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15 Bags of Compost and Me: Episode 1

Whilst most of my projects are on hiatus due to The World, I wanted to take the time to write about something that plays a huge part in my life. I've written before about how I use gardening to help with stress, but I wanted to start to explore gardening as a practice.


In the middle of a global pandemic I am moving house. It’s not an aim to flout lockdown, it was a plan which was put in place before COVID-19 fully reared its ugly head. On the plus side, once I work out how to move into the new house in the safest way possible - a new house means a new garden.


The new garden, currently full of dreams

It’s a small space, with a lawn, leftover shrubs and a lot of leftover derelict pots, and I can’t wait to get started on it. Gardening as a hobby has slowly crept up on me over the past few years. It’s a hobby I use to relieve stress, to get outside, and to teach myself to be patient and work at someone else’s pace.


I first started gardening in earnest in 2018, I knew nothing. I had bought seeds of things I knew I’d eat and flowers which look pretty in a Brexit panic, and threw them into pots of cheap Wilko compost when the packet told me to. So I became a gardener, but not a good one. But, as things began to grow I began to research, learning how to best support the plants that were slowly inching towards the sun. Over the past 12 months I’ve spent my Friday night watching Gardeners’ World, I’ve read a lot of words that Monty Don has written, I’ve learnt that I’m not a big fan of Alan Titchmarsh, and I now use the word ‘chit’ without giggling like a 13 year old. But I’m nowhere near an expert, I’m a step up from Optimistic Enthusiast.


This brings us to the new garden, I have dreams of strawberry planters hung over the fences; peas supported by silver birch witches’ sticks, and a garden full of dahlias. This time I plan to do things with more thought, learning before I make decisions and documenting mistakes. This blog series is just that - it’s the start of a conversation by someone who doesn’t really know what they’re doing in the hopes that there’s an expert out there who does.


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