It’s hard to write a lasting story on ice. Recurring cold snaps and hard frosts have frozen the garden in place, and it’s impossible to work with. I ordered a bunch of dormant plants, as this is the season to pick them up cheap, and now I’m just hoping they survive until spring.
This site is much the same. I’m still shaking it out of deep freeze and figuring out how to work it. As a digital garden, it’s frozen.
“Digital garden” is a term I came across a few years ago. Here’s the post in question:
…not following the conventions of the “personal blog,” as we’ve come to know it. Rather than presenting a set of polished articles, displayed in reverse chronological order, these sites act more like free form, work-in-progress wikis.
A garden is a collection of evolving ideas that aren’t strictly organised by their publication date. They’re inherently exploratory – notes are linked through contextual associations. They aren’t refined or complete – notes are published as half-finished thoughts that will grow and evolve over time. They’re less rigid, less performative, and less perfect than the personal websites we’re used to seeing.
Another post from that writer, Maggie Appleton, illustrates where she sees digital gardens fitting:
All of which constitutes a fun thing to think about. I have always personally liked the “hardly baked” approach as coined by Simon Reynolds, but I also like the chronological channel. The thing is actually connecting up the planting, which I am historically bad at. In a nod to the garden, I’ve started adding tags to posts – a minor thing, and something I probably should have done years ago, but it may help me surface stuff without having to dig around in the dirt to see if there’s a plant I forgot about that got covered in weeds.
I’m a bad gardener. But I’m a worse knowledge worker. Some of my peers shove everything they come across into vastly powerful knowledge management engines and mighty zettelkastens. I’m more of a casual zibaldone operator. The metaphor I’ve always used is tossing information into the compost bin at the back of my head, and letting it all cook down until idea A rots next to idea B and rolls out a useful clump of muck I can turn into a story. It’s an organic, unmanaged process.
But spring is coming. If I start some seeds in the propagator now, and put them into the new cheap mini greenhouse (a tenner!) that just arrived when they have true leaves on them, I should have a working food-forest garden going when the frost season passes. So I’m planning in advance of the time the garden is no longer frozen.