To be a gardener is to be able to find joy in simple things in which non-gardeners would probably find none. Maybe these things aren't the same for every gardener but here are my Top Ten:
When a garden scheme you plan (sort of) comes true: There is much pleasure in dreaming about a garden area that you want to create, though many times, the reality doesn't match up to the vision. Things don't flower when they should have, or some vital element of the scheme dies. The colours clash or it just looks plain wrong. But when it does work out, how good is that?
Filling the green waste bin: Is there any satisfaction greater than having your green bin(s) full to the brim on green-bin collection day? There are various reasons for this pleasure: it means horrible weeds, vines and fibrous leaves that can't be shredded in the mulcher are leaving my property, to be turned into wonderful compost by our local council; and it is a visible manifestation of hard work in the garden, that led to the filling of the bin; and it must mean that my garden is somehow improved, even if it doesn't really feel like it. Last weekend, when my neighbours offered me the use of their two green bins for the next nine months whilst they live elsewhere during renovations, I felt all my Christmases had come at once, as I have just so much green waste waiting to be harvested in my garden. Am I weird?
Receiving a load of cow manure: At this time every year, our wonderful local Scouts organise a Fertiliser Drive for our town, as a fundraiser. Manure, mulch and fertiliser can be ordered online, and in a few weeks, a very efficient team will arrive, deliver the bags and stack them neatly in my potting area. Gazing at many bags of cow manure fills me delight, to think that soon all this will be added to my soil to improve its tilth and help my plants grow. Only another gardener would understand.
Buying a new plant: It might not grow or it might in the long run prove to be a weedy menace, but at that precise moment of purchasing a pristine plant, with its clean, shiny label promising the world, my heart sings! Yes, the prices of plants have gone up in recent years, but what else can do that for you for less than 20 bucks?
Receiving a coveted cutting: How many times when we visit a wonderful garden, have we gazed longingly at some superb plant, wishing and hoping that the gardener would offer us a cutting? We don't like to seem pushy and grasping by asking, if it's someone we don't know well, but we just look and look, and say, 'That is just so beautiful'. When the gardener offers a piece, it is an utter thrill. How we nurture that cutting and take great pride when it strikes and when we eventually plant it in the garden. I try to always remember this when I have garden visitors and offer bits and pieces of things I once received as precious cuttings.
Getting a weed out with all its roots or bulb: How satisfying is it to get that weed out properly rather than finding just the stems dangling in your hand? I have a very long, thin trowel that is good to achieve this result. More fodder for the green bins!
The sprouting of a seed: Whenever I plant seeds, for some reason I think it is highly unlikely that they will ever come up. Surely something will go awry! How can a dried-up speck become a plant? The whole process seems fraught with problems. Will there be the right amount of light, moisture and warmth to allow germination? So when, as often happens, the little seedlings bravely appear, it seems nothing less than a miracle.
Visiting a beautiful garden: One of the best things about being a gardener is the enjoyment we get from visiting other gardens. The best gardens arouse emotions in us and transport us to another realm. In every garden I have ever seen, I have found something new: a plant I have never encountered before, a winning plant combination, a breathtaking scene, or some quirky feature that makes me smile. And I always leave a garden visit feeling uplifted and inspired - and can't wait to get back to my own garden to make a change.
A drink at the end of a long day of gardening: Whether it's with a G&T or a cup of tea, there can't be many better things in life than sitting in your garden after working out there for hours, whilst contemplating your efforts.
Meeting other gardeners: I guess many of us are in search of a 'tribe' to belong to - for me, that tribe is other gardeners, who share the same passions and enthusiasms that I have. We can share our successes and failures, swap cuttings and plants, enjoy outings together, and understand the joys that gardeners know.
Hurrah for August
07 Aug 22
The month of August signals excites gardeners.
31 Jul 22
Miniature-flowered camellias are a delightful addition to the winter garden.
Joys that gardeners know
24 Jul 22
Gardeners find joy in many things.
Say ciao to the Brassicas!
17 Jul 22
Meet an interesting plant family.
10 Jul 22
Unusual planters can add interest and humour!