I am sure many gardeners out there will read this and think “tell us something we do not already know” but the truth is this. Gardening is brilliant, it is amazing, it is the best. Firstly, you are outdoors, you get to connect to nature (something we should all do). You get to see bugs and beetles and robins and worms and squirrels and all sorts of creatures. You exercise – up and down – knees bent – back up, lifting, carrying and digging. And it is free. No gym class fees just pure physical exercise mixed with nature. What is not to like?
For my part I have always loved gardening, from a little girl when I used to dig for china plates in the garden to burying bees who had sadly died, I loved being in the garden, smelling the flowers and generally messing around. I was lucky enough to live on the Garden Suburb of Brentham in Ealing, West London. It was almost a sin not to do your garden. So when I arrived, I was determined to make the most of the small plot. Sadly the ground was full of clay and full of this kind of “bind” weed which got into the roots and literally sucked the life out of the ground. So I had to dig and compost, dig and compost and weed and weed until everything was gone and the garden was back to basics. I then got a designer in to design the garden – we utilized old London stock bricks we found in the cellar, created a decking area and re-planted the garden. I say “we” I am proud to say that I planted every plant on my own. It is back breaking but so rewarding following a plan and creating such a beautiful space. I have the fondest memories of my gardening days and even though I do not have a garden now, I garden for friends and clients. I love it. Whatever the weather.
So what I am saying is this. Gardening is amazing for both your physical and mental health. If you do not have a garden why not a) consider volunteering for a gardening group in say, your local park, or b) sign up for an allotment. I have just done that and I hope to be successful. I will plant a mixture of vegetables so I can have fresh veg, as well as flowers so I can sit, book in hand, flask of something, music quietly playing in the background, admiring my work.
Tracey B x