Zen and the Art of Garden Maintenance

Tulips rescued from the wind and rain and brought indoors for us to enjoy earlier this week.
Tulips rescued from the wind and rain and brought indoors earlier this week.


Today started with my radio telling me (quietly from my bedside table) that the outcome of yesterday’s General Election was most likely to be a Conservative majority. England has swung to the right and Scotland wants to go it alone. Now, I do not intend to stray into politics here other than to say I got up feeling thoroughly out of sorts. A walk with friends in the gorgeous May sunshine lifted my mood somewhat but I spent the rest of this morning being unproductive and easily distracted by politician’s resignation speeches.

The only thing to do was to get outside into the garden. I finished some weeding I started yesterday (when I say ‘finished’ I mean I temporarily tamed a little patch!), and started edging a length of lawn and laying stones for a mowing strip. Carefully pulling out pernicious weeds and restoring some order to this small part of the garden made me feel much better. Being totally absorbed in something practical outdoors and where you can see progress is the best form of ‘getting a sense of perspective’ I know. I can’t think of an instance when working in the garden hasn’t cheered me up or helped me regain a sense of contentment, even if only temporarily.

My eldest son is off for a two-night Duke of Edinburgh Award ‘expedition’ tomorrow. He’s been busy amassing a stash of high-calorie snacks but hasn’t got round to finding his walking boots, waterproofs or other items essential for a very long walk in the British countryside in May! We’ll help him fit all his kit into a rucksack (and make sure he can actually carry it) and send him off with hugs and encouraging words. It’s a sobering thought that the next time there’s a General Election he will be old enough to vote.

A beautiful Rose Chafer beetle found on the compost yesterday.
A Rose Chafer beetle found on the compost yesterday. It’s found throughout the UK but thought to be declining.




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