Gardening for Idiots

I may have mentioned, once or twice either here or on various social media, that our new house has a garden. Actually, two gardens, the one being a proper garden out the back with flowers and whatnot, and the other being a square of very nice grass outside our front window. The latter is fairly low-maintenance, even for us. We’ve cut the grass and picked up the few bits of rubbish that blow in and that’s about it. A tiny rant – do people really still just throw crisp packets on the ground when they’re empty?? Oh well. At some point in the future I plan to put in some pretty, bright and fragrant flowers along one edge but I’ll leave that till I’m more confident.

The real beast is the back garden. It has *gulp* real flowers in. And plants, and trees and stuff. And I’m not renowned for my green fingers (aka I’m the Bluebeard of Horticulture). It’s a lovely garden, a nice big bit of grass, a patio area (where my in-laws very kindly gave us an early Christmas present of a table and chairs set, and it promptly rained non-stop for the following fortnight), a shed and two rockery areas, and therein lies my problem.

The rockery areas are partly proper plant and mostly weed. My father in law dosed them up with weedkiller the day we moved in so I could weed them, and I’ve been putting it off and off and off. Procrastination is, after all, my middle name. I’m scared of pulling up something that’s not a weed but an ultra-rare, incredibly expensive plant that is the world’s last hope of recovery or the cure for cancer or something. There’s a little voice reminding me of my arachnophobia, and don’t spiders live in gardens? Not to mention the far more important jobs to do in the house. Yes. Absolutely.

Anyway, today I finally donned gardening gloves and attacked one of the rockery beds. Well, part of it. One little corner. It’s not quite as pathetic as it sounds, because my goodness there were some weeds in it. And you wouldn’t believe how thick and strong the roots are. Although actually, unless you’re as new to gardening as I am, you probably did this and got the t-shirt many moons ago.

It was very satisfying actually. I’ve heard this before, how therapeutic gardening is but to be honest I tended to add on to that (mentally) “for old people”. Baking too. I’ve just caught the baking bug and high on my wishlist is Saved by Baking by Marian Keyes. Isn’t it odd how when we feel like our souls are bruised we go back to traditional, down to earth past times such as baking and gardening to heal ourselves? I never yet heard of anyone beating depression by checking stocks and shares on the internet, but I could be wrong.

So, there’s a small patch of earth weed-free and turned over to reveal lovely dark, crumbly soil ready for some *double gulp* plants. To inaccurately quote Mary from The Secret Garden, ‘a little piece of earth’. And we know what tending that little piece of earth did for her, don’t we? (if not, your education is severely lacking. Please rectify immediately. This includes you, beloved husband).

Stay tuned for more Gardening for Idiots, coming up soon…