Garden Therapy

The kiss of the sun for pardon;
The song of the birds for mirth;
We’re nearer to God in a garden;
Than anywhere else on earth.

This little poem used to hang on my Nanny’s wall and I always liked it. This week it seemed particularly memorable as the eventual arrival of summer and a day gardening has perked me up considerably. 🙂

I’ve been quite fed up for the last couple of weeks. Nothing major, just the daily grind and feeling a bit taken for granted at work and home, and I though I usually stay cheerful, it got more and more of an effort this time. The cold weather certainly didn’t help, and neither did the fact that everyone else has been feeling the same. It seems to me that when others are down, I do my best to pick them up and offer support, but when I’m down, I pick the times when everyone else is too, so that they are too deep in their own woes to help me much. (This is no reflection on their willingness to cheer me up if they noticed or didn’t have their own concerns – it’s just my bad luck that I take so long to be pulled down too, that they don’t have the energy.)

Someone once told me that in our daily lives we give and receive “energy” – I put it in inverted commas because I don’t really know that it’s energy as such – just SOMEthing. We give something of ourselves whenever we do something for others, listen to them, advise them, laugh with them, touch them, support them and so on. We receive from them whenever they do these things for us. I think this person was right and that we can all cope with periods where we do all the giving, or lap up periods of all the receiving, but that ultimately it all balances out in the end. Sometimes we’re just too drained ourselves to be able to give any more though we want to. I think I was at that point – my batteries needed a recharge. Last weekend had really pulled me down – I’d started off OK as normal, but both Billy and Raji were deep in worlds of their own and they answered anything I said with monosyllables. Both of them are very hard work when they are like that but having two of them moping round the house all day just drained me.

I picked up again slightly in the week before work stresses pulled me down again, but I was kept going by the main person who gives me moral support (and vice versa) – my mum. We send each other little texts – sometimes nonsense, sometimes advice, sometimes just a bit of sympathy, but they always make me smile.

So, there I was, feeling fed up, stuck in a rut, no light at the end of the tunnel……….. and then the sun came out. Last week I was still wearing jumpers and vests, this week summer arrived!

On Thursday, I had no patients in my clinic, and when I came back from doing the food shopping I wanted to be outside in the sun, so decided I’d make a bit of a start on sorting out the garden. I’ve been wanting/needing to do it for ages but am only fair-weather gardener so hadn’t had the chance. The forecast for the weekend was good and I planned to get the job done then, but a head start wouldn’t go amiss.

Well I cleared the dead greenery and the weeds away, sorted the compost (mixing old from last year’s pots, with new so that each pot had at least half and half) and then took the rubbish to the tip. Raji was off for the day so he volunteered to come with me and then we stopped off at Tesco on the way back.

Mum had given Billy and I £10 for Easter which I’d saved to buy some plants for summer. As we are short of money, this was my budget in its entirety, so Nel and I also plan to grow some veg in with the flowers as we have lots of packets of seeds – tomatoes, lettuce, red broccoli, carrots, basil etc. Tesco had giant sized tomato grow bags on offer at 2 for £8 and though I wanted one for some of our seeds, I was reluctant to get two and blow most of the money, so settled for one, which I guessed would probably be about £4.99 if two at £8 was a good deal. (It didn’t state what one cost.) I then got two trays of bedding plants (marigolds and impatiens) and felt that would do us.When we got to the checkout, the tomato grow bag came up a £3.68! Raji and I were both somewhat taken aback, but didn’t say a word – well, Raji almost did, but changed it at the last minute, to an offer to take the trolley for me 😀 Either we got a bargain by virtue of a bar code error or the “deal” is actually a con! I was happy anyway 🙂

When we got back I was still in the mood to carry on, and had plenty of time since the men didn’t need dinner as they were playing a cricket cup game. I swept all the rubbish, dead leaves, bits of broken sofa, and various unidentifiables then started potting the plants. Raji made us a cup of tea which we enjoyed in the sun, and he moved some of the pots which I’d been dragging round deciding how to arrange them this year.

I put some sausages in the oven and cleared up, watered all the plants, cleaned off the tables and chairs, turned off the oven and went for a bath to get rid of all the muck – and the aches. When I came back down, the sausages were lukewarm and I enjoyed some of them in finger rolls with ketchup – with homemade coleslaw and a glass of wine too – and it was ALMOST as good as a BBQ :)|

The day was productive in that I got the garden ready to enjoy (if the summer stays )but more than this it was extremely therapeutic. I had enjoyed the hard physical work, the sunshine, the thinking of nothing but the task in hand, and the pure pleasure of a job well done. The day had recharged my batteries and I had achieved something. Something which I will hopefully continue to enjoy for the next few weeks or however long the good weather stays. I was content. 🙂


  1. Anji + sunshine + warmth + P&Q = one happy human being. :)QED ILY x

  2. You know me so well 🙂

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