Tuesday, 13 May 2008
My Garden Path
I've been thinking recently, while my life has taken on such a slow pace as to almost have stopped, why I've got so into gardening.
Every year, at about this time, I've tried growing things and the passion usually lasts until I go on holiday or Autumn arrives. It's obvious this seed of interest has lain, mostly dormant, in me for many years.
But this year something extra has happened to kick-start it earlier and more strongly. It helps that the baby days are behind me, the exhaustion's not so acute and snatches of time can be found in the day so I have the energy to think of other things.
It is more than that though. It's the creative need in me, unleashed since I have stopped creating children, that has surprised me and this thirst is quenched mostly through gardening and partly through this blog.
Since I've become a 'grower' - gardener has connotations of knowledge, of which I possess little - I've noticed the world is divided into Those Who Dig and Those Who Don't. But what makes those people not garden, I wonder, as I pass by sad pots needing flowers or hanging baskets swinging emptily.
I guess those people, and I was once among them, would cite Time as their chief enemy, the robber of hobbies and passions. But, I want to shout, you don't need much time! It takes next to no time to open a pack of seeds, place in a pot of compost, cover and water. Space might also be an issue but I'd hope that even if I lived in a high-rise flat a couple of pots of herbs might find themselves on my kitchen windowsill.
Crazily, I've been thinking how marvellous it would be if at the six week check all new mums were given a growing kit with all the necessaries plus a packet of sunflowers, herbs or carrot seeds. The meditative effect of sowing seeds, the couple of minutes' time-out from dirty nappies, laundry or feeds would have done me the power of good, I reckon. It's also guilt-free time, making food for our young or just their world a more beautiful place.
As I pass wonderful, lush gardens, read books, watch Gardeners' World or catch up on blogs, I wonder if others' paths to their gardening passion took the same route or if it was more direct, more natural or just different.