About a Garden

Never look at your stats. They haunt you and cause all sorts of trouble. I have been doing this recently and an unsettling realisation has dawned upon me: some of my posts have literally never been seen. By anyone. Ever. I’m telling myself one thing is to blame. You see, this blog was contrived to appear older than it is, and I have to confess to some sleight of hand.

It was inspired by particular events at the end of 2014 which were sufficiently momentous to elicit almost two years of writing, but clearly not enough to actually get me to publish any of it. The posts languished as drafts until, fueled by too many glasses of wine one Sunday last November, and realising I could stamp each post with its date of conception rather than its date of publication, I foolishly launched the lot in a single flourish. This gave me an instant body of work which appeared to have grown naturally over a long period of time. On the surface this seemed like a good idea, but the reality was different. Its somewhat abrupt arrival on the scene denied it the accumulation of an interested or engaged audience, which apparently is quite useful for a blog. So this brings me to the reason for this post. If I stumbled suddenly upon these ramblings for the first time, I’d be hard pushed to see them as anything other than a kind of aimless horticultural stroll. So It has occurred to me that like any decent reality TV show, the reminder of a back-story is required. 

If any new reader can be bothered to return to the first post, and maybe even the second or third, they will find that this does (or did) have a point, and a very simple one. It is about managing limitations, reconciling disappointment  and creating something out of very little.

And if, like me, you have found yourself gardening a patch of earth whose attributes confound your ambitions, then this might offer some solace. Because if there is one thing I have learned it is that Beth Chatto was right. This garden might be everything I didn’t want: small, dark, shady, wet and urban, but you put the right plant in the right place and even the most adverse conditions will yield some magic. 


14 thoughts on “About a Garden

  1. well, I feel sad for those who have not yet found you, for they are missing a unique and entertaining viewpoint…

    personally, I stumbled upon you through pam penick’s Digging post about landscape lighting (yours is most excellent, by the way) & was hooked pretty quickly by your style (writing and garden) as well as your location…England is so far and so different from where I garden in beautiful but challenging South Texas that it makes a nice change in subject matter, plus I have two daughters who are besotted with England and travel there whenever they can…end result: I went back and read all your previous posts, subsequently lamenting that there were not more.

    never mind, none of that matters to the real point, which is that your posts are interesting to read, not run-of-the-mill, and not at all “chirpy”, if you know what I mean…I believe I would enjoy them even if I never pottered about with plants at all, so please do keep on!


    1. Dear ‘Peterson’,
      first of all, my apologies for the slightly strange way of addressing you, there’s no way of determining from your comment what your first name is or even if your are male of female!
      Secondly, I cant tell you how touched I was by your wonderful message. Isn’t it strange how we can stumble across things on the internet and suddenly get drawn in? I’m so glad you found halfagarden, and honored to have another friend in Texas. You might have determined from some of my posts that, being married to a Texan, I have spent the last 22 years visiting family and vacationing in your wonderful state, so it has become, for me, a kind of home-from-home. (We have a daughter who is besotted with Texas!)
      I’m so glad you mentioned the ‘not being chirpy’ thing. I do know exactly what you mean, and for someone who agonizes about the fine line between glibness and pretension, that means a lot.
      Do you have a blog? Again, I cant tell whether your comment is linked to one. If so please let me know.
      Apart from Pam’s wonderful blog, I also follow The Hairy Toe Gardener, another Texan.
      Please keep in touch, your enthusiasm and encouragement has spurred me on to write more. Watch this space…


      1. hello, gordon!

        how cheering to hear that I have “spurred” anyone on! even more so since the end result will be more posts: mission accomplished, job well done, etc.

        sorry for not providing you with more information last time, but I do tend to err on the side of less is more in much of life…no, i have no blog of my own, i don’t follow more than a handful of blogs regularly, and almost never comment, so clearly yours must be Very Special Indeed!

        anyway, you now have my info & should you care to be in touch sometime I can direct you to a couple of posts by pam that will dispel much of the mystery and give you some back-story for context…in all likelihood, it will prove to be boring, but there IS that Texas allure, right?

        enjoyed your latest post, too, and to add to the coincidences must tell you that our garden is walled, as well…commence eerie background music…



  2. Thanks for following my blog, you’ll find by commenting on blogs that interest you you’ll build up a relationship which spreads to other blogs too. Good luck


    1. Thanks, Christina! You’re right. The few times I’ve actively engaged with other blogs have always made a real difference. I will continue to do so. Yours is lovely, by the way. A real find.


  3. Well! Here’s me following 45 WordPress blogs, God knows how many Blogger blogs plus a smattering of blogs on other platforms so time usually constrains me to reading the latest posts. But if all of yours are “latest posts”, I’m going to have to make an exception. This may take a while ………

    Now if you were to volunteer to pop round to handle my seed sowing in return …….. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As much as I’d love to pop round and handle your seed sowing, I sadly can’t boast much success in that department. So please don’t feel obliged to delve too far into my back catalogue…


    2. But John I thought I was the only one …..! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Seriously, I wouldn’t worry about stats, you just do what you do and people will find you and perhaps delve back into the archives. It is today that matters and maybe tomorrow. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve read all your posts! Much empathy from a balcony gardener who has felt thwarted in her grandiose plans for years. And yet, and yet…it’s such a trite comment, but working with imposed boundaries (literally) brings out the real creativity. As it clearly has for you. It’s looking very interesting!


  5. Well, I think I’ll go back and read your posts so that I have a full understanding of your garden. And honestly, I believe any patch of land, no matter how dark, wet or dry, with poor soil or not, can be transformed into something beautiful and valuable. Furthermore, even if one has little money (not necessarily talking about you)–although it might take a lot longer–I still think that same patch of land can be beautiful. I’m especially interested in your blog because it has substance.–Some blogs don’t.


  6. My first time here. I will go back and read your earlier posts. Sorry to hear of your thwarted ambitions to expand. Hope you recover your equilibrium.


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