This entry is part of Mrs. Nesbitt’s ABC Wednesday.
If there is one thing our garden is to me, it is an escape from stress. Not from reality, but from stress. Reality does not equal stress, though stress can at times form part of reality.
You can see the header of my blog above; a beautiful summer day with me and a friend relaxing in the garden (my husband is behind the camera), and below you can see the garden on a winter day when I was up there alone, enjoying evenings in front of the fire place with a good book and a glass of red wine.
Sure, there is a lot of work to do in the garden, and it has more than its fair share of projects pending, some overdue. But… If I don’t get a garden project done, no harm will come of it. It matters, but not a great deal. My husband is happy with the garden as long as things grow and there’s a general feeling of lushness, and actually so am I. (And the plants themselves will take care of that, even if the lawn has not been immaculately mown and the borders need weeding.)
When I sit at my desk at work I have a minimum of 10 program windows open at any given time, often more. I work on my attention-demanding projects while being ready to leave my desk at a 2-second notice to help a co-worker or take a call. In the garden I call the shots. The plants and the weeds and the pests all do their bit, but I decide what I feel like tackling and there is nothing that can suddenly become urgent out of nowhere. And though some things might have deadlines in the garden (no point in sowing annuals in August, for instance), these deadlines can come and go without problems, unlike the deadline for the move from my apartment to our new apartment.
In my everyday life, both at work and privately, things often happen randomly and with little warning, but in the garden there are certainties. Sure, the slugs might eat the bean seedlings and the deer might eat the perennials, but Spring follows Winter and Autumn follows Summer without fail. There is a predictability, a certainty that makes it recognisable each year.
I enjoy this. I enjoy the routines, the circularity of it all, the fact that while external facts might affect the game in the garden, I set the rules myself.
And I can pamper myself by setting aside time to just fantasize about the garden and plans for it, or occasionally I can even indulge in some bulb shopping or whatever. It’s a cheap hobby, and it gives me exercise, relaxation, joy. It gives me something to bring back to my Excel spreadsheets and my employee development talks with our agents.
And it gives me beauty. Beauty and a place to be alone, be with my husband or be with our friends.