The one thing that I don't like about my city centre flat is it's lack of a garden, I adopted D's garden about
five years ago which partly fills the gap but the time and energy to do much in it is limited to occasional weekends based around my work schedule. This time it was only a couple of weeks between visits as opposed to the good 2 months since it had any real attention last time because between us we hadn't really had a weekend to spend at home together for that long (4 of those weekends were spent on holidays - this isn't really a bid for sympathy).
I'm a very amateur gardener and not much of a planner, when our work hours coincided somewhat better it didn't matter to the garden so much - there was plenty of time for fiddling around in it and for finding more plants- it's much more tempting to spend money when you can enjoy the results and when there are still gaps for plants, but over the last couple of years it hasn't worked out quite as neatly and I know D won't water properly... We also cut down a tree which was getting out of control in one corner which has changed a shady dry corner into a really sunny one which retains water a little better. All sorts of things that had been struggling under there unnoticed suddenly went crazy (violets, a particularly unappealing aquilegia, something that might be a type of chamomile, a small bush, and a leafy green thing I can't remember the name of but is unbelievably persistent all refuse to be budged). A really impressive rosemary has sadly decided to die in incremental stages, that it has a blackberry growing through it that could likely only be shifted with dynamite (which isn't at all practical) probably doesn't help.
Prodding things with a fork this weekend has made me aware of how much work I need to do, and of how many plants a couple of hard winters have seen off. At the moment I have a mass of overgrown things and roses with appalling blackspot along with any number of self seeded nuisances. The garden needs time and a bit of money spent on it (although I have spent a lot of time moving things around and potentially that'll look great next spring). It also badly needs some late summer colour (though anything in yellow through to red doesn't much appeal to me). Also there is a cat that's been sneaking in and crapping in the middle of the lawn, I have never been a cat person and this sort of behavior hardly makes me warm to them.
The bright spot is that a white wisteria rescued from my windowsill 5 years ago has finally decided to flower - I couldn't be more pleased, also a pale yellow jasmine (it should have been white, labels lie) has really come into it's own next to it. the combination is quite pleasing and the scent of the jasmine almost strong enough to drown out the cat mess. Gardens can be expensive, exhausting, full of perils (scratched arms, muddy fingernails, aching back) and frustrating - but they're magical when something glorious finally comes into its own.