What Do I Get From Gardening
Well there is the obvious, like pretty flowers in my garden at home, that create a nice and pretty space to relax in. Where I’m surrounded with wonderful scents that just seem to envelop me as I sit. So many senses triggered by the garden. Beautiful colours, amazing smells and bird song! All of these contribute to a deep sense of relaxation and well-being.
And at Lottie of course there is growing our own lovely vegetable and fruits, knowing what has gone into and on the soil . And the sweet satisfaction of knowing you grew what you are putting on your dinner plate and it couldn’t be any fresher.
But it’s so much more than that for me, and for many other people I’m sure. I feel like my mental health gets a boost when gardening, most especially during the lockdown period but also in life in general.
It’s my way to absorb my mind in something other than the daily humdrum of life and it’s trials and tribulations and leaving the stresses of work behind. A way of letting go of worries and the demands of life. When I’m at the allotment it's like I am able to temporarily switch off from all that is going on in the world that concerns me.
The amount of times I have said to my husband “I will only be half an hour” only to get a phone call saying “ you okay? You’ve been gone two hours!” Time just slips away when I’m at the allotment. I flit from job to job, a little hoeing here and a rake there. I walk up and down looking at what I have planted and checking to see if it's all growing. And as the time slips away so do many anxieties and the stresses I’ve been carrying.
I open my camp chair and sit for a while, imagining how Lottie would look in the height of the season and wondering if everything I have started in my mini greenhouses back at home on the drive will fit, or do I need more!
My walk to the allotment is a woodland path and I always hurry along on my way there eager to get started on the jobs for the day that I have in mind or that Monty Don has recommended for the week. But I have noticed when I am walking home, it’s more of a leisurely stroll. I tend to feel a great sense of calm and wellbeing. Like a coiled spring inside me has been unwound and released. That feeling is one of the best things I get from gardening!