Let’s Go Outside: Overwhelmed? Research, plan, do.

7 Mar

When we lived at our old house, our eight year old house on a modern housing estate somewhere near Milton Keynes, I would ask my mum and dad to come down if I felt the garden needed a little tender loving care.

The lovely tree I couldn't plant on my own at the old house.

The lovely tree I couldn’t plant on my own at the old house.

That small garden, with most of it either grass or decking, well, it overwhelmed me. I didn’t feel I could do anything in it on my own. I had no interest in gardening. I didn’t even spend much time in it. When we had sleepers put in to raise the two beds and I wanted to put in a lovely, ornamental tree – I was on the telephone to my parents asking them to come down in order to do it for me. ‘Have you got a stake?‘ my dad asked. ‘What?!‘ was my panicked reply.

Fast forward a few years. And swapping one teeny garden to three acres. In the last few weeks we have put in thirty one trees. We have another fifteen or so to do. And my parents aren’t even in this country. Yes, I had some help with the digging (my elbow is painful from chopping wood) but the physical act of planting the tree was me.

I’m still in shock at the difference between the me from a few years ago and the me now, getting stuck in and not thinking twice.

Fast forward a few years. And I've planted eleven Scots Pine, one Field Maple and one Sycamore.

Fast forward a few years. And I’ve planted eleven Scots Pine, one Field Maple and one Sycamore.

The key for me to crack on and just do it, appears to be research. I feel overwhelmed if I haven’t a clue what I’m doing. And I know that feeling well because I felt the exact same thing before the chickens were bought and before the fruit trees were planted. I feel it now a little when I think of hatching chickens from eggs or getting bees or pigs.

The internet is a fabulous source of information but sometimes it can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. Twitter is also useful but how do you know who to follow?

I found my fruit trees via a search on the internet (Keepers Nursery) and my native trees via a nursery on twitter (Ashridge Trees). I bought a few books. Watched a few ‘how to’ videos. I subscribed to magazines. And I read.

This garden, this land we have,and what I’d like to do to it, is going to mean I’m constantly researching. And learning.

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