“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.
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”.
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….