What a weird and wonderfully trying winter and early spring season we gardeners have enjoyed, endured and experienced. I have to say that it was so good earlier this week to walk in the first real sunshine of the year and to get the first real hint of warmth from the sun.
Phone cameras across the land have been busily clicking away, capturing rays of sun through naked branches in efforts to spread the joy on social media. The silhouetted Sphinx above one of my efforts to share the sun joy! Those bare branches won’t be so for much longer though; the first buds are already bursting to reveal treasures that have waited patiently for the sunshine and warmth too.
It hasn’t just been a time for taking photos and basking, it’s been one for industry too. Excitement and trepidation in equal measures are always in my mind each spring, excitement for the opportunity to grow new plants from seed, but also trepidation for the pace at which it all seems to happen – that nagging doubt as to whether all will get done and on time.
These days (he says like an old timer) it might surprise some to hear that I find blogging helpful to my gardening exploits in a variety of ways. Longer, more thought through blog posts often take up time I simply can’t justify – the time needed to create this post for instance being something of an indulgence. There are other ways however…
Instagram and Twitter give me a significant boost, both to my professional and recreational gardening; it’s to these platforms (and LinkedIn in a different way) that I regularly turn. Far from being the flighty fancies of those with time on their hands, they’re well established and respected vehicles for building communities, where support, knowledge and inspiration can be gained and exchanged.
Posts from ‘professional’ gardeners however are often guarded I feel, always carrying the potential for being judged negatively if something doesn’t appear quite right to a professional network. I could be guilty of this to some degree, but then for many years, whilst I blog personally, by default I’m always linked to an organisation – my blogging therefore is always mindful of this, and is often tempered somewhat.
I’m hugely respectful though of what blogging has brought for gardeners generally, both professional and amateur, many of whom would otherwise work in isolation, with little recognition for their achievements. Gardening in almost all its forms can benefit from being more widely recognised, understood and appreciated for the art form that it can be, and the benefits it brings to people, and blogging in some of its forms is certainly helping with this.
I’m following some amazing people who garden in the most challenging situations; sometimes with little funds, space or support. These people teach me new things everyday, and not just about gardening but so much more besides – especially attitude. The fact that you’re into gardening, in whatever form, is interesting to me – variety as they say is the spice of life, so please do share it, and your passion for growing.
Before I can be accused of outstaying my blogging welcome, I’ll finally move onto my final ‘fascinating’ point. What intrigues me most right now with blogging is how some folk are able to speak freely, not feel judged, and simply tell it like it is. This I find largely applies to allotment bloggers, which surprises me as I thought allotment gardening, whilst being a community spirited activity, is often seen as competitive?!
Whatever the situation; long may the tell-it-like-it-is characters endure – I aim to emulate your style and I salute you!
If you’ve read this far then you’re most likely one of those people I already look to for information, inspiration and honesty. If you are then thank you, I hope that in some way I’m giving something back through my blogging, and through my photos or comments – if I’m not then tell me so, and I’ll see what I can conjure up as a thank you!
Regards and happy blogging, Gary.