Sharpening my tools

Often when you buy garden tools like spades and hoes, they come with a blunt end or maybe it’s just the cheap ones I buy.  Often I am so keen to get using them in the garden I just get stuck in and start trying to dig in the earth with them.  But the proper thing I should have done is taken the time with a whetstone, file or grinder and put a cutting edge on them.  That way they will go through the soil much easier.  It would reduce the effort I put into to digging and may even make my tools last longer as so many solid heavy metal forks and spades have been bent or broken because they struggled to get through the soil.

I'm giving my blog and my garden a bit of a make over.
I’m giving my blog and my garden a bit of a make over.

Well to be honest, with my blogging I have been operating with blunt tools and using my standard gardening philosophy of “let’s give it a whirl” and the great kiwi-ism “sweet as, she’ll be right.”  So I have been posting my stuff here for ages hoping for the best but not really minding in anyone actually read it or not.  Recently I have come to realise this isn’t actually the most progressive way forward, especially when the writing and the gardening have long since evolved into more than a hobby.

it's out with the old...
it’s out with the old…

When I am in the garden, I consider what I am doing all the time, and how to improve things for next time, and cast aside the things that didn’t work.  When I am not in the garden I am reading and exploring the internet, you tube, Pinterest garden section – oh my goodness if you haven’t been there you should, books, magazines, blogs, flipboard.  I am obsessed and my passion for gardening consumes my life.  But with my blog I always do what I have always done and so while there has been some growth – if it was a plant in my garden it would only be there by grace, because I like it, but as far as bearing fruit, the yield isn’t really growing year on year and my codling moth ridden apple tree puts it to shame!

...  and in with the new
… and in with the new

So I have done something about tending my online garden so it can grow and flourish.  I have signed up for a course run by the wonderful people at WordPress and so for the next two weeks I will be sharpening my tools and doing a bit of homework, all the while getting my veggie garden planted out for the season.  So I have taken a break from the digging to do my first assignment.  This was to consider what I want from my blog and write out some goals and then share them with you my lovely readers, so I can be publically held accountable and you can also cheer me on.  Any suggestions on how to help me achieve my goals and become a star student will be gratefully received.

I'll do a bit of planning....
I’ll do a bit of planning….

So my goals are:

  • Post at least twice a week for this year’s growing season – Mondays as a plan for the week – public accountability, and Fridays as more of a results based look what I did. Not limited by this – if something interesting happens then share too.  And have a weekly feature of photos of the garden taken from the same vantage points so people will develop a familiarity with the garden and me.

The thing is I get busy and sometimes the days pass me by in a whirl, but the garden always grows so there is always something to share, and I want to share it with you.

My favourite quote “I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.” comes from Blaise Pascal (a French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and Christian philosopher. He was a child prodigy who was educated by his father, a tax collector in Rouen, France. Wikipedia 1623 – 1662). I just sit down and write until it comes to its natural conclusion and if I have to edit to shorten it, I find it takes twice as long.  But the writing the post and loading the photos can take some time, but I don’t mind.    However a picture is said to tell a 1000 words so that could save me from writing a blot post and you get to watch my garden grow each week, which I’m sure you will enjoy – especially those in the soon to be frozen north – I can bring you some sunshine.

... and try new things
… and try new things
  • Find and actively follow one new blog a week that I would inspire me to where I want to be and engage with the blog through comments.

I’m not very good at making comments, sometimes I’ll just let you know I’ve been with a like.  But being busy also stops me from reading new blogs and even sometimes old favourites.  I need to control my busy and do some connecting and reconnecting.

  • Have a unified social media presence by the 30th Nov 2014

My social media is a mess.  I don’t understand google+ and I don’t have a LinkedIn profile and I’ve never been to twitter, or Instagram.  My website takes too much effort to keep current and needs tweaking.  My You Tube and Facebook ‘about pages’ are different and out of date and at a glance I don’t think anyone would know they all belonged to the same person.  My social media is in desperate need of a spring clean.

At the end of the day things should be better not different  here and in the garden
At the end of the day things should be better not different here and in the garden

I love my garden and want to share it and at the same time encourage others to grow their own food – if I can do it, anyone can.  I think it is an important life skill being lost to many people as the busyness of modern life gets in the way.   So there you have it, change is afoot and things should start flourishing and thriving.

Come again soon – It may be gardening goodness or study stuff, either way – it will be great!

