Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Gardening ~ to suit yourself

From time to time gardening books, magazines and news columns have provided me with information and ideas but none inspired me to set up a garden of my own.  Working and playing in my childhood garden provided experience to draw on but I never hoped to match it in style or scope, and for more than a decade after I moved away I did no gardening at all.

What drove me to begin creating a garden again was the need to make a place feel like home.  I didn't really feel I belonged where I lived and planting a few nice things that I loved helped.  Once I'd started I kept finding more things I wanted to plant until after a few years I'd filled the whole place up!

And actually, digging in the ground and lugging rocks and plants about soothes my soul.  Although it's hard work at times, I really love the earth, and being close to it on my hands and knees in this uncomplicated way really sorts me out.  Gradually I've got more and more immersed in the creative aspects of making various places more to my liking and developed some clear ideas about what I want and how to go about achieving it.

I hope that some of what I've contributed in this series of articles encourages readers to have a go, to see that gardening needn't be complicated or difficult, and that the main thing to aim for is to please yourself.

In setting up your garden keep your commitment to what is comfortably within your scope so that it stays enjoyable; divide your endeavours into achievable projects so that your creation doesn't seem never-ending; and plant your treasures where you can easily see and enjoy them.

Even if you have only a few things in your garden, be sure that they are special to you in whatever way that counts.  If gardening in the usual way is impossible you may get pleasure from a few things planted in a container on your porch.

Also, keep your eyes open and your wits about you with regard to making the most of the resources you come across.  As I've said before, gardening and the creation of beautiful outdoor areas needn't be costly.  Looking at what I've done it may appear that I've been fortunate in this respect.  In fact I've made most of my own luck by gathering up things that other people didn't want or wouldn't bother with.  I'm quite sure that you too can make your own good fortune!

Whatever you choose you're likely to find that with a little thought, adequate water, light and bit of trimming and feeding from time to time that you get a lot of pleasure from your garden.  I hope so.

I have written these articles at speed and it's likely I'll add to or adapt them from time to time.  I will note my Updates page when I do so.  In the meantime, enjoy...

The first peony of the season opened last week.

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