I took up gardening somewhat recently. The first reason being, we get such glorious summers where I live on the East Coast, and I decided that I wanted to spend more time outside. Where I am, the summers are long, hot, and dry. So long, in fact, that we don't really get an autumn until it's closer to winter. It's the same with spring. Getting out in the garden seemed to be the easiest way for me to spend more time outside.
The second reason, is that me being me, I like to look at pretty things, and flowers are pretty, so why not have more of those? It makes me happy to look out to the patio and see my pots of colour everywhere or to be in my bedroom and look out the window at the roses or the flowering shrubs. Also, after a long or stressful day, it's a nice way to end things, by spending half an hour outside, watering the garden or moving pots around, or giving the plants extra plant food. It's really relaxing to just meander along with the hose, giving everyone a drink of water.
The third reason, and perhaps the most important, more important, in fact, than me being surrounded by pretty things, is that it's good for the bees. I'm not about to stand up on my soapbox and start preaching, but we need to look after the bees and the environment, and the easiest way to do that is by planting flowers and plants that the bees and butterflies like.
There was a fourth reason, which I had not anticipated at all. It had never crossed my mind, that I would learn new things, but I have. I've learned how to make my own homemade liquid fertiliser, I've learned what flowers to plant to attract bees and butterflies to your garden, and I've learned how to make natural sprays and remedies to help sick plants, or to get rid of the bad bugs. I find myself haunting secondhand shops more often now, to find cheap gardening books, or going to the library to research. I've learned more about flowers and their names. It's been brilliant.
In the back of my head, I keep hearing my mother saying, 'how do you know this isn't going to be another five-minute hobby that you take up and then forget about? What if the novelty wears off and your flower pots die?' But I don't see that happening anytime soon. I've found this to be a very rewarding journey.
When I talk to friends, a few of them ask about my garden first, before asking about me and how I'm faring. The people at the garden centre know me very well now, and I am being known as "that lady," but hey, every community has to have a "that lady," and I don't mind if it's me. So long as I don't become a crazy cat lady, then I think we'll be all good.
My next plan is to learn about herbs and to have my own little kitchen garden. If I can find flowers rewarding, then I imagine having a small edible garden will be doubly so.