IT's mid-February, and whilst it is definitely to early to declare that spring as sprung!
THIS week has seen the beauty of the early sunshine and brought me hope that my time in the garden is nearly here again. But why am I drawn to the outside and to plants.
MY job is as a nurse in an intensive environment, and those of you who have worked in that environment or been unlucky enough to have seen a loved one through that situation, will know they are very full on. The great onslaught of noise, lights and electrical/ static energy all tie day in, day out and create a very full on-environment in which to work.
FOR me the joy of growing a few plants from seed, or of creating colourful arrangements for the seasons is a joy. it allows me freedom form the heaviness of work, and provides me with a reason to get the fresh air I crave after a 13 hour shift. It provides a powerful and creative outlet and helps me to cope with anxiety and stress.
I love every year to look at what I created and how to improve it. I love to see how others grow and what works for them. Gardening is way more than a hobby, its a means of coping and of offloading what has been. Not necessarily bad, but just when you are dealing with others lives you have to invest a certain amount of you in the process. Which is how I found the garden.
IN truth I always thought it slightly old fashioned. Both my parents loved to be outside, and my Dad had his favourite wellies - still there long after he passed away. Over time, I began to understand the power of feeling the earth in your fingers or sitting with a well earned cup of tea and watch the robins fight over scraps of bacon rind.
GARDENING has long been used as an informal practice, and importantly is seeing its way as a recognised method of therapy. Horticultural therapy, or a process of using plants to improve our health, is starting to gain ground. Gardening is a slow, considered hobby, and with the exposure to sunlight and the fresh air all playing part of the benefits. Different from the quick fix of the ITU environment.
ACCESS to a garden is helpful, but for my better half who lived easily in a 2 floor flat, managed to tame a veritable jungle of houseplants, each apparently with their own personality.
FOR me, weeding, potting, growing, pruning and simply enjoying is now a vital and will be forever, part of my relaxation. Find you own tiny way of enjoying the outdoors.