The past few days have been satisfying. Time spent away from the Internet has been nourishing to my frazzled soul. The weather has also been kind and enabled me to weed and dig, and spread manure and sow a few early seeds.
I forget how much I need to be outside. Winter creeps surreptitiously into my life and I don’t realise it has been months since I spent more than a few short minutes in the garden. My body needs to be outside and my brain needs it too. Like water. Like air. I need to feel the sun and the breeze on my face and the earth between my fingers. I need to trim dead branches and gather old leaves because this process is a like a life ritual for me. As I prune and clear the garden I am also purging the dead and the dying and the useless thoughts from my mind. And the growing of vegetables, herbs and fruits nourishes me just as much as the eating of them does.
“The single greatest lesson the garden teaches is that our relationship to the planet need not be zero-sum, and that as long as the sun still shines and people still can plan and plant, think and do, we can, if we bother to try, find ways to provide for ourselves without diminishing the world.”
~ Michael Pollan
The compost crumbles to a fine tilth between my fingers as I scatter it over the seeds and dampen the soil with water where it is parched. The rosemary in her pot was a thirsty soul and the potted rose has doubled in size in a week, I swear.
I transplanted half a clump of campanula that grew out of nowhere between a crack in the paving and the wall of the house, and replanted it in a pot to put on the garden table. Now I can look forward to purple bells in the summertime. I sowed everlasting sunflowers – the tiny seeds were so different to the usual varieties – and I am still deciding where to put the sweet peas I bought from the garden centre. In a pot or in the garden bed?
From time to time I stop to sit and bask in the sunshine and habitually squeeze the leaves of my new thyme plant between my fingers and inhale the lemony fresh scent.
I sowed radish and beetroot and inspected the spring greens and the tight clusters of white violet-hearted petals on my two broad bean plants. An experiment to see how well they grow and if it is worth allocating them more garden space next year. Lots of leeks look ready for eating – I must remember to use more leeks in the kitchen and look up recipes for their use. I dig and break up the thick clods of clay soil and it breaks my heart when I inadvertently slice a poor earthworm.
And please do tell me where all the dandelions come from? I remove their long tap roots every year, and every year they return. I shall make a salad of them or tea perhaps.
I love being outside and tending the Earth – just my small part of it – I even begin to feel like a new person 🙂