Letter to the Garden - May 2023

Dear Garden

How are you?  A bit weed-ridden I'm afraid, but I am working on it.  There has been so much rain at weekends recently it has been hard to get out and get weeding.  You know I have my day job so I get little chance other than at weekends.  I do try, honest.

Sometimes I really feel the weight of the weeds that are growing so fast.  I get worried I cannot manage the garden, I have the rising panic that it is all a terrible mess.  Let me talk about the sheds, the two collapsing terrible wrecks of sheds.  I need to remove them.  I need them to be gone and yet I somehow cannot move forward on this.  It is a problem, a constant worry niggling at that back of my mind only made worse by the terrible stasis I have in not dealing with them.  I am trapped in a vicious circle of anxiety about them.  If it was as simple as 'just get on with it' then I would.  Except it is that simple and I don't.  Round and round I go again......

Let us not even mention the front garden.....

Yet most of the time my dear garden, you are the one that sees me through, that keeps me on an (almost) even keel.  You are my sanctuary and you are my companion in life as we are indelibly linked together.  When having a really bad week I know that some time catching up on that weeding will rebalance me.  Of course I am not alone in this, there are strong research findings showing the links between gardening/horticulture/nature and how it helps with mental health.  I would recommend to anyone The Well Gardened Mind by Sue Stuart-Smith (which I bought and read and yet bizarrely did not write a review of, I need to rectify that!) and also The Joy of Gardening by Ellen Mary which is more of a practical book and also covers mindfulness.  You can also find various research articles that go through the many benefits gardening has for our mental and physical health.  I could go on, but you get the picture dear garden; as it is Mental Health Awareness Week it seems a good time to talk to you about this and to thank you, genuinely, sincerely.  Of course lots of people do not have gardens but any green space will suffice.  Just that moment to get outside and breathe, even if it is by opening a window to a window box or indeed embracing a house plant (gently).  When I am in the office if I need that space I sometimes go and walk around the pond we have on-site.  It is just enough time for me to breath, rebalance and often find a way forward on whatever is taxing me at that moment.  Often that way forward is to make a mug of tea which I find the usual answer to most questions. 

So here is to you my dearest garden, I celebrate you and what you do for me.  

Best wishes

Your loving Gardener xx

Take care and be kind

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  1. Ah, yes, I think so many of us can related to this. This time of year, too, is so busy in my part of the world--for various reasons including getting plants in the soil.

  2. My garden has so much to answer for in terms of my mental health, too - I think I may have to write a similar letter. I've also added Sue Stuart-Smith's book to my wishlist - thank you so much for pointing me in that direction! xNx


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