The sun’s (mostly) out, the soil is nice and warm, the days are lengthening and the weeds are taking hold. This has to be my favourite time of year…
This week is National Growing for Wellbeing Week but I don’t need an excuse to get out into my green garden. Come rain or shine, I’ll be out there given half a chance. The garden feels like it’s hitting its stride: the alliums are up, my roses are blooming and my salad seedlings are almost big enough to harvest. I am full of hope and optimism. I am happy.
I like to look at a nice garden as much as the next person. But for me, the most important thing is the doing. I love the way gardening (whether it’s weeding, pruning or pricking out) makes me feel. Gardening is definitely good for me! I’m not the only one who thinks so. An increasing number of GPs are now prescribing gardening as therapy.
There is something immensely satisfying about the process of creating order out of chaos in the garden. I get a similar sense of satisfaction from turning an author’s thoughts and words into ordered, readable copy. Immersing myself in an hour’s weeding allows me to switch off from work and family life and just focus on the moment. Similarly, getting into an interesting piece of writing, methodically working through it to ‘weed’ out the errors of grammar and spelling is also a form of mindfulness. Gardening and editing are both processes which result in a better end product.
Even if you don’t have half a day to spend in the garden or on a piece of writing, just 15 minutes of choice weeding (of dandelions or superfluous words) can make all the difference. Without the competition, the true stars of the garden can shine. And so can the salient points of writing.