So there we are, sat enjoying a rather pleasant pub lunch on holiday in Northumberland (as we have done for over twenty years), when Dad pipes up with words to the effect of ‘I think I could retire to Northumberland.’ We all laugh it off as one of Dad’s big, extravagant life-changing statements that more often than not bare no fruition. On the walk back from lunch, along the stretch of stunning coastline between Craster and Howick, Steph and me are chattering away, pondering Dad’s words, when she utters a line, the kind of words the speaker utters without thought, but that the listener hears and a chord is struck – ‘Northumberland is kind of our spiritual home’ – bam! That hit me like a punch to the stomach, penetrating deeply and causing me to force the tears to stay at bay. Please excuse the pun but, the seed had been sown! For the next couple of months me and Steph chatted and discussed the various ins and outs of moving before finally declaring our desire to move to Northumberland. I had become rather stuck in a rut, finishing university and not knowing what the heck to do next, and Steph had become rather disillusioned with work. We saw an opportunity for a new start opening up before us. At this point flower farming was not even on the radar!
Months passed and thoughts of becoming fully fledged British flower growers grew, we’d always enjoyed growing and arranging British flowers and through research and courses plans started to formulate. We looked at potential houses with no land except small gardens and houses with odd patches of land which would enable us to grow enough to get us started, but ultimately we knew that if we wanted to do ‘it’ properly then we would need a decent amount of land. This was never just about growing pretty flowers but a whole new start for our whole family, so therefore we wanted land to grow fresh vegetables, land to grow the juiciest fruit, land for hens to scratch themselves silly in and maybe an odd bit of land for some livestock (but that last one is totally Dad’s domain – the current fantasy is goats!)
None of us imagined it would happen quite this quickly, but sometimes life has other ideas! So here we are, in a gorgeous house surrounded by open countryside and rolling hills. We’ve taken on just over 2 acres – which to us seems ridiculous and we have no idea where to start…other than find a small corner and get stuck in! There are weeds EVERYWHERE – every nook, every cranny is over run; there is waist high grass in the fields and rabbits hopping all over the place! A sane person would run a mile so we definitely must be completely crazy as to us the prospect is thrilling! Even with the silly irrational panic moments that set in (will Amazon be able to find me?! what if the broadband is rubbish?!) we can see the wondrous potential of it all and hopefully this will pull us through and keep us going when inevitably the novelty wears off and the hard work is overwhelming!
Hopefully this has given you a small insight into how we got here, its not the whole story but hopefully over the coming months, as we share our journey and Ginger House Garden grows in more ways than one, the narrative will unfold…