There has always been one exception though, the vegetable garden and greenhouse. Anything that can produce things I can cook and eat gets my attention. I will happily put the Archers Omnibus on and potter about in the greenhouse weeding and feeding tomatoes, French beans and lettuces. I will also in fair weather weed the vegetable beds and pull up potatoes and anything else I’ve decided to grow. But I have to admit that there is not much passion involved in this. In fact, so long as I have other things to do, deadlines to meet or books to read, even the vegetable gets a bit forgotten.
After doing an 8 week mindfulness course I decided to stop and ‘be’ rather than ‘do’. Vegetables are about being productive. The metaphor was obvious suddenly. I was placing value on being productive rather than just being there. My parents have the most beautiful garden in Hove, Sussex and it is an explosion of colour and texture. It always has been. I have, over the years admired it but not engaged with it, slightly scoffing that it didn’t have a purpose. I now look at it, wander round, smelling each flower, wondering at each plant and how alive and bushy it looks, how pleased with itself it is. Each flower or shrub is happy to be there and doesn’t ask anything from you other than just to know it’s there and love it for what it is. It doesn’t have to justify its existence like a vegetable as something useful but just has to be there adding to the beauty of nature.
So with the help of a local gardener, the vegetable beds have been cleared, the pond completely cleaned out and the formal beds replanted with lavender. I can’t tell you how amazingly uplifting it feels to walk into the garden and experience that joy of nature’s beauty and know that it’s just there, it doesn’t have any purpose other than just to look beautiful. I’m a novice of course and I’ve bought plants and flowers with little knowledge of what I should do with it but I know that this will change as I find out more, talk to people, visit garden centres and check the internet.