Happy Easter…happy gardening?

Happy Easter to you, dear reader(s).

Easter, being associated with new life and growth, marks for many the unofficial start of the gardening calendar.

My first gardening session of the spring always fills me with a sense of dread.  It looks so dishevelled and squelchy out there, and the challenge ahead of me – to tidy it all up, keep it under control, and cultivate and sustain new life and colour out there – seems immense.  The harsh winter, and seemingly permanent rain, have not helped the condition of the grass and foliage.

I’m hesitant to admit this, but I have an up/down relationship with my garden.  I won’t say “love/hate relationship,” because I could never hate it.  I spent too many years longing for outside space to feel unappreciative now.  It’s more that I waver between deeming gardening a rewarding labour of love and a backbreaking chore that steals my precious writing time.

When we finally bought a house in 2012, after 10 long years in a claustrophobic flat, I adored the novelty of a garden.  The lawn and flowerbeds were uncared-for and overgrown when we inherited them, and I worked unstintingly hard to bring them all to a manageable level.  The task was fulfilling, and I quickly developed green fingers.

In the intervening years I’ve fallen in and out of love with gardening according to my state of mind.  It’s complex.  My garden can be a metaphor, a living representation of my state of mind – be it tangled and messy or calm and fruitful.

The good old British weather hasn’t helped.  We’ve had so many years of lacklustre summers, mustering enthusiasm for mowing, digging, planting, pruning, etc, when it’s grey and soggy out there, has not always been easy.

Today I paid my visit of the season to a garden centre. It’s one of those vast stores where I must admit I’m prone to spending a fortune on scented candles or birthday cards and forgetting to buy anything actually garden-related.  The cafe is by patronised by “ladies who lunch” types who have probably never picked up a trowel in their lives. You’ll be familiar with such an establishment, I’m sure.  Today I was disciplined, though.  I restricted myself to just purchasing plants, gardening gloves (I always need those) and compost.

I do love the spring and summer.  I love to de-hibernate the barbecue and patio furniture from their winter coverings.  Let’s hope we get some sun this year.  We are crying out for it.  I want this year to be one in which I regain my gardening mojo.

It can be disheartening process, but no pain no gain, and all that.  I have to remind myself I am in control of my property, including its plant life; it doesn’t rule me.  If it looks drab out there, that’s down to me.

Please enjoy your bank holiday, and enjoy your garden – whatever you decide to do in it.

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