All that potential



Last year we moved house, gaining stewardship of a garden for the first time. Our bodies and minds were nourished by the time spent there, digging in the dirt, relaxing in the open air, as well as the seven strawberries and handful of basil we managed to grow. One of our aspirations for 2016 was to grow more of our own food – a move towards greater self-sufficiency as well as reconnecting us with nature and where our food comes from.

We’ve dug over the beds, planted, sewn indoors and out, and are tentatively hopeful our crop this year *might* include:

lettuce * rocket

potatoes * onions *peppers * chillis

basil * coriander * rosemary * mint

kale (these seeds were free. I have never felt more middle class than the moment I sowed kale seeds)

and, our beloved strawberry plant that survived the winter.


I emphasise ‘might’ and ‘tentatively hope’ for my own sake more than anything. I feel a responsibility to bring all the potential packed into two millimetres of seed (more in the case of the potatoes) into reality. I remind myself: this is something new. Something we are learning, trying out. It’s not just about filling our kitchen cupboards this year; it’s about developing skills and acquiring knowledge that will carry us through the growing seasons for years to come. It may be unfruitful this year, but it is not wasted.

It’s curious that in the Spring months I am returning to the aspirations laid out at the beginning of 2016. I find everything easier from the return of Spring. The days themselves feel laden with more potential. The same number of hours but so much more possibility contained within them. Perhaps aspirations are cold-blooded. They need to rest in the sun a while before the action begins.

We picked up the three tea chests for £25 from Gumtree; my hero of a husband turned two of them into a planter for potatoes and onions. Much cheaper and more aesthetically and environmentally pleasing than anything sold in the garden centre. With the added satisfaction of building it ourselves (my role: mopper of brow, supplier of beverages).

Today’s soundtrack: First Aid Kit // The Lion’s Roar

8 thoughts on “All that potential

  1. I like the way you’ve framed gardening as a beginner as being more about learning than actually producing food – I’m sure I can carry that into my own tentative efforts. (I also love the idea of aspirations being cold-blooded!)


    1. Thanks Rach. I think it’s good to take the pressure off ourselves! Hopefully then we can enjoy the whole process more! (thanks – I think they are. Making them in dark, dismal January seems doomed for failure…:) ) x


      1. Definitely, taking pressure off sounds much better for all involved!
        I think winter is a great time for slowing down and mulling things over – and I’m looking forward to doing just that as we head towards the shortest day down here – but summer does seem more suited to taking action.


      2. True about winter. I think being a summer lover (mostly because I hate wearing socks which is unfortunately necessary in the colder months!), I’ve struggled to embrace Winter and make the most of retreating a little, slowing down and embracing the darker, colder days. Good to be challenged to keep embracing each season for what it is! Hope you’re able to make the most of winter in the southern hemisphere! x

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you! I do prefer summer too – I get cold easily and sunshine makes me happy – but in the last few years I have learnt to enjoy aspects of winter, like wearing my coat and boots, drinking mugs of tea or hot chocolate, and snuggling up with a blanket or by a fire. I’m sure you’ll be able to find your own ways to embrace winter, even if it’s never quite as good as summer!


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