Tuesday, 20 May 2014

The gentle power of gardening

One of the many things I love about being in the garden is I can have a good old think - really mull stuff over, or I can just switch off. Think about pretty much nothing. Nothing except weeds.
Sometimes that's what you need - not the weeds bit, but to just shut down for a while and give your head peace.

There've been times when I've felt like I'm trapped in a pressure cooker, stuck inside the house; worries, anxieties pushing down, suffocating the good thoughts.
Getting out into the garden is a release; a big deep breath.
Temporary maybe, but it seems to help me see through the fog.
Like free therapy I suppose.

It certainly was when we first moved here -  the kids were tiny, I was tied to the house, my husband was away and I knew no one. I remember how soothing it was to escape the baby routine for an hour or so; restoring a small but important sense of balance.

A whole bag of different emotions when my husband was in Afghanistan; but again, being out helped take the edge off the relentless anxiety, especially during his first tour which was full of so much sadness.

And sadness led me back into the garden.
I'd got a bit lazy, just keeping things ticking along, but when Dad died at the end of February I knew where I wanted to be.  Out there among the flowerbeds; out on my own with Dad.  So, every spare moment I've been digging, weeding, pruning and planting like a woman possessed - the sadness is always there, like a dull hum, but I think I'm dealing with it better.

I feel close to him outside, he loved the garden - it's how I remember him, wearing his funny old floppy hat that didn't quite fit; fussing over his courgettes and the runner beans. I can't look at the roses without thinking about Dad - he had a way with roses; somehow his always looked better than everyone else's.

My only keen garden helper gave me a hand with a little vegetable patch tribute to Dad, though don't think he'd have been that impressed. It doesn't pay to rush the soil preparation stage...and something's been nibbling away at my pea plants.

I also invested in a strawberry planter tower thing, lured by those catalogue pictures of plants laden with juicy strawberries (have I learnt nothing?) Anyway, it's been a bit of a disaster. I'm pretty sure I haven't over-watered them, but something's definitely not right.
Pick-Your-Own this year I think…

Late Spring has got to be my favourite time in the garden; everything's fresh and hopeful; even the weeds look good, and aren't they far too clever at hiding in flower beds.

I think Dad would approve, though he's probably up there tutting away at the state of the veg patch and possibly a little exasperated at my rose pruning technique. But, on the whole I know he'd be proud.
A shared passion that kept us close; that will always keep him close.

Joining in with Older mum's lovely One Week seasonal linky; capturing a taste of Spring'14 in words and pictures.


  1. What a gorgeous post; so beautiful and reflective. I am so glad to read that your garden keeps you close to your Dad, and that it's helping you be with and accept your feelings - I love pottering in my garden, even enjoy the weeding, I find it so meditative and calming. Gardening is so great for the soul. Sounds like your Dad had very green fingers and was an absolute charmer when it came to the roses - must have been his floppy hat! X

  2. Oh Tracey, the post nearly made me cry. I'm sure he would approve of your efforts in that beautiful garden. It's hard work but calming too. Great photos too.

  3. Sorry to hear about your loss. Agreed Mother Nature is the best healer, and must be so lovely to have such tangible result, your garden is stunning!

  4. What a lovely post T, I am sure your Dad would be proud of your garden, it looks utterly beautiful! :) xx

  5. Very lovely photographs. Take care x