Love this time of year when the magic is beginning to happen. This is what I wrote on instagram a few days ago underneath a picture of a goat willow, its red leaf buds beginning to swell. And I really do love this time. It is the glorious promise of what is to come. When you can see the trees growing, especially such young ones, almost in front of your eyes. The chickens are starting to lay more, I got ten eggs yesterday – not had that many for over six months – the birds are singing, the snowdrops are out and daffodils are now in the shops.
This excitement, however, can also be dangerous. I want to do so much. I have so many ideas, so many ambitions, both inside the house, outside the house and at my laptop, that for the last two years, from February to April, I have got so overwhelmed it has panicked me. One of the reasons why I, over the course of last summer, burned out and became ill for a while.
So, whilst I am getting excited about the year ahead, I am also trying to hold onto my reins. To remind myself that I don’t have to do everything this year. I can make plans, yes. But if these plans don’t happen it is NOT the end of the world. That being said, I do have a wish list for outdoors:
- More chickens
- More ducks
- Plants for the stream bank
- Creating a woodland area
- Creating a wildflower area
- Hedging before the barefoot season ends (which is soon)
Last year I attempted a wildflower meadow. It was hard work and I only did a small, pilot area. I made many mistakes, which I won’t do again, but I guess that is how you learn. Do not be fooled by the TV programmes. Creating a wildflower meadow, or area, is not as easy as simply scattering seed. You have to prepare, oh!, you have to do so many things. I attempted one last year, which I wrote about on the Sarah Raven blog, and it did not quite go to plan. It makes my brain hurt due to the amount of stuff I do not yet know.
Therefore I have bought myself a couple of books. (Books, I find, are the answer to many things. Along with cake, coffee and wine.) Making a Wildflower Meadow by Pam Lewis for instructions and hand-holding and Meadowland: the private life of an English field by John Lewis-Stempel for background and inspiration.
I am determined that one day I will have a glorious wildflower meadow or at least a patch of my own. It may, however, take me a little while.
And the fact I have added yet more books to my enormous to-be-read pile will NOT stress me out. No. Not at all.