Monday, 16 March 2015

Blooming Gardens


I can understand why teenagers are constantly tired.
They are in the novitiate of life, and it's all exhausting.
I know, because I'm a novice at the moment.

This year is Yeats2015 - it's the 150th anniversary of the great poet's birth and there are events going on all over the place. You might have spotted one near you - Harp Concerts every full moon, Yeats on the London Underground, poetry readings at 1pm every day in Hargadons in Sligo, Yeats at the NLI in Dublin - and tomorrow he might pop up in Paddy's Day celebrations anywhere in the world, who knows!

I seem to have been living and breathing Yeats and I haven't even been to a concert or a reading yet. I haven't had time.
I was asked - last year - to design a Yeats Garden for Bloom 2015 and, knock me down  with a feather, it's been accepted and now I have to make it happen!
That's where the novice bit comes in.
Much as I love all things to do with gardens and garden festivals, I've never been involved in building a show garden before.

I've had plans, lists, phone numbers, websites and emails coming out of my ears.
I dream in square metres and my heart beats to the rhythm of plant names in Latin.
I am no longer seeing landscapes and backyards - everywhere I go, I am eyeing up possibilities and potential specimens.
And discovering how incredibly generous people are - with their time, their support, the contents of their flower beds...

Today, stomach muscles clenching in case I was making a mistake - I appointed a contractor. I wanted to appoint two - well, three actually. All of the ones I'd approached.
I think they'd all do a fantastic job, and each had something special to bring to the (potting) table. But of course it doesn't work like that, so I had to choose. I wish they knew how hard it was to make the decision - I'd much rather we all mucked in together, but life isn't like that unfortunately.
I hope I've chosen the right one. Time - as in all things - will be the judge of that.

And meanwhile, my own garden is abandoned and neglected.
It will forgive me, I daresay. In fact, in my absence, it will party its way through Spring and early summer, inviting in all the less salubrious types to dance through my borders and stay for indeterminate sleep-overs - you know, the docks and dandelions, the goosegrass - oops, sorry, the rumex obtusifolius, taraxacum officinale and galium aparine, I ought to say...

It'll be nice when I get past the tired and stomach-clenching bit.
Maybe that should be 'if' - 
My contractor said: 'It'll get worse before it gets better', and he ought to know.
But there again, by his own admission, he does go back and do it all over again year after year...   
I'll keep you posted.


  1. I hope you can rid your mind of Yeats for even a few days to get back into the garden! But I certainly don't blame you for being otherwise engaged!

    1. You are right - sanity lies in the garden. As always. It is NOT to be found at the computer! Thank you!

  2. Wel done you, you will be just great and Bloom better look out - a tour de force is arriving from The North West.!! Good on you girl, onward, onward. . . . . . T

    1. Thank you T - that is very encouraging! I need encouragement!

  3. I was sure I had left a comment here, but there is no sign of it.
    How very exciting and wonderful that you have been selected to design a garden. I am looking forward to the photos, the stories, all of it. Well done.

  4. Thank you Isobel. I am excited too, but also rather terrified! It is almost impossible to imagine just how much there is to be done to make it happen.
    And then some!
    I will post snippets as often as I can.

  5. Thanks, and good luck. I am sure your fears are unfounded and you will do splendidly. What a learning curve and an amazing opportunity.


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