I’ve started spending a lot of time in the garden and hanging around the little pots of tiny plants in the kitchen. And there’s a few things i’ve learned. When you meet nice ladies who love gardening and they’re all calm and happy and sweet? It’s not because they spend time with nature, it’s because they’re so glad to be having a tiny break from it for five seconds and talking to a human for the first time in what could be months.
1. Gardening is like watching paint dry in slow motion
Don’t expect results. I’ve come to realise it’s great if something grows. I went so far as to dig seeds back up to see what the hell they were doing. I put them back in again. But apparently that’s not the best plan.
Picture it. You put all this time into getting pots ready, buying seeds, planting them. Or if you’re putting the seeds straight into the groud digging, weeding and generally being covered in dirt and when you’re not covered in dirt, you probably have aching muscles.
It’s lovely connecting with nature after sitting with computers all week. Robins sit and watch what you’re doing and eat some of the bugs and worms in the dirt your’re digging. The neighbour’s cat trots a long to see what you’re up to. Lovely. Water everything – also fairly lovely. Then you tidy up, shower and try in vain to get rid of all the dirt now under your nails. Resort to painting them and then…what i do here is, go back outside to have a look at all my hard work.
Nothing. Two days later. Still nothing. Weeks later, some tiny green things that may just be weeds.
But you start to learn this weird patience. Something i’ve never had before. And you get satisfaction from seeing the tiniest bits of green sprouting up. But it seems a bit cruel of nature after that much effort.
2. Sunshine and a lack of rain becomes less of a joy and more of a pain in the hole
There is nothing i can find that the hose i have will attach to. And our garden is down a flight of stairs from our balcony. So when it’s beautiful and sunny out and i’m at home i spend a lot of time running up and down the stairs with armfuls of 2L milk cartons (because i keep forgetting to buy a watering can) filled with water to try and throw all over the tiny green sprouts and massive areas of brown hope. If i’m not home, i worry that it’s all going to die.
3. Even at 27 nettles still sting & dock leaves still do nothing
No matter how much i weed them out, the brambles and the nettles get me every time. Stings and prickles, not to mention big scratches from fighting with the tree that stops me getting to one whole section of the garden. Dock leaves still don’t help. Gardening gloves don’t stop it. And setting said tree on fire starts to look like a great option.
4. The only things that actually want to grow, are weeds (and probably nettles)
When i began my little gardening project my theory was that even though i know very little about growing things, plants and seeds will do everything they can to survive. Their one goal in life is to be a plant so they are going to give it their best. So how hard can it be? Put thing in soil. Reap rewards. Eat lovely fresh veg and never go to Tescos again.
How wrong i was.
Weeds will do everything they can to be plants and grow and survive and thrive. Legitimate plants and veg on the other hand are complete wusses. They will do everything they can to die, stop you having a life and trick you into spending all your time with them.
5. Weirdly, it’s all worth it
Some things have died. Some things are surviving, just about. Other things are doing really well. Spinach and rocket are doing great and they’re my favourite anyway. Being outside is lovely. Appreciating rain and what it does has become a whole new reason to be happy when it’s not a ‘nice day’. Even if that is a bit warped. And i get to avoid people for a while because no one really likes gardening so everyone seems happy to leave me at it on my own. Not that i don’t like people. But it sure is fun to get really bitter about nature on your own.
Have a good week. If anyone needs the tiniest amount of the most amazing tasting coriander i’ve ever had, let me know. Free shipping.