Gardening of the Mind

I had never really appreciated the great satisfaction of gardening until recently when something clicked and I realised that gardening is a bit like tidying, but with plants.  I am a huge fan of tidying and order (VIRGO!) and so, suddenly, gardening became a rather attractive activity.

One day, whilst having a good weed, it struck me that what I was doing to our garden out the back there, was a bit like what I am currently doing to my mind:

First of all I had become more aware of my ‘garden’.  So far I hadn’t actively planted anything in it, someone else had done this and I had been letting things grow as they wanted to, cutting things back a bit every so often.  I realised that my garden is not entirely as I would like and that some ‘plants’ are taking up more than their fair share of space, but that I also have a say in what makes up my garden so I can make changes.

Despite wanting everything to be different NOW (arrrrrghh!) I can only chip away at it and must accept that plants may not be entirely weeded out the first time around – I will have to keep checking back to see what’s sprouting up and tending to things as necessary.  The work will never be done but will get easier if I make a good initial effort and then make a promise to keep on top of things.

I’m not really sure what some of the plants are and if I want to keep them – I may have dug up and discarded some treasures by mistake… but I can always change the make up of my garden and try new stuff out.  Some things may not grow first time around but I can try again, perhaps following someone else’s advice on how to get the best results.  I can also try out different tools.

The garden will never look the same each day – plants will grow and change and outside forces will affect them, and the plants may affect each other, but I have a fair amount of control, and whilst I’m gardening I can appreciate what an amazing thing my garden actually is, including all the elements I never realised were there, growing and scuttling away, as well as being grateful for the things that the previous gardeners have planted that have grown so quietly and steadily.

I also now better appreciate that the weeds have their own beauty and purpose too: the various bugs are happy with them; they can have lovely flowers and they are really impressive growers, so it’s not the end of the world if they grow back – they’re not ‘bad’, I just have to keep them in check.

So here’s to your own gardening activities!  As I become a more experienced gardener I hope to share my tips – I’d like the fruits of my garden to be enjoyed by more people than just me alone.

I planted some crocuses the other week – fingers crossed they pop their heads out of the ground next Spring…

(Originally written for Moodscope.)

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