Wednesday, 26 March 2014

It's Time to Begin

It's time to begin ....
... to begin the outside work that will tidy up our little bit of this Welsh hillside, to make it ours and make it start to look after us as we will look after it.
The first job is to claim back a little bit of overgrown space behind the small shed on the hill and turn it into our main wood store.  The shredder is in place and as I type this Lovely Hubby is on the hill with secateurs, machetes and loppers and is getting a head start on me.  Once shredded this will be our mulch to go round the fruit trees that we have just ordered that will be planted on the paddock next week finally separating the grassed area from our food production area.
Hopefully one thing will lead to another and gradually bit by bit I will be heading towards the day when the hillside will be alive with the plants that will feed us.
I need to be outside at this time of year, to feel the soil beneath my boots and running through my fingers, to see life bursting through a layer of soil and to know that we are nurturing ourselves as much as the land.
I sometimes feel eyes upon me as I work and I talk to my Dad, who died two years ago today.
 I apologise to him that I don't garden his way, that I occasionally uproot something that he would have held precious or plant something too close to it's neighbour that he would have given space to, and when it goes wrong I laugh as in my mind I can see 'that look', the look he gave me often when we worked outside together that said 'you're mad, you're too impetuous, too impatient, you infuriate me but it's okay I'll have a moan to your Mum later in private, it's a good job I love you'.
 The knowledge in my fingers and the calmness in my head is down to him and my Mum, when I plant and tend I do it instinctively and that's the way I enjoy it.  I read the books and make the plans and then once I'm outside actually doing I just do.
So we will set out today to start the slow and steady process that will change our hillside. 
at last and make it really ours.
And it will be done in memory of my Dad, who is forever in our hearts.
Sue xx


  1. I get the same 'chatter' from my dad, in the garden, when I'm working on my crafts or when I get impatient with something I'm trying to fathom! Or I'm washing the pots and feel my mum straightening my top, pulling it down at the back. Weird to some folks but, I believe they never really leave us spiritually.
    That said, do I always do it as they did? No! sometimes maybe.

    One day, I will get my chickens and dad would like that I use their manure on my garden!

    I wonder what job is next on the list? the poly tunnel?

    Take care and continue to enjoy your plot. xx

  2. Isnt it amazing my Mum was a keen gardener and she passed away two years ago and now when I garden I feel closest to her. Before she died I didnt do to much gardening now I love it. xx Im sure your Dad is gardening with you xx

  3. I can't wait for Easter - two whole weeks off work and I can spend all day in the garden - heaven!
    My dad was a gardener too - we used to stroll around his garden together discussing his plants and his plans - I miss that. Dad's are so special aren't they. xx

  4. I only feel I'm working when I'm outside. No parents watching me- they never gardened much at all, in fact my mum hardly went outside, so I don't know where I get the farming/gardening gene.
    Looking forward to seeing your smallholding growing, hope the weather is good for you to get going.
    When we were looking at properties in Wales I was surprised how few had fruit trees, I wonder why.

  5. My Dad is a fountain of knowledge about gardening,but he's now too frail to do's very difficult for him to watch the gardener do 'his' job. Enjoy every minute,Sue.
    Jane x

  6. Lovely sue, you are very lucky to have had such a wonderful relationship with your Dad:) sending you love and hugs today . Karan xxxxx

  7. Your post brought tears to my eyes. I lost my father last year after a short illness. I gardened with him as a child, and when I had a garden of my own he would advise. We were very different gardeners but I miss him. I talk to my Dad to.....nice to know that I am not alone.

    A beautiful post....interesting as well....I will watching you progress.

  8. I like to use my dads garden tools. I feel like he is holding my hand when I work with his fork, the wooden shaft and handle is a beautiful colour and is so smooth from years of his allotment work.

    I enjoy your blog and look forward to reading about your exciting new life in the country!!

  9. Oh wow Sue, 2 years already....where has the time gone. He would love your forever house I bet. X x

  10. I'm not a gardener but will love to see yours grow.
    In three years time my dad will be as long dead as he was alive. He was only 48.

  11. Thinking of you especially today, as I know how hard it is for you. I cannot wait to see how the garden develops, and of course I will be very jealous of what you grow during the summer months. I should have some fresh herbs this year as apart from what I grow myself (in a pot or two) the campsite owner has a couple of large beds for the campers to use.

  12. Lovely post and it makes me think of the little note on the side of your blog (that I quote more than is healthy) "The most important things in life aren't things".

  13. Lovely post. Anniversaries, bittersweet x

  14. Wonderful to feel your dad's presence as you garden. My dad was always making things & I would sit on the end of whatever he was sawing to keep it in place. I loved him lighting a bonfire on Sunday nights to burn the clippings.

  15. I know exactly what you mean, I grew up on a smallholding with parents who had dug for victory and made do and mended. My dad is with me every spade or trowel full that I move, encouraging, moaning and smiling at me as 'we' do things. Mum is with me when I pickle, bottle, make jam or sew. They may not be here physically, but they are always in my head, heart and garden.


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