How can anyone enjoy gardening at this time of year? It’s warm, sweaty, and there are more weeds popping up than vegetables. Slugs are slithering all over your dahlias, and blackfly have set up lookout posts on your cherry tree. Easy, I love gardening.
Yes, it’s hard work. Yes, there aren’t enough days in the week to get up to the allotment. And yes, your flowers and vegetables never resemble the ones in the glossy magazines. But that’s because we live in the real world, and in the real world, life can get in the way.
So we do what we can. Steal a half hour here, tweet a gardening query there, and on Friday nights we all sit-down and tune in for our weekly fix of garden porn on BBC2, watching Monty and his crew work up a sweat as they sow, till, and reveal their ripe harvests… filthy beggars, the lot of them.
At the start of the year, I made a conscious decision to try and take my gardening to the next level. And to be honest, so far it’s been a mixed bag. In the last few weeks, I’ve been so fixated on keeping both the garden and allotment looking their best, that I’ve forgotten to do the one thing I love: being still, and breathing it all in.
In my day to day life, I’m desperate to unchain those shackles and get my hands in the soil. But my time is so limited, that when I am set free, my head goes down and I’m racing against the clock to get everything done. At times, when I’m working in the hustle and bustle of the city, and not able to garden, there are moments of darkness. Sometimes, it feels like a panic attack. “If I’m not working the land, then how can I call myself a gardener?” I’m not one to feel sorry for myself, but whoever thought seven days in a week would be enough, was clearly not a gardener!
However, the flowers are blooming, my vegetables are growing, so I must be doing something right. Sometimes, I just need to let go of the reins a little, and have faith in Mother Nature. And when I do have an hour to spend in the garden or up at the plot, I should seize the moment more, appreciate it, enjoy it and let everything else be.