The Visitors

My garden has seen many visitors.

When we first moved here, all the neighbours told us that we couldn’t grow vegetables, because the area used to be industrial, and that there was heavy metal contamination. Our own investigations confirmed this. Plus, we are the lowest of the adjacent gardens, in a wet country, meaning the garden floods. Being stubborn, we decided this wouldn’t put us off, so we built some raised beds and invited some visitors, to come and help us with the large amount of soil we had ordered.

An awful lot of soil

(c) L. Vickers 2009

In towns and cities in the Netherlands, the houses are often built around courtyard gardens. Our visitors helped us to lug this soil through the house and out to the gardens, where they filled our twelve (large) raised beds

Filling the raised beds

(c) L. Vickers 2009

Without these visitors, we would not have been able to build the garden that we now grow from. The garden that (sometimes) looks like this

Our garden - mostly finished

(c) L. Vickers 2009

We have always been sociable people, and the garden has seen many visitors for many barbeques and parties. We have had visitors who have come to stay, for a weekend, and those who stayed a little longer. As far as I know, they have all had fun here.

Just over a year ago, we had an unexpected visitor who turned up in our garden.


I caught him, thinking some poor child would be distraught at having left the cage open, or that the local cats might get him. I put round flyers asking whose he was, since he had to belong to one of our neighbours, as there is no way out of the gardens here. The neighbour came to get him, but 3 days later he turned back up here again, and returning became a habit. Now he lives with us. We also got him a little friend. They seem to be happy here too.

Last weekend, we went away to the Dutch countryside. We had a great weekend in the fresh air, with friends. When we got home, we had another surprise visitor.

Mystery bear

Surprise II!

I have no idea where he came from, or how he got here. He seems to be quite happy in among the raised beds.

The point is that all of these visitors have been very welcome, and I have enjoyed having them here. I am also very grateful to those of them who helped us to lug all that soil, we owe them all a lot!

I have been writing this blog  for a while now, but have never yet dared to publish my writing. I have been too afraid to put myself out there, and to accept visitors if, indeed, there should be any.

I have had a lot of encouragement from a number of people. People that I consider good friends. Some of whom I know in person, some of whom I know only on the internet (Thanks especially to L, J, the Morning Claret and  Nip It In The Bud, who have all been particularly supportive). I have received some very kind words from you all, and I know that I have driven at least one of you mad with my worries and lack of public posts.  I would like to thank you all.

I am not really very good at being bad at stuff. I see food bloggers that I admire, and I think that my stuff is not as good as theirs. But why should it be? They have mostly all been doing it for years, and I have mostly just been thinking about it.

Recently, I also came across this blog post, that pretty much sums a lot of the things that I have been thinking/worrying about.

I have looked back over the blog, and really, I could continue to review and change things. I definitely need to stop taking those ‘plate from above’ shots that have populated the blog so far. Hopefully, tips like those on this page will help me stop that. I also need to get better at shopping for stuff like linens and pots that will help add interest, as well as learn some different camera angles. I am not entirely happy with the template/layout I am using, and will probably change it soon. But, honestly, I could continue to review and edit forever, and not be happy. I need to trust that I will get better, and so I am going to try.

So, thanks to all my lovely friends, and online inspirations, I have decided that now is the time to take the plunge. I am a hospitable person, and I love playing host to all kinds of visitors. It is always a nervous time, waiting for people to turn up. Even if they don’t, I have prepared food for more than I have invited, so no one will go hungry, or I will eat like a party queen for a week or so. I should add that it has never happened so far!

With this, even if no-one turns up, then at least I have a record of what I have attempted; how much better I have (hopefully) become at butchery, or brewing or whatever; and how much fun I had cooking  for all the visitors in my real life. Whatever happens, only time will tell.

So, I am going to spend a while going back over the old posts, and finally pressing publish. This may take me a little while, as there are quite a few of them, but if I don’t do it now, I never will.

In any case, I am proud to declare that Edible Things is open for visitors.


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