Gardening Magazine

Still Here

By Patientgardener @patientgardener

Still hereSo a while back I posted that I was expecting to be moving, on to pastures new and especially a new garden. I found it a hard post to write and was very emotionally as I walked round the garden taking my final photos. This promoted a niggle, called Uncertainty, to take up residence at the back of my mind, was this the right decision?

While this niggle was setting up camp, another called Doubt, asserted its presence leading to sleepless nights and anxiety about whether the Cottage that had started the whole house moving idea off was the right house for us? Yes it looked out at fields, but those fields rose up from the house and as it was pointed out I would no longer see my beloved hills. I hadn't realised how much the hills meant to me until that point, I felt quite bereft. Yes the garden was bigger, longer and had a brook - the stuff of dream, maybe, but I just couldn't see me in the garden. I'm a very visual person and have to be able to see how a room or part of the garden will look before I can make changes, whenever I try to short cut this process the result is just wrong. The only part I could visualise was the other side of the brook which wasn't part of the deal. Yes it was a Cottage but the space was no bigger than our current home and whilst we don't need space, and indeed in a few years it will only be me and the cat, something was jarring at how much more I would be paying on the mortgage a month for a house that wasn't any bigger and needed so much work. And that was the crunch point, it did need work and there wasn't scope to make big changes due to the fall of the land, trust me, and then the words 'subsidence' and 'underpinning' were mentioned and that's when Doubt and Uncertainty threw an all nighter.

Still here

So I pulled out of the move, sent Doubt and Uncertainty packing and slept like a log. At times like this I really appreciate the support of my family. The advice from my sons and my mother was wise and measured, they empowered me to stop the process of buying a house just because it felt wrong, a step that really surprised some of my work colleagues.

Still here

And I have no regrets. When I bought this house the intention was to stay here until the boys left school, they are now in their twenties. Firstly I couldn't afford to move, then there was uncertainty about my job and what my new salary would be and then it was all sorted and I suppose I felt obliged to move. But finding myself faced with moving I realised that this house is home, the only house that has ever felt like home. Yes I have found my neighbours clearing their garden challenging but my shrubs are growing and they seem to be nice people, better the devil you know and all that.

My eldest suggested that if I was planning to stay for the foreseeable then I should view the house as if I had just moved in and think about what I would change. After all, when I bought the house 13 years ago, it was as a home for myself and my sons. Now it is the case that it is mainly a home for myself, and the cat, with my eldest here about 50% of the time so we use the house differently and there is potential to change the space. We have already made a start with a new sewing room from my youngest's now vacated bedroom.

Still here

In terms of the garden I am seeing it with fresh eyes. Having more or less taken a year out of gardening and blogging I am coming back to both from a new perspective. The garden had stopped providing me with a creative outlet and stress relief, in fact the garden and blogging were making me more stressed. They seemed to be inextricably entwined and just impossible.

I stopped blogging, reading blogs and really engaging with anything horticultural and this has freed up my mind which was crammed with so many ideas, many of them conflicting. I have realised that my real love is foliage, the bigger the better, and some specific flowers mainly from bulbs. As I have neglected the garden there is lots of tidying up to do, which I enjoy, and with my fresh eyes I am planning some changes - nothing major - just better.

So who knows you may find the odd blog post popping up from me over the coming months as I have fresh things to share.

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