Hi my name is Grace Jolliffe and I am a writer living on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way in County Galway. I am lucky enough to have a large garden. Actually I should call it what it really is – a big overgrown messy wilderness with a tiny amount of soil and a huge amount of rocks, scutch grass, briar, ragwort and assorted weeds.
I have never had much of a garden before but I have had a small allotment and have grown plants in pots – not quite the same thing you might say, and you’d be right – because I am finding that having a large space I can call my own is a difficult and wonderful experience. Of course it’s not just mine it’s my husbands as well but although he is a willing helper he isn’t that keen on gardening so mostly it’s down to me.
Despite the rocks I love my garden. There’s nothing better than losing track of time as you dig, pull, plant and plan. This being Galway if the sun’s out it’s a bonus but if not, well it’s still a great way to spend an afternoon.
The other thing about gardening is that I believe it’s the perfect activity for a writer. We spend too much time slumped over laptops, stuck in our own heads and thoughts, and often barely moving at all. We need to counteract this. Some writers do this in the gym or running etc. I do it by swimming, walking and by being outside in the garden and doing some physical work.
I feel I am in perfect balance if I spend the week writing and a couple of evenings and some of the weekend gardening. Of course if there was an extra weekend in the week it would be easier, you see time is a bit of a problem. I don’t have a lot of it. I am a full-time writer and I have other websites besides this one. My main one is www.practicalcreativewriting.com where I provide free information, tips and writing exercises for creative writers and I also have another site called www.ballyyahoo.com which is a children’s stories website with lots of free stories based around a fictional town on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.
I develop and look after the sites myself as well as writing all the articles and taking the photographs. I am also writing novels and short stories. So as you can see, finding time to garden isn’t easy but again that’s what it’s like for real gardeners who juggle jobs, work, family and gardens.
Real gardening isn’t like telly gardening – we don’t have teams of willing helpers pitching in, we don’t have unlimited budgets, sometimes plants don’t grow and sometimes they do – only to be killed in a storm or eaten by slugs or since we started keeping fowl – scoffed by hungry hens. Even though I love gardening it’s not always easy to stay motivated.
One of the things that helps keep me motivated is writing about gardening on this site. Doing this also means I have to remember to keep taking photographs and writing about my progress which in itself is very motivating.
However, what motivates me most is that I love gardening. Just being out there breathing, planning, pulling and planting – it all makes me feel alive, connected and part of something that’s bigger than me.
Because I am learning to garden as I go along I am really hoping that other gardeners will come and say hello, pass a comment or two, maybe exchange a few words about struggles and successes and anything in between.
That’s it for the introductions – you’ll find more about my garden here.
Bye for now and happy gardening.
P.S. If you are interested in seeing what I write you can find out more by clicking here.