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.)