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

18 thoughts on “Sharpening my tools

  1. good grief woman!! you’re human lol But well done for focussing on your plans & a strategy forward. Exactly what I need with life in general !

    1. Hi Susan, Sometimes I think you get to the point where you can’t ignore the mess building up in the corner and have to deal with it. But I shall tackle it all in bite sized chunks, because I have a garden that needs me more! Thanks for your support.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

  2. What an inspiring post! Good for you! I have just come across your blog and will be eagerly following your progress in both the garden and with your blog!

    1. HI Natalie, Thanks for your kind words. I had a look at your blog and you are off to a great start and a blog is definitely the right place to record what you have done. I would completely forget otherwise. Especially seeing photos of how much things grow. I have followed your blog and I can’t wait to see how you progress. All the best. Cheers Sarah : o )

  3. I like how you organise your garden , not so often you find people ho care about it. Most of people pay someone to do it or they just let it be there.
    Nice work

    1. Hi there. Thank you. I guess you could say I’m a it passionate about my garden. It has been a labour of love over several years. I especially love having a bountiful harvest from our own back yard.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

      1. well that is very good , keeps your time occupy and your mind busy …. and let’s face it it is a relaxing work .. nobody is rushing you and nobody can tel you how to do it … you just do it in your way .. in your ” tempo” … and how you want it ..

  4. Do keep us up a bit with what you learn in the class. My gardening doesn’t need work–but my social media presence is a mess. I have a Twitter account (don’t use it and frankly don’t want to), God only knows what Google plus is, My website is out of date–the only thing I kept up with is the blog–and that’s because I found friends there. After a year of blogging, I read an article that said blogging is a waste for fiction writers. Too late. A habit is a habit is a habit.

    1. Hi there. My head is swimming – there is so much to learn, and it is only day 2! Sometimes it is easy to not see your own blog and get familiar with it – not seeing the wood for the trees. And your focus changes over time too. To be objective with it and bring it up to date and in line is probably something we should all do every once in a while. In the meantime my garden is getting prime time as this weekend is the safe for planting out weekend and coincides with a long weekend so there is still loads to do to get ready for official start to the growing season. Twitter (however that works) will just have to wait. I think I would feel an emptiness if I stopped blogging. Have a fab week. Cheers Sarah : o )

  5. Hey Sarah … ah, the social media question. You know, as much as I love social media and all the various platforms there are – they are all so time consuming. Ultimately where I want to be is out in my garden doing what I do best (well I think so 🙂 ). I love reading your blog – I think you are amazing by the way! Oh, one for you and sharpening those tools – it is called a ‘bastard file’ (awful darn name) but they are the best for sharpening spades and the likes. Happy gardening Miss!

    1. Hi Julie. I think it has all gotten to the stage that it needs a spring clean, there are dusty corners and piles of things that I have been meaning to get to in my online life. A good sweep will hopefully speed things up in the long run and run much smoother and then I can spend time in the garden – well actually the garden does kinda get priority – especially with Labour weekend around the corner. I still have digging to do – I must pick up one of those files and make my digging easier too! Thanks for the tip and thanks for your kind words. Cheers Sarah : o )

  6. Hi Sarah, what a lovely blog. I’m a newbie floral gardener who find much satisfaction in pulling weeds – very strange, I know! Will enjoy reading your tips.
    I agree with you about social media. I only have time for Pinterest and the blog – and barely those right now. Priorities! Am considering a post about it…
    All the best with sorting it all out : )

    1. Hi Ruth. I’m sorry, I don’t know how I missed this comment. I am new to growing flowers too, although I’m beginning to worry about them a little as I haven’t finished preparing their garden so they are all sitting in pots! I must get on and sort them out! I think I need more time in the real world, but my excuse is it has been raining a lot.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

  7. Looks like a LOT of hard work on both fronts. It will be interesting to see how your study with WordPress goes. Is it a paid course or run free for WordPress bloggers? Fingers crossed over the carob seeds 🙂

    1. Hi Fran. The course is one of the two week freebies that come up from time to time in WordPress’s The Daily Post. It has been thought provoking. Some things are ok, Some need a bit of work. There is loads of support there as well which is cool. Looking forward to a new and improved Sarah the Gardener at the end of it all.
      I soaked the carob seeds in boiling water and then left them there for 3 days and then planted yesterday – fingers crossed.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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