Updated: Jun 22, 2020
Most of us overestimate what we can achieve in a year and underestimate what we can achieve in a decade.'
I'm growing strawberries in the garden. I can't take full credit for this sweet little garden we are creating - I've had a bit of help, mainly from my lovely neighbour who knows about these things.
Last year was all about setting an intention. In a new house, with a full time job and a toddler, I didn't spend much time gardening and I didn’t know how to nurture one either. The intention was there. I wanted my daughter to grow up with a basic understanding of food. So in went the seeds. As the season progressed, the snails and slugs gobbled most of the leaves. Weeds accumulated and I didn't know where to start. The lettuces 'bolted' as we didn't pick the leaves quickly enough. In the end, plants got decimated, dug up and and a lot was thrown out & cleared out at the end of the season.
Looking back, last year it wasn't about the food. It was about belief. Believing that it would be fun for Sarah. That I could learn. And that's exactly what happened. Sarah adored her little garden last year. She'd sit on a wooden sleeper and have a rest and a sigh as if she'd been toiling for hours. She would demand that I sit beside her as we took in the day. She'd try to pull at the radishes out and we'd have to explain, 'be gentle'. She'd crunch on a freshly sliced radish too, making a little face at its initial bitterness. At the end of the summer, I was reminded of how much we'd gained.
In spite of everything, the strawberry patch thrived, looking strong, neat and powerful, ready for year two (which is the better year for them). A beacon of hope for me. How lovely it was to see this blank canvas of empty beds again, with a strawberry backdrop.
This is what I'd heard from people: 'watch your garden over the year and you'll learn a lot'.
By January of this year, we were ready to go again. The challenge was to grow with more careful attention. We the knew radishes and onions would grow from simply sprinkling seeds in a row. We knew that tomatoes would thrive and slugs would return. And of course we always had the strawberries.
Most of us overestimate what we can achieve in a year and underestimate what we can achieve in a decade. The original intention remains still stands. Actions to get to this point have been consistent. Each day, each season, each year is an opportunity to push a little forward with that intention. And helping hands often emerge.
On a wet January afternoon this year, we wandered around a garden centre stocking up on seeds. And since then, we haven't looked back. The strawberries are here, the radishes are on their way and last week we chomped on some freshly grown rocket.
Friends have started gifting their own seedlings. It's all fun. And really the best part is watching Sarah soak it all up. This is her garden. She asks to go out there. She hands us her mini shovels and rakes and we play planting seeds with pebbles. 'Now we wait', she says.