Plant therapy

When awful, random things happen to innocent people going about their daily business, it’s hard not to feel helpless and fearful for the future. The usual feelings of horror and shock are followed by a deep sadness for all those affected. That there are people who have so much hatred in their hearts, leading them to carry out such dreadful acts, beggars belief. Far more erudite people than me will have much to say about what happened in our capital city on Wednesday but it would have felt all wrong to not mention it here. London is a magnificent city full of wonderful people from all over the world who will not be cowed by terrorism.

I hope you won’t think me flippant and indulgent to now write about plants but whether I’m aghast at the world or just plain fed-up, spending time with nature always soothes me. Whether it’s in my garden or someone else’s, in a park or walking along the lanes and through the fields, being near plants calms my thoughts.

The straightforward rhythm of the seasons marks the months passing and spring is particularly uplifting. Sunlight shining through a patch of daffodils, the first hints of colour appearing on tulip buds, fresh spring foliage and bursts of vibrant colour popping up here and there – these tiny-seed-to-full-on-flowering-plant, blossom-bud-to-delicious-fruit miracles all work their magic. Not everyone thinks about plants in the same way, I realise that, but even the most urban, indoors type of person would surely appreciate the pleasure of spotting the first primroses of spring in the hedgerows and walking barefoot on freshly mown grass in the summer sunshine. Then there’s the joy of crunching through autumn leaves on a woodland floor and the surprise scent of a winter-flowering shrub. Nature carries on and plants do their thing year after year, reassuring and steadfast.

The mental and physical benefits of gardening are well-documented; it is used as a therapeutic mental health tool and in schools to help teach responsibility and how to nurture. Gardeners can vouch for the positive effects and we tend to be an optimistic and patient bunch. We have to be. Planting and tending a garden is always for the future – bulbs planted in autumn flower in spring, slender tree whips will take years to grow and create the desired effect, seeds sown in early spring bloom months later. And there are always a few casualties along the way. Slugs and snails munching our delicate seedlings, badgers eating our fruit, blight on our tomatoes, fungus on our roses – all these test our perseverance. But we continue to look forward, we see the beauty and we are full of hope.

In times like this, it’s even more important to appreciate the people we love, show kindness whenever we can, find the things that make us happy and hang on to that hope. Wishing you a safe and happy weekend. I’ll be spending as much of it as possible in the garden.



18 thoughts on “Plant therapy

  1. A perfect post, Sam, to counteract the darkness of this week’s news. I’ve just come indoors from glorious sunshine, with muck under my nails and bits of twig in my hair. Worzel Gummidge wouldn’t be in it but I feel so much the better for it. We are built for farming and foraging and I think we miss it if we don’t do it. Your garden looks just ready to explode into colour. Enjoy your weekend. Lynda. xx

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I don’t think you’re flippant or indulgent. All decent people are unified in sorrow and outrage but it has been inspiring to see Londoners carrying on as normally as possible. Voices of hope and optimism like yours are the ones that deserve to be heard not those that want to disrupt our way of life.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful words, Sam. I have just come in from a long dog walk, there were so many beautiful birds out and about doing what birds do, it filled my heart with happiness. It is a gift to find happiness, solace and distraction in what we enjoy doing and I wish for everyone to find something in their lives that has that power to help them navigate difficult times xx


  4. Gardening can be wonderful therapy and gardener’s tend to be optimistic by nature. Events can test this at times, throughout history humans ( I was going to write mankind) have done some terrible things. Hopefully good does conquer evil.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Is that a walled garden I see Sam ? Is it yours ? I am soooo jealous – I love walled gardens , how special !!


  6. I’ve said it often but I don’t think I’d be sane without my garden. It’s my ultimate place of refuge, only a few moments out there lowers my blood pressure more effectively than any pill. If only everyone saw the pleasure to be had in such simple things. Have a good weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. We are just dressed up animals, meant to live fully immersed in a world of plants and other animal species. It’s no wonder that people go haywire when they are packed into cities with no green to be seen.

    Liked by 1 person

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