“Life Begins The Day You Start A Garden”


There are two things you need to have if you have a garden, and those are hope and patience.

And in our present situation, hope and patience are vital.

Gardens offer a mirror to real life. Sometimes things go as planned, and other times not so well. They also change over time and respond to care.

I became serious about gardening a few years ago when suddenly the kids were bigger and I had more time on my hands. My parents were brilliant gardeners (they had his and hers greenhouses) and their garden was resplendent!

I lost them both within a few weeks of each other, but when I’m in my garden I feel so close to them.

My friends bought me plants during this difficult time, and when I’m tending them it’s the most wonderful connection. And what’s more reassuring than seeing something grow and flourish to make you feel at ease with the world?

The garden is my sanctuary.

Never give up

Sometimes there are failures (even Monty Don has them), but mostly success.

Sometimes plants need moved to a different position and outlook to bring out the best in them, and show their potential. Some take a lot more care and nurturing; then there are the robust ones that you can leave just to get on with things.

Nothing gives you a more wonderful feeling than when you’ve bought something from the “hospital corner” of the garden centre that’s on its last legs, you take it home and the following year it’s at its best!

Even if you don’t have a garden, houseplants can bring you pleasure, and something to focus on and nurture.

Or you can watch one of the many different TV shows for a look at gardens around the world.

The one thing they all have in common is the joy they bring you.

There’s a Dutch proverb that says, “If you want to be happy for a day, get drunk. If you want to be happy for a year, get married. But if you want to be happy for a lifetime, plant a garden”.

I couldn’t agree more.

For more on gardening, including top hints and tips, click here.

Tracey Steel

Having worked on a number of magazines over the years, Tracey has found her perfect place on The Friend as she’s obsessed with reading and never goes anywhere without a book! She reads all the PF stories with a mug of tea close by and usually a bit of strong cheese too!