In my grand plan (well, vague plan might be more accurate) this blog post was to have been about Spring in the garden at Oak Tree Barn. I have though been a little thwarted by the weather! There was still snow on parts of the field and garden just a couple of days ago, and though my tulips are valiantly poking their green tips through the soil there is nothing much else to see. But, on peering at the hedges I can see the tiny glimmer of green buds so it’s just a matter of days and a bit of warmth before those leaves will begin unfurling and I’ll feel as though Spring has begun.

I should have been spending the time when I couldn’t be in the garden focussing on a planting plan, but every time I open a book or catalogue I am somehow distracted by something more pressing, such as trying to find a way to stop the chickens escaping. Despite being able to free range in a very generous paddock the lure of the garden, and indeed the road, is irresistible and I have been found trotting up and down the lane flapping the chickens back into the drive regularly over the past few weeks. I like to think that the traffic being slowed down is beneficial to the village, but suspect that local neighbours may just be muttering expletives every time they kindly avoid running over my feathery friends.

My attention span is however notoriously short. In the space of a single morning I might have started five or six different projects, made a mess on every surface around me, considered ten or more career changes and procrastinated with endless tea and coffee. So I can’t blame the chickens entirely! I think it is largely my curiosity and creativity at work here, I simply can’t resist finding out a little more about whatever has piqued my interest, and I find it hard to finish the day without having something to show for my endeavours. I have got better at choosing smaller projects and this perhaps is why I find it easier to bake than to plan a garden (plus there’s the bonus of eating it!).

Frustration though is always nearby and I wonder if others feel similarly? Every day I wake up and plan to focus on the tasks I have chosen for the day, but so frequently I spend much of my time reigning in my brain as it fills with ideas and thoughts – feeling like a terrier in a field of bunnies, darting wildly here and there but having no idea which one to start chasing! Still, working for myself is allowing me to pursue my many interests, and indeed hopefully to meet others who share my curiosity and creativity during workshops at the barn. I relish the opportunity to shape my own days, weeks and months and am really grateful to have the freedom to do so.

I could blame social media for my poor concentration, but in reality I have experienced this for my entire life and I am aware that it is not only myself I have frustrated over the years. I have in fact just listened to the most recent podcast from Sara Tasker who was talking to meditation and relaxation expert Andrew Johnson about the benefits of developing a consistent practise. I’ve been quite good this year at doing yoga first thing in the morning using an app called Down Dog (which I highly recommend), but I think I might really benefit from meditation too. I’d love to know if you have a regular meditation practise and what gains you might have appreciated doing so?

Anyhow, it is back to the garden plans for me between peeks at my tulips’ progress and constructing a frame for the sweet peas to come. Hopefully it won’t be too long before I have some pretty floral photos to share with you, and in ten years time who knows what the garden will look like!

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