progress report

This post is a review - looking back at what I have achieved with the garden and blog, and thinking about future plans.

The difficult, confronting thing is ... I think the garden is finished!  In 1979 I started with a fields of weeds and rubbish and a boring neat front garden and now in 2011 I have completed the creative task of transforming both spaces into gardens I love to be in.

I always said the garden would never be finished. I wasn't ready for it to be finished. I couldn't imagine what finished would look like.  And there are still spaces I need to fill and bits I want to change.

But I think it might now be seen as an established garden. If this is true then from now on I suppose my task will be different -  just maintenance, or tinkering at the edges. No more radical clearing of spaces and starting again.  

Basically the garden has evolved into a finished garden and I have evolved into a fairly confident gardener, with  normal (for me) occasional flashes of anxiety and self doubt.

This growing confidence enabled me to accept the opportunity to have the garden (and me) featured on the ABC's Gardening Australia TV show last year.

I  accepted an offer to be included in a book called Gardens of the World that will be published in July this year. It describes garden blogs and I am sure many other blotanical members will also be in it.

This year the garden will be part of the Open Garden Scheme for the first time,  open to the public for one weekend in October. I thought of doing this last year and the year before, but wasn't ready.  I'm  nervous about it, but going to do it anyway.

And the blog?

I started the blog in January 2008 to track the progress  and changes of the garden.  I always saw the blog as having a parallel existence to the garden.  Continually evolving.  If the garden is basically finished maybe the blog will have to evolve into something else.

In the next phase of the blog I plan to write more about the plants in the garden.  I will also write about some of the nature and gardening books I have read and collected over the years. I have already set up additional pages on the blog's home page about these things.

When I started no one read the blog, and it really was just a diary. Then I discovered blotanical, and since then, have made wonderful cyberfriends, too many to mention. You know who you are!

In the beginning many of us agonized about what were the protocols of this strange new kind of relationship. But that seems long ago -  you guys have taught me so much and been so warm and supportive ... I really appreciate you being part of my life.


  1. I don't think any garden is truly finished - but it continues to mature. Some gardens have been doing that for several hundred years. New plats, cominations and ideas occur nnd at least here the weather changes so much year by year.

  2. As always garden is forever growing, fitting the general comment about what is a garden> No Garden is Ever "Done"!....

    happy gardoblogging! :)

  3. There will always be enough space to inspire new ideas. That shrub is gone, and we'll move that, and then we can ... Sounds as if your future posts will make good reading!

  4. What a great achievement Sue. All your visitor will have a wonderful time admiring your garden.

  5. Sweet and charming photos, I enjoyed reading your comments on blogging. It is a great way to keep a garden diary, something to look back on the longer you keep doing it.

  6. Dear Catmint, I do wonder at your being truly finished?? I have enjoyed finding your blog here and look forward to seeing your fall and winter gardens. Just now I am anxious for winter to be away. I do not care much though . . . not with all the stress of the world. I will take each day as it comes. Lovely butterfly photograph!

  7. Congrats on getting your garden to the place of being content with it overall, being established. I wonder if mine will ever get there. I think I am closing in on it, too. I wonder what it will be like to just have maintenance and enjoyment. I do enjoy the "work" and the creating, too. But since I do designing for other gardens now, I can get my creative fix elsewhere once my garden is "done." And enjoy being on tour this October. I have done that before and it was a wonderful experience!!! I would do it again in a heartbeat (well, as soon as I get my garden spiffy again -- I'm in the process of increasing more beds!)

  8. yeah, I'd say if a TV show is coming over to your garden to film, than I'd definitely take that as accomplishing something. I see your word choice of 'finished' as exactly that... of course there will always be work to do, but the goal you set for yourself has been accomplished. Congrats on that!

  9. Thank you dear cyberfriends for your comments - I feel rather confused about the idea of a garden being finished. The thought came after an involuntary break from active gardening. Now I can use my sore hand a bit I'm back changing the garden again! But mostly the basic structure is not changing.

    Toni, what you said resonated with me - I think sometimes we love doing stuff in the garden and sometimes we get a bit burned out and need a break. The same with blogging.

    cheers, catmint

  10. In a different phase now, yes, but finished? In my experience there is always the dead or scruffy or over grown plant that you decide to get rid of that suddenly unleashes new thoughts about what to do in its place. New plants met that have to be accommodated somehow. For me it was triggered by suddenly realising that things I had planted a decade ago as tiny plants had begun to out grow their space, and that once I took a piece out the whole changed and I wanted something different. Whatever happens in your garden, and how wonderful to have created something that gives such pleasure, I look froward to reading about what you do - plant - read - next...

  11. If the garden is finished - and you aren't finished - is it not time to begin again? With the abilities you obviously have, perhaps you will find your way into another site, where work is required? You sound to me like you know too much to just sort of pack away the seacteurs and lie down on the chaise-longe.


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