Our small town garden is busily trying to spiral out of control. That’s spring where I live!
Fortunately, I love to watch stuff grow. But keeping up with the weeds (that is, finding a use for most of them in our limited space) is a bit of a challenge. In
, a book about permaculture, is a chapter called ‘Pop’ goes the garden. I suppose it’s wonderful if that happens to a patch of neglected or poor soil. Around these parts, however, it’s a yearly feat which usually means it’s time to put your wellies on.
The strawberries are flowering like mad – but they’re hiding their bounty under big leaves thrust upward to catch more of the sun’s rays. I’m really hoping that it either won’t rain too much – soaking their roots – or the shrubs and tree nearby will lap it up as quickly as it falls.
Being in the garden in the evening means I don’t get around to blogging very often. So I’m writing this post while commuting by train. Perhaps I should try blogging while I’m in the garden?
One thing about evening gardening: as the light fades, faint noises can be heard between the shrubs and leaf litter. It’s snails and slugs coming out for dinner, or possibly breakfast. It’s quite possible we have ‘a lack of (slug-eating) ducks’ but last time they visited I shooed them off because I don’t need that particular kind of action in my rather small backyard…
Update: all weathers including rain and storm this week. Need to keep an eye on the plum tree because its branches were flopping all over the place. Prune those, or risk losing plums next year by branches getting ripped off.
On the plus side… well, let’s say next time I’ll explain why I’m up to my eyeballs in pea plantlets 🙂
In my previous post I spoke of my early spring checklist for the garden. So, I went out and checked: Continue reading
The promise of spring is definitely in the air. In fact, the weather forecasts predict up to 20 degrees Celsius this Sunday. Our baby narcissus is flowering in a modest clump in our front garden. The buttercups are in for a great year, if the amount of leaves covering the soil are anything to go by. I’m definitely going to have to take a look around, to see what needs doing out there and in the back garden.
A few drawbacks?
Note: when I say garden, these two bits of land might add up to a small garden. With a car taking up nearly a quarter of the available space. And another quarter I don’t want to plant anything edible in because of the car. And other people’s cars driving past.
Then we want something like a sitting area. After a couple of years of baking in the afternoon sun, we decided to soften the local microclimate by putting in a tree or two. I’m waiting for them to start growing. So far, they’re looking happy – but not quite budding yet. Night temperatures do drop to nearly freezing point, so I’m happy that they’re in no hurry.
I planted some herbs like basil in a sunny spot almost in the hedge. These were annuals, which is just as well, because last summer I learned from our neighbors that they had sprayed the hedge (beech – it’s a monoculture in most new or renewed parts. A feast for specialized insects). If any of our hedge plants give up this year, I’ll put in an entirely different plant. Maybe something edible.
About two square metres of garden are filled with strawberry, blueberry (I added oak leaves for acidity) and herbs. The place is crammed and looked great even in winter. If you don’t mind the leaves. And I don’t. Most of them are gone by now, because we had a typical winter – if a sea climate winter is the kind you like. A sprinkling of snow in half the country, excluding where we live. Not enough ice to go ice skating (if any!), not this year. Rain. The kind of winter you end up calling “but really it wasn’t a winter at all. Not a proper winter.” Except it’s the kind we had a lot, until it started snowing a couple of years ago – in December! This year, people acted as though they’d been cheated out of a white Christmas they were entitled to. It’s quite possible that goldfish have better memories than humans.
So my early spring checklist looks like this:
- Watch Gardeners’ World (coming up…)
- Check if the stinging nettle is still in its corner by the water.
- Check if there are cat droppings among the plants; if so, cut a few leaves from the thistle in the other corner. Cut them into pieces of about 10 centimetres and spread them around.
- Empty the bucket of sand and goo that’s been standing around for no purpose at all.
- Find out if the sand box is full of water again, and consider getting rid of it. It would help if it’s broken. I can explain broken to a 4-year-old.
- Find out if old peas will still grow into plants. If not: go get new ones. There’s nothing like fresh peas. I had no problems explaining them to a 3-year-old last summer 🙂
Now that I’ve started adding a dash of gardening to my content, more and more ideas pop up. Let’s see if there are useful weeds among them 😉
One question that occurred to me was:
Is there something like harvesting content?
I suppose it’s what you do in an organization with a lot of content creation going on in outlying regions. It’s also what you do when you’re scouring the internet looking for interesting bits of information you can then share through whatever means.
There are a few issues at harvest time of course.
- Some apples rot or get eaten while still on the tree. Unless you spray anything you don’t like into oblivion. But I’d like to eat apples, not chemical residues.
- Some apples fall before you get to them and get pecked by chickens and devoured by ants or other insects (one minuscule bite at a time).
- Other apples just seem to laugh at your efforts by not being worth picking. Even thought they started out looking quite promising, they haven’t ripened the way you’d like them to.
Once you’ve harvested your bits of content, you want to keep them dry and snug for a while to use when you’re ready.
So compare this with ideas for your blog. Sometimes you get plenty of ideas, sometimes it’s as though you get none at all. Jot down any idea when you have it and store it for later. In my case it really helps to get a few lines written so that later on, I won’t end up wondering why any specific idea seemed so interesting. You probably won’t use every single idea you had – some topics are too newsy to keep for a long time. But that’s fine, because you’ll have your ideas stacked all the way up to the ceiling and you’ll select anything you want to work on – when you’re ready to do so.
What do you do with all that content?
Well, that’s a bit of a luxury problem… one that anyone with a mature fruit tree will recognize.
- Part of your ideas will be fine as they are. You’ll need to add very little to your initial idea.
- Other ideas will need more work, especially if you left them for a while. You might end up with the content version of stuff like apple pies using your favorite content curation recipe.
- Another part may have to go to your neighbors… you’ve got too much! This is when you consider sharing your ideas by going guest blogging – provided you also have the time and energy for that 🙂
This post is about gardening. It’s also about content management. Let’s see how we can fit those two into the same yard.
Last week I planted a tree. It’s not hugely expensive. Still, I worry about it. Sometimes I suspect I read too much. Has the following ever happened to you?
You know you need, say, a new pair of trousers. As luck would have it, all the stores sell the wrong type (the one that doesn’t fit or that makes a size six look like an overweight hippo). They do have nice shirts though, and you end up buying one of those.
Since I started editing and publishing content produced by others in our company, I’ve found it harder to create my own content here on my blog. Spending a lot of time doing content-related tasks like editing, tagging, and the like, uses a lot of the available ‘content energy’.