I am a keen gardener, I love pottering around the plot and adding plants here, moving plants there, weeding, feeding, watering and then just sitting and looking at it. Now and again, I get the urge to do something a bit more and redesign part of my garden. I started redesigning my back garden this year. I thought about which GDLC (Garden Development Life Cycle) I would use and it came down to a choice of the Waterfall (no, not lots of water features) model or using Agile methods. I decided on the Agile methods. I have previously sat down with garden design software and designed my garden in detail, showing the hard landscaping, the shape of the lawn, exactly which plants would go where and using the clever software features of showing what the garden would look like in 10 years. There is an element of satisfaction when you then print this plan on A3 and pour over it, tweaking bits before finalising the plan. Then you get a contractor to quote for the work you want doing (I never have the time to do it all myself), you get a timescale, you plan out the deliveries of plants and hard material, work out which plants you are going to keep and where they need to be kept whilst the work is going on. The work starts and is inevitably late finishing, hampered by the weather, unreliable deliveries, faults in the plan needing rework and the whole project becomes frustrating. The enjoyment of having a new garden evaporates because of the headaches to get it done and for some reason it never quite looks as good as you had planned it.
With Agile gardening, it is much more fun. I had a broad view of what I wanted, I wanted to screen off my shed and greenhouse, replace the conifer hedge with a fence and make a back border, move the patio from the edge of the garden to the centre and make a woodland garden where the patio used to be. So, the parts of the product are Back Border, Patio,
Of course, I did some work myself. This was in the form of some Exploratory Digging (or ED). I wanted to see whether the border at the back where the hedge had been replaced would stand some deep rooted shrubs. I dug that border in a series of Exploratory Sessions and the debriefs with the boss (my wife) happened every 2 hours over a cup of tea or lunch so that we could discuss progress and what further Exploratory Sessions could be done. I kept learning about the depth of the soil along the border and was able to determine where I needed to add more organic material and where there was enough so I could work out which plants went where. Having done the ED, I then went on to the Exploratory Planting (EP). Here all the plants I had bought, grown from seeds or cuttings or saved when other parts of the garden were dug up were placed in what I thought were the best places for them. I then looked at them and moved a few around. I then went indoors and looked from the upstairs window to see what the effect was. This caused some more movement of plants. Once happy, they were all planted in the border.
The back border is now Live and so far there are no problems, but as the summer approaches, I expect there to be some mistakes so they will be added to GardenZilla.
The garden is not yet fully complete. Back Border is Live, Patio is work in progress,
There is some excitement in seeing the broad view coming together, the landscaper is happy, I am happy and the end product looks like it will be good.
As each part of the garden goes Live, we can establish the goals of the next part of the garden and work towards them.
I now need to ask myself am I bringing my work home or am I taking my hobby to work?