/ 6 min read

The gardener's return

The gardener's return
Annabelle Hickson
Annabelle Hickson Tenterfield, NSW
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This is a fortnightly newsletter from Galah's editor Annabelle Hickson, made for our Galah subscribers. You are our most valuable supporters. You keep the lights on and the engine room running. Thank you.

I started my garden before I started Galah. For three years I channelled all my ambition and energy into it: planting, weeding, mulching and pruning and then walking around it at dusk with a glass of wine in hand, admiring it. And then I dumped it for Galah.

Somewhere along the way, in between googling “how to start a magazine” and writing stories for issue 08, I went from being a gardener, to simply having a garden, albeit one that was getting more out of control by the second. 

When you dump (or are dumped by) a person who you haven't had children with, you never have to see them again. But not so with your garden. It literally lived around me, and showed no signs of moving.

It became a source of guilt. I kept saying to myself I’ll get back into the garden when things calm down, but they never did. So instead I tried not to notice the hedges that needed hedging, the prickly pears growing in the gutter and the unwanted grass (couch) running through the wanted grasses (miscanthus). Meanwhile, the garden kept growing. And what had been outside the garden started coming inside. Weeds, marauding mobs of wild goats. Even wild pigs. They joined the lovely little wrens and finches that had made their homes in the hibiscus and buddlejas ever since I planted them.

The parallels between starting a magazine and a garden are striking. Both start with nothing: an empty Word doc and a bare paddock. They both need some sort of vision as to what they’re going to be about, some kind of shape, even if it’s vague. They require sweat and stamina to build. There’s lots of trial and error. Some plants thrive, others wilt. And they both have no end. 

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