Starting from scratch

A few weeks ago I shared a quote on instagram from Hugo & Elsa's Michelle Crawford, being interviewed in a magazine:

"I used to get frustrated that the garden didn't look like a picture straight away. Now I realise it's the doing that's the thing -- if you're just doing it for the end result, you're never going to get there. If we came in here with truckloads of money and had everything done in six months, the house wouldn't reflect our personality and everything wouldn't have had a story."


This quote struck such a chord with me. It is really hard to start a garden completely from scratch... not just difficult to do (which it is!), but difficult to wait. To accept that the garden that you want will take time, years in fact. It can't really just be planned and planted, it has to be grown and lived in. It won't be hurried.

We planted an orchard (18 mixed fruit trees) the first winter that we moved here. I had in my mind's eye what I imagined our orchard would look like... but in that image, the trees were gnarled and aged and productive. You'd need a ladder (preferably an old, wooden, pinterest-worthy one) to climb the trees to reach the fruit.

As we planted one-year old bare root stock, we will be waiting a long time to achieve that dream, but "it's the doing that's the thing". Those fruit trees each have a history that is also our history with this home and this property. Yup, it may take a long time for them to grow into their space, and for my kids to be able to run through the orchard playing hide and seek and picking fruits to snack on along the way, but it will come. In the meantime, we can watch the orchard grow, and work on other parts of the garden, slowly piecing together this garden to be our garden.


[The top picture is of the beautiful, thoughtful book Adagio, by Trisha Dixon... I am slowly working my way through it, which is appropriate as it is about slow gardening. I'll review it on The Tree Dairies soon.]