This year, things have not gone according to plan in my garden, and that's putting it lightly!
At the start of the Spring, I was starting with a clean slate in the garden. I laid a thick layer of compost over the whole garden, paying particular attention to the areas I knew to be poor performing. Starting Seedology meant that I had an abundance of seeds, tips and techniques to trial, and this was extremely exciting, as for the past two years I had been living in a house limited to windowsill gardening.
Things got off to a solid start. The seedlings I started early grew rapidly despite the prolonged winter, and I was delighted to see that the multi-sowing method was giving a great yield.
All of the major issues began when I tried to plant out my seedlings. The seeds I had started early were more than ready to go out by the time the weather relented and allowed the sun to break through, so I needed to act quickly. In one day I managed to plant out all of my edible flowers, my salad leaves, even some early maincrop varieties and went to bed feeling very happy with myself...
... until I was woken at 2 am by an enormous hailstorm.
Needless to say, my precious seedlings were battered by the storm. For those few that survived, an army of slugs awaited them in the morning.
The erratic weather patterns following that night also damaged the areas of exposed soil. The local soil can be difficult for growing at the best of times, but after being scorched by the endless sun, and then flash flooding, it was struggling.
So none of the detailed garden plans I spent hours on in January came to fruition, but that doesn't mean the garden is empty. The yellow poppy seeds carelessly scattered last autumn have come up and are dotted around everywhere, much to the enjoyment of the neighbour's bee colony. Several types of pink and purple wildflowers have sprung up among the allium, which created a lovely colour-coordinated border to hide the compost pile. The carefully pruned wisteria back in February is now an explosion of vines and fronds, which I have found make the perfect habitat for weird and colourful snails, and provide shady spots for the cat.
My garden certainly would not grace the cover of a magazine, nor will it ever be the kitchen garden of my dreams. However, I can still see glimpses of amazing beauty out there. Watching a fat bumblebee hopping from flower to flower, or coming across the cat curled up under the ferns are moments that bring me so much joy*. I've always struggled to see plants as weeds just because I didn't plant them.
*I should mention that I will not be eating any homegrown tomatoes this year after said cat decided to take a nap on top of them, but she can still be very cute.
My garden this year serves as a good metaphor for life. Nothing has gone to plan, and yet nature has provided an abundance of loveliness regardless. This is not an easy lesson to learn, and when faced with doubt or disaster can certainly be easy to forget. I hope that my garden will continue to throw up unexpected plants, it has taught me a lot and I am looking forward to watching it thrive.