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.