post, I do seem to have shaken off my gardening blues.

    I suppose, Elaine. But I was just aware there is so very much to do. So as much as I needed a break it was also making me panic the more time I was taking off. I'm not called the Anxious Gardener for nuffing.

    Hey Faisal, kind and considerate words. Often I feel yes, if only the garden were set in aspic. I could re-arrange to my hearts content but each part, each component would remain perfect. Unsullied. Tempting but I would miss the spontaneous and the unexpected. Huh, there's no pleasing some people. Some Davids. I can certainly see that the Australian high summer might be challenging.

    Hi Jane, if I gave myself a slap every time I got a bit soppy I’d be a constant shade of indigo. Go on – be a bit soft, I shan't tell.

    I think WW, if I had booked a two week holiday things would've been easier. A total break and all. But not knowing when I might really WANT to go back to work was a bit odd and an unknown to me. You're very right about the difference re prof and amateur gardening. My own garden is a disgrace, frankly whereas the Priory is seen by all manner of people and is a proclamation of what I am as a gardener. No excuses.

    Hi Boys, I guess. Though frankly I don't find winter a particularly quiet time or at least this year hasn't been. The grass kept growing (is still growing) and that has meant everything else got put off. And now the bulbs are coming up already. Sheesh, never-ending eh?

    Hi Holley, I like “they say you have to act before you find the motivation to act.” Hadn't heard that before and it is certainly true.

    Hi Stacy, certainly my own garden suffers from a lack of enthusiasm but I can't really explain to clients why their gardens aren't looking tip top. “Er, didn't much feel like gardening. Nah, couldn't be bothered.”

    Your Afghan sounds yummy. Has he a name?

    Winter can be grim here, but on a clear, crisp sunny day there isn't anywhere I'd rather be.

    Ah, Mr K but I have to garden or I don't get paid! There's the rub. All is soaked here too. If I walk over the Priory lawns my footprints are left as evidence for days afterwards.

    Thank you Sara and yours too. Stark low sunlight is amazing isn't it. (Though a pig to drive into).

    Hi Helen, I do think I overdid it last year with barely a holiday. This year I'm going to have more time off (I have an excellent stand-in for the Priory called Andrew).

    You do that, Liz. Take your time, I can keep a secret.

    Dave

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  9. I don't think I've spent more than a few minutes in my garden for weeks if not a month or so now… I am itching to get out and do something though but I'm going to procrastinate a little longer and allow the wind to die down before I attempt anything.

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  10. Easily misplaced, is a mojo. Hurrah for finding yours again so soon! Really hard when it's your job, and the weather is playing tricks. I love it when the light is strong and low, though, promising more and better to come!
    Long live your mojo!
    S

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  11. Hello Dave,
    The answer to your problem is to get a job in the North! I couldn't garden, even if I wanted to. It's dark by four and everything's soaked. All the mojo goes into heaving firewood…

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  12. Yay, I'm so glad your mojo is humming along again! I was actually a little concerned about you. At least for us hobby gardeners if the oomph takes off we can just settle down with an afghan and a book and say, “Well, it's winter. There you are.”

    It does seem to be all about light at this time of year, doesn't it? Vitamin D: the Winter Mojo Vitamin. In VT I took supplements all winter long and would swear to their effectiveness (for the record). Glad the sun is bringing out those beautiful greens and blues for you to enjoy again. (Every time I see a photo of winter greenery in the UK my jaw drops. NM looks like the moon these days.)

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  13. That's exactly how I feel every winter and summer when it's too hot or too cold to work outside. Like my motivation has just vanished. I finally have to force myself to get outside – and miraculously, it returns when I get out there! They say you have to act before you find the motivation to act, and for me it is certainly true!

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  14. Sounds like your mojo went for a little Christmas break, glad to hear it's now back! 🙂

    One indirect advantage of having four seasons is that gardeners are forced to have more rest in the winter, and especially during the Christmas period, and with this rest you get extra vigour to get crackin' again in the spring. Or at least by February 🙂

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  15. I've felt like this too. Although its not my job so my garden and plot can cope with a bit of neglect at this time of year. It has certainly taken me a few days to get back into a 'routine' (I do hate that word) after the Christmas break. I find holidays strange things. I look forward to them and enjoy them but the aftermath is a resulting unsettled feeling that can take a while to shake off. I had a wander up to the allotment this morning to survey any wind damage(none fortunately)and the sun was shining and I met a few people up there I haven't seen since October and it was the first time for a while that I felt like I should be getting the gloves on and the secateurs out. The ground is too wet to actually do anything but at least the feeling of wanting to do things is back.

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  16. Oh I know exactly how you feel. A bit o' sun & the world's a cheerier place. 'Ark at me getting all soft n' sentimental…off to give myself a good slap…can't be going all soppy now.
    Spring's almost here…GOOD TIMES! x

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  17. Hi Dave,
    gardening's creative and personal and it's inevitable there'll be troughs when nothing works, or you want to walk away – out the gate and down to the bus-stop.
    Any number of times I haven't wanted to do it or even talk about it. I'd like it that the garden would just stay the way it is and not another thing would die or fade. Or I'd like it be be entirely what it's not. Or I'd like an invisible hand to carry out my designs, not my own two, arthritic, tiring hands.
    There's no fault at all in being disillusioned, or lacking inspiration or feeling disconnected – there'd be more of a problem if you didn't.
    High summer for us can be as challenging here as deep winter is there for you.
    You look like mojo's something you can call on when you want it anyway.
    Faisal.

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  18. This all sounds completely right. If you were constantly agitating to get gardening over Christmas, you wouldn't have had the break, the rest from 'the usual' which Christmas offers. I hope you had a happy one (Christmas) and that, once you get into the swing of things again, will have a happy, motivated, productive, creative, healthy and . . . 2012.

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