When I was a child I had a Ladybird book which had a page for each of the 12 months and I was completely fascinated by the idea that January was named after the god Janus, the god of doors and gateways especially as it was illustrated with a picture of the god having two faces – which I found slightly disturbing!! A lot of people spend time at this point in the year looking back and making resolutions for the coming year. Not me, I don’t mull over the past and I don’t believe in New Year Resolutions. Personally, I think making declarations at the beginning of the year that you are going to lose weight, give up smoking etc etc is just setting yourself up to fail and to feel worse as you made such a public declaration. So there will be no resolutions on this blog for 2011, no lists of things I am going to do etc. Instead here are some hopes and thoughts and things I am pondering at the moment which may improve my garden, me or open some new doors for me.
The Allotment – I can’t wait for the weather to improve so I can get down to the new allotment and start preparing it for the growing season. I haven’t been able to get there for the last month due to the snow and when I could the ground was frozen! I am in two minds about the allotment (lottie) I think I have bitten off more than I can chew as they say but at the same time I am excited about the prospect of growing edibles for the first time.
Back Garden – I am definitely addressing the back fence in the coming months. I have some bamboos on order and a planting scheme in mind which is a first for me. I won’t be able to plant the bamboos until I can transfer the raspberry canes to the allotment. As for the rest of the garden I have no definite plans but due to the snow I have been reading through a lot of the backlog of gardening magazines and there are quite a few ideas and planting plans drifting around.
Front Garden – the front garden will be the focus of my End of Month View post for the coming year. I’m not bothering with an EOMV post this month as there is nothing to say! However, due to the comments on last month’s post I am seriously considering a round lawn. This would give me larger planting areas and I am thinking of going all out on a cottage garden theme which would wrap round the lawn with lots of pastel colours and froth. I just need to work out where exactly to place the lawn.
Other stuff – I am continuing with studying for the RHS Level 2 Certificate and have my first exams in February – eek! I am quietly panicking at the moment since I haven’t yet got through all the course material let alone starting to revise. I have done a lot of studying over the Christmas break but I have so much more to do so it might mean that my blogging and definitely my twittering will have to reduce or go.
I have signed up for another term of Botanical Illustration classes and hope to keep going with this although the class is on a Thursday evening by which time I am getting pretty tired. But I really feel I am improving and they are such a great bunch of people I am determined to carry on.
Blogging – I will be continuing with writing a weekly blog post for Yell.com and from next week this will increase to two blog posts a week with the second focussing on my attempts to grow edibles, so I will have to keep going on the allotment to have something to write. As I get paid to write these I like to give them some time and try to do a good job so they will be taking precedence over this blog time wise.
As for this blog well I did think a couple of weeks back that I would put it to bed as I was struggling to find time but I have changed my mind. When I started it nearly three years ago it was in the hope of engaging with like-minded gardeners and to get me through the tough time of the winter when I can’t get in the garden. As other garden bloggers will know once you start it becomes addictive and then you engage with others and it can, if I’m honest, get a bit mad. Without this blog I wouldn’t have met so many new friends, visited new places and learnt new things. I wouldn’t feel so much more confident about my ability to write and communicate. I wouldn’t have been given the opportunity to be paid to write a weekly blog post, been asked to regularly review gardening books for Timberpress or, in the last couple of weeks, been asked if I was interested in a monthly guest slot on the local radio gardening programme (terrifying!!). So this blog has transformed my life – hard to believe really and I won’t be abandoning it as you never know what else is round the corner.
On top of all of the above I have to remember that I need to hold down a full-time and demanding job, run a home and certainly at the beginning of this coming year trail round the country visiting Universities with my youngest. However, the future is looking exciting and I feel that I have more strings to my bow so I’m not so worried about the current economic situation particularly in the higher education sector in which I work since I feel that if need be I am in a good position.
So here I am not looking back but looking firmly forward with a little trepidation but positively and optimistically. I hope 2011 is kind to you and yours.