Welcome to the second installment of my gardening journey over the last decade. In the last post we explored the first half of the Norties where I started out as a home gardener entering a competition and found myself being propelled on an incredible journey I couldn’t have foreseen from those early days. (If you haven’t read it yet you can check it out here >End of a decade – Part One of Two<) Now we pick it up again halfway through…
This was a fun year and it was highlighted by a trip to the United States of America for a three day Garden Bloggers Conference. Seriously – I couldn’t believe there was such a thing for people who shared my love of all things gardening and all things writing. I had the best time and met some wonderful people. You can read about that here: >Garden Bloggers are the nicest people< This year was made all the more exciting when I was invited to be a guest speaker at the Whanganui Literary Festival, which was an extraordinarily cool thing to be a part of as well.
My most popular blog post for that year, which continues to be popular to this day is >My Mum’s one pot sultana biscuits< and it isn’t even about gardening!
By comparison this year wasn’t quite as exciting, but I did write another book – Growing Vegetables. Actually, that was quite exciting. I think it is my favourite book, as I get frustrated with the myths and well intentioned but bad gardening advice out there. So, I just wanted to scrape ‘how to garden’ back to the very basics and then lead the reader on to discover their own journey with a solid foundation. There is no right or wrong way to garden. At the end of the day if you put a seed in the ground and water it, chances are high that you will get something to eat.
Oh, and this was the year I became a brand ambassador for GARDENA. I get approached a lot to showcase products but I don’t want to represent any old brand so I have carefully decided on my partners and I feel privileged and honoured to have Yates and GARDENA on my team (although probably best described as me on theirs).
Despite the 94 blog posts I lovingly crafted that year my mum’s sultana biscuits remained my most popular post – and it wasn’t even about gardening! Although that was the year we lost our much loved Toast the Cat and so we can’t not review this year without paying our respects. >A tribute to my fluffy garden buddy<
This year was a quiet year – nothing major happened. Just gardening, writing, speaking and more gardening. Although this was the year that I went as close to viral as I’ve ever been with my April fool’s day blog post! >They’re up< (My mum’s sultana biscuits were the second most popular post and there were 93 great gardening posts to choose from!)
By this stage my garden could be considered mature. I had been there 10 years and it was just how I wanted it to be. It was the right size and things grew well there, although it could have been a little less damp, but that is the joys of swamp living for you. I was a very happy gardener.
Now this was an exciting year – I was a judge and a speaker at the New Zealand Flower and Garden Show, and I headed across the ditch and spoke at a garden club in Australia. I had gone international! And I started writing for Kiwi Gardener Magazine as a regular contributor.
Oh yeah – and we up sticks and moved from the 3 acres in the swamp to 10 acres on the coast and relocated a house by chopping it in half and dragging it halfway across the country and started a brand new garden from scratch! Little things.
Annoyingly my Mum’s bikkies are still my number one post! Even though there were 65 posts that year about the move and setting up a new garden! There weren’t as many as previous years as I was rather busy building a new garden. The 2nd most popular post was >A Sea Change<
This year was all a bit quiet, aside from the writing, speaking and publicity side of things, and to be honest after the previous year it was a breath of fresh air and allowed me to scratch the surface of embracing the challenges of growing in this new and rugged environment. Although it wasn’t without an exciting development and I have taken on a new role as a Botanical Tour Guide for Botanical Worldwide Discoveries and getting to visit some amazing and inspiring gardens with passionate fellow travellers is such a pleasure and a privilege. It fits in so nicely with what I already have going on.
The best post from 2019 was … you guessed it – those blimmin biscuits! The next best was a favourite of mine >Marrow Chips< and I as a result of taking my eye off the garden over Christmas, I have some zucchini turned marrow in the dehydrator right now with several others ready to take their place once the first lot have been done!
Looking back over the last decade has reminded me of the whirlwind journey I am on. I don’t imagine for a minute that the next 10 years will be spent with my feet up after sowing a few seeds or pulling a few weeds. I think I quite like the excitement and challenge of a life lived to the full. Although I do feel a little trepidation for what may occur as this time 10 years ago, I didn’t see any of this coming and it certainly wasn’t in my plans at that point. I am so grateful, thankful and delighted that my life has taken this path and I look forward to seeing where it will go from here.
Thanks so much for all your support over the years – if it wasn’t for you, much of this wouldn’t have happened at all.
Come again soon – because 2020.
Sarah the Gardener : o)