Cultivating a “Happy” New Year in 2014.

“Pleasure is spread through the earth. In stray gifts to be claimed by whoever shall find.”
~William Wordsworth, 1806

Today is the start of a new year, and I was lucky enough to spend almost all day in the garden.

I even have time to write this post, because as I write Husband is off to the hardware store and our water mains are off, thanks to some amateur plumbing repairs.

Cheers! Here I am in the garden, enjoying a glass of bubbly to start the new year.

Cheers! Here I am in the garden, enjoying a glass of bubbly to start the new year.

In fact, my garden has probably seen more of me in the last fortnight than the last 6 months!  The second half to 2013 had my time seemingly slip through my fingers, for many reasons.  But, I discovered something very important.  It appears my sense of wellbeing and my garden are very closely connected.  Some people wear their heart on their sleeve, it seems I wear mine on my front yard.

So if you want to quickly evaluate the state of my mind, just look at my garden.   If it is a bit messy, with dead plants waiting to be put out of their misery, or bare patches of dirt and plants infested with pests, you can surmise that I too, am feeling cranky, irritated, overwhelmed or simply pissed off.  It means my time has been short, other demands are being made of me and the garden slips in priority.

Right now, my garden is looking fantastic.  Sure there are some empty beds, but no weeds, no pests, everything is kicking along and positively thriving.  And that makes me very happy indeed.  Because it means my house is clean, Husband and the kids are happy (and behaving) and there is time to spare.

2014 will be a bit of a watershed year for the garden and I.  Because my garden and my family are growing up.  For the first time in almost a decade, I will not have a small child at home.  They will all be in school full time this year.  While that’s a bit sad for me, (although I do remind myself that kids are meant to grow up, and not stay small forever) it’s great news for the plants in my life.  And although I may have been a bit slow on the uptake, boffins have known about the positive therapeutic value of gardening for some time now.  You can read more about those studies in this great article, Garden to Improve Mental Health.

As the garden (and consequently my own happiness) have typically been the last things to get my attention, I am going to make sure more time is allocated to verdant pursuits.   I’ll be scheduling “date time” with my garden to make sure we keep the connection alive.  As my Husband often comments, “happy wife, happy life”.

Indeed.

So I wish a “Happy” New Year to you all.  Does your garden reflect your state of mind?  I would love to hear what you think below in the comment section….

4 Responses to Cultivating a “Happy” New Year in 2014.

  1. Sharon January 3, 2014 at 10:55 am #

    Firstly, you look gorgeous!

    I am happy to say it is a pleasure going outside now that hubby has put the new lawn down. I go out there as much as possible just to sit on the grass! Definitely improves my mood. The fruit trees are ticking along nicely too.

    It is so nice to see you back. Happy New Year my friend!

    Shaz x

    • melissabarnett January 3, 2014 at 11:54 am #

      Thank you my dear! I will have to make a time to visit ;) And the weather has been glorious! Even with a bit of heat on the way, it has been so much nicer than last year, when I spent most of my time in the garden crying into the dust, mourning my scorched plants….

  2. Scotty January 3, 2014 at 8:26 pm #

    Nice to see you posting again Melissa,its always good when you see results for your efforts,it seems to spur you on to do more.Hot,dry summer days here in Perth can be disheartening,so this summer have been very selective in veges I have planted.Planted a Moringa Oleifa tree last summer,they are well suited to our soil and climate here in Perth.Leaves are edible and can be used for medicinal tea which is quite refreshing.Hope your bees are still buzzing around happily.
    Happy New Year
    Scotty

    • melissabarnett January 4, 2014 at 8:43 am #

      Hi Scotty!
      Thank you for dropping in, good to hear from you too. Ive actually just done an inspection this morning, my ladies seem to require a new monarch, which has me a bit nervous.

      I’ve heard of the Moringa’s is that the one they call miracle tree? Everything is edible? I will have to investigate….

      Cheers xx

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