Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden - Chinese proverb

Monday, 14 April 2008

It's Decision Time

I've been over to Swindon today for my regular volunteer stint at Heelis, the National Trust HQ. I'm now at a bit of a crossroads there as I've been offered a meaty new volunteering role - the management of the volunteer programme for the Gardens Survey Project. This is a flagship, 3 year project being undertaken to survey 100 gardens. It involves plant surveying, GPS mapping and digital photography.

The offered role ticks a lot of the right boxes - it makes use of my skills in abundance, builds on the planning advice I've given to the project thus far and is far more interesting than the archive sorting I've been doing (and moaning about) lately. However, I'm not leaping at the opportunity. To me the role described looks like a full-time one, not 10 days induction followed by a day(ish) a week. A couple of the other volunteer roles appeal much more to me - Plant Recorder and Photographer. These are property based and look like they have a better fit with the gardening course I'm currently studying, but don't make such full use of my skills. Also the properties close to me aren't due to be surveyed until next year and may not require that kind of help anyway.

Another option is to go and do something entirely different - either at the Trust or elsewhere. So which is it to be - stay as I am, take on more responsibility, do something else there or elsewhere? The clock is ticking and I need to decide...

7 comments:

  1. Goodness what a dilemma! Lots of thinking for you today!

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  2. Thought I commented, but looks like I exited too early (senior moment!) Probably means I'm too confused to help you decide - but what choices! I was a volunteer at Lytes Cary and Stourhead last year for the NT as well as East Lambrook - and look where that's got me now.

    The Garden Survey Project sounds really interesting - is there any documentation (internal or external) about it, I'd love to find out more. It fits in with a discussion we were having today on how best to present the interpretation of our borders, particularly as plants move around each year.

    Some time I must come up to Swindon to see what you have on us in the archives - are Graham Stuart Thomas's plans lodged there?

    Good luck with whatever you decide.

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  3. Glad I'm not in your shoes....so many nice choices but how to choose? Good luck.
    Oh and you will let us know the outcaom won't you?!

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  4. VP ! That is a great slide show ! I used to have mine up and running from Webshots but it got totally screwed some how .. now it is just the site with still pictures.
    You did a great job with it ! Love the potty cats : ) .. Cowslip .. Cyclamen .. heck, EVERYTHING looks great !
    What decision have you come to about the volunteer thing ?
    Joy
    I watched Miss Potter movie again last night .. I have most of her little books and love them !

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  5. Starnitesky - yes and I still am!

    RPF - thanks for the good thoughts and the understanding of my dilemma. I've also left you an answer over at your place

    Suburbia - I certainly will!

    Joy - glad you like the slideshow. Slide's pretty easy to use, so why not have a go? No decision yet - will mull it over on holiday...

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  6. A hard one to call VP - good luck with making your decision !

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  7. Hi Anna - blog post coming up shortly...

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