Garden therapy

Hello visitors. My apologies; it’s been a while! A hectic work schedule and family commitments haven’t kept me away from my ’15 minutes of green’ completely this year, but they have stopped me from blogging about it. But I’m back, and pleased to report that, despite my best efforts, my garden continues to flourish, providing me with the perfect therapy for the stressed out mess I have been in danger of becoming.

Stress busting amongst the tulips earlier this year

Stress busting amongst the tulips earlier this year

Those of us fortunate enough to have our own gardens are well aware of the sense of well being we get from spending time amongst our borders. Ask most gardeners why we enjoy gardening and we’ll tell you “it makes me feel good”. I don’t know why, but pottering about with a pair of secateurs, or planning where I’m going to move the next unsuspecting perennial, is strangely relaxing.

Gardening offers the obvious benefits of physical exercise, sunshine (when it makes an appearance) and fresh air, but more importantly gardening is good therapy for our mental health too!

Out of control

For some gardeners, the buzz comes from the satisfaction of achieving neat geometric shapes or a perfectly striped lawn, but I confess that I have never, nor will ever, have that level of control over my herbaceous borders (although I do occasionally get stripes on the lawn, courtesy of my husband’s mowing prowess).

For me, it is the knowledge that I can’t control everything in my garden that makes it such a therapeutic release from all the other tensions of daily living. Yes, I have learned over the years that as much as I may try to coax plants to grow where and how I want them to, nature has an uncanny way of rearranging things … and nature always knows best!

Golden marjoram growing through burgundy Berberis – what a great colour combination!

Golden marjoram growing through burgundy Berberis – what a great colour combination!

Enjoy the unexpected

I love strolling around the edges of my borders to see what is bursting into bloom, and enjoy finding unexpected surprises.

This summer, some of the more in-your-face blooms have been simply stunning …

Phlox in summer

I’ve had these phlox for a few years now, but this is the best they have ever looked

… but I get just as much pleasure from this tiny sedum giving it’s all at the edge of the patio.

An alpine sedum giving it's all

An alpine sedum, dripping with flowers

In other beds that have got completely out of control, hidden gems such as my Geranium ‘Ann Folkard’  have emerged.

Geranium Ann Folkard peeking through the border

The magenta flowers of a sprawling Geranium ‘Ann Folkard’ peep through the borders past day lilies, Spiraea and Smoke bush (Cotinus)

At first I was dismayed that one of my clematis had taken a detour from the fence I intended to train it up, but it actually looks pretty good entwined in the leaves of roses that have long since flowered.

Clematis with a mind of its own

Clematis with a mind of its own

Overcrowding in other areas has forced thyme and lavender to sprawl out either side of a path in a way that simply makes me smile.

Lavender and Thyme is at its best this time of year

Lavender and thyme are at their best this time of year

Tranquil chaos

I don’t know quite how to put into words all the ways my garden brings me pleasure. How do I describe the joy of picking the first strawberries from my vegetable patch before the slugs have got hold of them, the excitement of picking juicy stems of rhubarb (and then finding out how delicious it is with vanilla ice cream!), or the sheer contentment of watching a newly fledged chaffinch discover the wonders of my pond? If you’re a gardener, then I probably don’t need to, because you’ve had your own special garden moments too!

Summer garden

The world would be a better place if everyone had access to garden therapy

Yes, my garden may be chaotic right now, but in a world where mad men are far too regularly making the news with trucks and guns and knives, I am happy with my own brand of  tranquil chaos. It keeps me sane!

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One Comment

  1. What a lovely blog. As you say in this world of madness that we currently live in, the tranquillity of a garden however big or small it may be brings a feeling of calm and happiness.

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