This should have been the first post of this new blog, as it is about why I am blogging. I got impulsive, though, so happy to have a platform for writing about my garden, and I just started in the middle. Now I am zig-zagging back to the beginning, briefly.
A couple of months ago, a good friend and her lovely garden designer convinced me to open my garden a year from now. It sounded like a great idea; a goal, still comfortably distant, to get me focused on completing my garden and spending more time in it. I am a process rather than a product person and my garden clearly demonstrates this. I love visiting gardens and seeing other people’s polished landscapes, but it never translates when I get home. I plant part of a bed and then drift away, compelled by some other project. This is due to my previously discussed policy that gardening is supposed to be recreational and fun, so therefore unstructured. In the spirit of the Hewlett-Packard business management model from the ’70s, I have been gardening by wandering around. However, unlike the business model, I am generally my only worker bee, so having an idea is not enough. I must also execute. Consequently, I have been stalled out in several areas of the garden for a few years, and very much want to get something more coherent done.
When Lois and Barbara urged that I open my garden (“people LOVE to see gardens that are in process!”), it seemed as though maybe this was the kick-start I needed to get my garden going again. I have been gardening here for eight years and I still haven’t made it all the way around the house. For the first few years that was acceptable, and maybe even a little cute, but now it is just getting sad. If I am going to be a gardener I should garden my whole garden, or else just turn it over to natives and take up macrame instead. In our house we make all sorts of great plans about keeping things clean and tidy ALL the time, but then we get busy or distracted and the mess slowly accumulates all over again. The one infallible system we have for getting a clean house is to throw a party. It doesn’t even matter which family member is throwing the party, or even if any of the rest of us are invited, we all dig in and clean up.
I thought that opening my garden would have the same effect on me, and maybe even a little bit on other family members. If there are OTHER PEOPLE coming over, just to see the garden, it needs to look really, really nice. And since gardening is much more labor intensive than getting ready for a party I need a year. My garden looks its best in late May, so I thought that I would set that as my target time-frame. In my mind this was framed as a year to get ready. There is less than a year now, however, and I am starting to feel little twinges of urgency.
After making the decision to open the garden, I thought that blogging the process would be a fun way to keep friends updated and provide a record for me. I also thought it would be an extra layer of incentive. If I was blogging regularly I would have to have something to blog about, and that would mean that I would have to keep the garden moving forward. Finally, I have really wanted a venue for writing more often. This way I don’t need anybody else (except readers) in order to write. I do think that it is working, and that I am more productive in the garden. Having other people watching, even from a distance, really does provide an impetus to stay more focused. However, whether I am ready for actual visitors in 2011 remains to be seen.