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More time in the garden

April 18, 2010

I spent a second day in garden this past weekend. I can’t recommend it enough. Even if you’ve only got a patio to tend, time spent doing the fairly dull, repetitive tending is time spent relaxing. It’s taken me a long time to realise it.

I have little patience. I want everything to happen now. No doubt, that’s a symptom of me spending a lot of my time on the internet where real time statistics provide me with a way of measuring personal and professional success (as much as I try and deny it, statistics are important).

Gardening – especially sowing seeds – seems like the complete polar opposite of that day to day experience.

I planted mixed salad leaves, spring onions and courgettes (recommended by a friend), tomatoes (my mother-in-law’s suggestion), rocket and carrots.

Laying the seeds out in the pots it was difficult to imagine how these ridiculously tiny seeds in my hand would grow into something I would eventually retrieve from the soil and throw in a steamer in anticipation of a frightfully middle-class suburban meal on a warm spring evening.

And yet, it was the repetitive process of preparing pots, watering the soil, laying the seeds and covering with more soil which not only had a hypnotically reassuring effect on my soul but also promoted a sense of excitement. Those pots outside the backdoor do rather feel like they need constant attention. I rather like that feeling. And I’m really looking forward to documenting progress.

Elsewhere, I think I might have fallen back in love with the garden. I mentioned in the previous post how I’d always resisted venturing out into the garden because the view from the kitchen seemed less than perfect. And yet, merely spending a little time in the less than perfect, I see tiny pockets of joy which take me by surprise.

The flowerbed down one side of the garden is awash with spring flowers – still. There’s even one bold, brave little tulip – something I have absolutely no recollection of planting over the past ten years. Down the bottom of the garden the wilting hyacinths make a promise for next spring; underneath the dead tree, the rambling rose is making a valiant effort.

It’s almost as if a few hours spent wandering around the garden and I’m surprised to find little things which have either returned from last year (and thus reassure me that the garden isn’t a complete disaster) or things which if looked after could transform into the glorious colour-givers I’d hoped they would when we dropped them into the ground. The rose would be a special thing to see develop given that it was a gift from my parents last year.

More news as it happens.

See the gardening slideshow on Flickr.

  1. How PRETTY! Hugely encouraged by your blog! Our garden a similar shape to yours. Have resolved today to dig up horrid forsythia and start planting some things that we like. Forsythia very close to kitchen door. If I glance up from kitchen sink am convinced most nights that there’s a man in a hi-vis vest standing in garden. It has to go! x

  2. cyberguycalif permalink

    I was outside today trimming something in the yard. I don’t even know what it is, but it needed trimming. It was here when I moved in.

    I also noticed two pink rose buds about to open. The red one has no buds yet and neither does the Frankenstein rose bush. That’s what I call it since someone must have spliced two different roses together as one side grows orange roses and the other side a really deep reddish purple rose.

  3. Graham Chestney permalink

    Hey Jon, You will be surprised how easy it is to get things to grow i’m pleased that things I put in the garden last year have really taken off.
    Also we built a little pond last October in the back garden, and after a friend gave us some frogspawn now have lots of tadpoles to keep an eye on now.
    Just have to slightly redesign the pond area a bit so when they start coming out the frogs have somewhere to hide.

    Keep up the good work and you will be reaping the rewards soon.
    P.S. I seem to be going through collecting blue pots for some reason at the moment for the area in front of our Flat door.

  4. Rachel permalink

    Hear, hear to all of that.

    • How’s your garden going ?

  5. Graham Chestney permalink

    Pond has been re-modelled now here are some photographs.

  6. Nice work.

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