What Kind of Garden?

You’ve probably all seen the magazine-type articles which promise to tell you what clothing style is right for you. You may have taken the quizzes, or even tried to follow their advice. But the problem, I find, is that they have a limited number of stereotyped options: French chic, bohemian, avant-garde, glamorous… For some reason “time-travelling Anabaptist” never makes the list.

As it is with clothing style, so also with garden style – including, alas, an increasingly rapid change in fashions. Suggested styles may include cottage, Mediterranean, formal, Japanese, coastal, prairie or post-modern (plants optional). But again, what if you and your dream garden don’t fit neatly into one of those boxes?

What if your garden style is, er… whatever this is?
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An Invitation

According to Wallace Stegner in Angle of Repose, “it’s easier to die than to move … at least for the Other Side you don’t need trunks.”

WLANL - Pachango - Slot Loevestein - Boekenkist van Hugo de Groot

There speaks someone who has too much stuff. And while you may be able to avoid moving house – and thus dealing with all that packing – death comes to us all in time. And then someone else has to deal with all our stuff (and they won’t thank us for it).

Does that seem a bit morbid? Then think of it this way. Moving may not be imminent. Death may not be imminent. But life – life is already here, and if you’re anything like me, your life is cluttered up with all that same stuff which would be such a pain in the neck to deal with if you moved and/or died.

While I fervently hope that death is not just around the corner for me (I would like to do a little more with my life before I go, and in any case I haven’t written my will yet), I am facing a Move.

Since there are wheels within wheels – or rather, asbestos within crumbling lino – we can’t move into our new home straight away. We don’t even have a firm moving date yet. This makes planning the move rather tricky at present. If I start packing now, we either do without whatever I pack for the next however many weeks, or I have to do some premature unpacking, which violates the cardinal law of successful moving. Wheels within wheels.

Vienna - Vintage Franz Zajizek Astronomical Clock machinery - 0518When I first created this blog, I wanted it to provide accountability for me, and encouragement for others. In that spirit, I invite you to fling-along in August as I work my way through the house reducing the quantity of things I will eventually need to pack.

As with so many things in life, pruning is easier when you’re not trying to do it all by yourself. I will be focussing on a different area each week, with a mixture of encouragement, ideas, my experiences, and hopefully yours. Feel free to use the comments section as a flingy-forum (although please note the usual ban on inappropriate or abusive content will still be in place – and that includes abusing yourself).

You can join in for a week, or for the whole month; you can offer advice, suggestions, or compose amusing working songs; you can share lists of what you’ve purged, or tallies, or weights, or even pictures, if my Luddism doesn’t get in the way.

Alone or not, I’m committed to a month of sort, purge and prune (with a side of judicious packing) – will you join me?