Monday, 24 October 2016

Time for a Change - Growing my blog and changing focus

In the blog beginning

Since I started this blog, so many things have changed in my life that I realised the blog no longer fitted it very well. Things that were important to me back then have gone, some have blossomed and grown.

"Pumpkin Becki's Little Allotment and Garden" was a way of recording all my successes and failures as I took on a brand new, never-before-cultivated allotment, in the village where we were also self-building a house on a 0.1 acre of land...yes, 0.1 acres.

Well, it's now 9 years since we poured the foundations, and our self-build project has become our perfect home. We were careful to begin work on the garden as soon as the mucky building site stage was over; we had a 'dream' list of things we wanted from our garden, and I think we've managed to achieve them:

  • A greenhouse - check
  • A Potting Shed - check
  • Chickens in a fox-proof run - check
  • A working kitchen garden - check
  • A hive of honey bees
  • A pretty, ornamental garden - it's a constant work in progress, but who's garden isn't!
Now, that's quite a lot to expect from such a small plot of land, especially when a large chunk of that is taken over by the dwelling. The biggest boon was removing the Leylandii trees, which by doing a deal with our lovely neighbours, gained us a couple more metres on the length of the back garden and so much more light and rainfall. The garden has thrived!

Successes and Failures

The success of the garden has lead to the downfall of the allotment though. I'm sad about that, and I still haven't officially given it back to the landowner, but I know that it has served it's purpose, helping me meet people in our new village, and giving me a wonderful grounding in growing edibles when I didn't have a suitable space at home.

Once the house was complete and the garden well underway, we allowed pets back into our lives. My husband Paul had grown up with cats, but I've always had small animals, especially guinea pigs and hamsters, and they don't mix terribly well with puss cats, neither does the busy main road on the other side of our fence. We also desperately wanted to keep chickens, ever since watching the Channel 4 'Escape to River Cottage' series with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, so cats weren't really an option.

Positive changes

In the space of 9 years, we have had 7 guinea pigs, 4 hamsters, 3 chickens, some tropical fish and thousands of honey bees, and as we stand now, we have 10 pets in total.

So I started thinking about my blog, and why I struggled to keep it up to date. That's when I realised that it's because it doesn't fit our life anymore. We aren't aspiring allotmenteers now, I'm not trying to win tonnes of prizes at Garden Society shows with my flowers, veg and fruit. Huge chunks of time are now taken up caring for and spending time with our family of pets.

What do I do about that?

Well the gardening and allotmenting lessons I've learned are still very important to me, so I didn't want to end this blog, but I thought that with a slight name change, a freshening face-lift and development of subject matter, I could encourage my little blog to grow with me.

So welcome to "Pumpkin Becki - The story of our garden, built from nothing; and the ever growing collection of pets we share our lives with"
Rebecca xxx

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