October is here and along with it Autumn.
As we enter a new season, new challenges arrive.
I have recently been enlisted to take over the gardening of a large manor house based in Blandford, Dorset. This is possibly one of the largest gardens I have come to manage, and with this comes an element of self doubt. The grounds sit at just over 3.5 acres and contain a mix of formal landscaped gardens, along with mixed pockets of wilder areas, including a large wild flower meadow.
The initial week of visits has mainly consisted of a thorough walk round with the current head gardener as well as getting stuck in to some immediate maintenance. It was interesting to walk around with him and see the improvements that he has made in the garden and to hear the areas in which he has struggled to make the impact he desired.
I think its perfectly normal to have self doubts when taking on a task of this magnitude and I think if I had none then it would be more cause for concern. I have been a gardener for the past 10 years, the last 5 of which I feel have really given me the skills to be great at what I do. Just walking around the grounds with the current gardener and talking shop, provided me with some reassurances and belief that I am in fact more than capable of gardening grounds of this size to a very high standard. In fact I believe I have a lot to offer this garden and I have many ideas on how it can be improved whilst working alongside the current owners ideas and opinions.
I feel if you do not challenge yourself and extend your knowledge then you will never grow as a gardener. This is why I am constantly taking on a wide variety of gardens, to improve myself and challenge myself to become the best gardener I can be.