November 14th

(Pointless?) Gardening

I don’t know much about gardening. Like many things house-related, I’d like it all just to be perfectly ordered and tidy ALL the time, without me actually doing much. And given the state of our house which is not perfectly ordered in anyway shape or form, its full of loved things (like 30+ teddy-cardboard-box-houses) and messy “order”, I am often in a state of frustration about parts of the house/garden. We’re fortunate to have a large garden and I have resigned myself to that fact that just like tidying up or washing or even feeding the kids, it is something that has to be continually done. Mike does much more of the garden stuff than me which means I have designated him the status of “garden expert” so every time I venture near anything garden related I like to ask his advice. Problem is, Mike takes a rather different view of gardening that me and works more on an “absolute must do or do when we get to it” approach, whereas I’ve decided that if I attack the garden for an hour or so regularly I can pull up a tonne of stuff and make myself feel better. Neither is right or wrong but my slightly haphazard, spontaneous and random approach style has led me to coin the phrase “pointless gardening”. What usually happens is I come home from somewhere, decide I literally cannot go in the house with the front garden looking like the house is derelict and then start to randomly pull up stuff with gusto. This usually lasts for about an hour, then it transpires I’ve pulled up something precious and I get grumpy, the garden bin is full and I give up. To repeat it all about 3 weeks later when stuff has had the audacity to grown again.

Today, however, I decided I couldn’t live with the front garden anymore, it is Autumn at least and things are dying off, so gardening in my style would be slightly less pointless than say doing this in June. And the garden bin was empty (yay) so I set out, slightly less randomly to tidy up the front garden. About 2.5 hours later, I’m not sure it is “tidy” exactly – gah every time I cut down some plant, it uncovered a load more stuff underneath! But I did feel like I had achieved something. Yeah, ok, a lot of it will grow back, but I can see through the weeds and I realised that whether or it is pointless, I quite like gardening. In fact, I liked it so much that I then went and cleared a whole bed in the back garden for another 2 hours. And I felt quite cheery as I enthusiastically pulled out stubborn brambles. I think I have truly become middle-aged taking delight in gardening, pointless or not. So much so that I might even ask for some gardening tools for Christmas – one of those things that enables me to hack at stubborn roots, there is probably some metaphor there, but our one has got lost somewhere. Funnily enough whilst I was doing all this, the kids spent the entire time outside making fairy houses with the debris – and using the secateurs – so I definitely need a pair for Christmas 😀

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