“So, Dad, when are you going to bring back your blog?”, my youngest asks me every so often.
I find myself reaching for the usual book of excuses. “Too busy” or “Well, I did it for a whole year, so there’s really nothing more to say”, or “Not got time to do the garden these days, let alone the blog”.
Youngest shrugs shoulders and goes back to Plants vs Zombies.
But each time he asks the question, it gets me thinking.
I started this blog back in autumn 2012. It arose out of a half-term project my older son came up with, to create a WordPress blog, which launched him into the world of social media and generated a real passion for photography which he has taken to an advanced level in the past couple of years. Well, half-term ended and I was left with a rather content-light outline blog, which I felt obliged to keep going, but which I got rather hooked on as time went on.
I charted just over a year in our garden, until February 2014, revisited it in winter 2014/15 and then decided to call it a day. I had too much going on at the time both at home with an elderly relative and with incremental pressures at work, and something had to give. I didn’t have much time for the garden and a family of rabbits found its way in, taking advantage of our aging labrador’s dwindling rabbiting abilities. As the rabbit population started to grow, our enthusiasm faded. The garden had become a bit of a chore.
Since then, we’ve kept the garden going on a care and maintenance basis; we’ve kept the grass cut and the worst of the weeds pulled, we’ve even added one or two new plants and trees and we installed a new raised pool and fountain, but we haven’t been able to find the time we once had. Until this autumn, perhaps, when the elderly relative’s estate was finally wound up and I took on a new job of fewer hours and significantly less pressure.
Oh, and Pip joined the family. Pip likes chasing rabbits, so the rabbit family has moved out. Things that we plant no longer get eaten.The garden has started to become a more attractive place. We also managed to cut the hedges this autumn, removing the substantial growth of the past three years – a major exercise and perhaps the turning point.
So, what prompts this post, nearly two years on from the last one? Well, I need something to motivate me and to help me measure progress. The old blog certainly did that. After all, I needed to do something in the garden to give me something to write about! So, things got done.
But I also had to post some pictures so I had to make time to actually look at the garden we were tending – what’s growing, what’s flowering, what shapes and forms look interesting? Before I had the Blog, I became very aware that all I looked at was the ground – the next weed to be dug up, or the next shoot to be pruned. I wasn’t really benefiting from the fruits of my labours. I couldn’t see the wood for the trees.
Most of all, I miss the chat of the blogging community all working out there in the global garden. The wonderful comments, the words of encouragement, the contrasting and very often similar garden notes from across the world. And the great hints and tips.
Will I be able to keep this going? Well not as regularly, perhaps, as I did before. But there’s no harm in making it a New Year’s Resolution.
Wishing you all the very best for a happy and prosperous New Year.