I think I’m getting old. I have developed an interest in gardening. That’s something for retired people, isn’t it?! Unless you do it for a career, of course. I know there are people who enjoy gardening to produce home-grown food, indeed many of my friends have allotments and cultivate beautiful gardens at home. But it was never a thing for me and my husband. We had a small back garden at our old house, with a postage stamp bit of lawn, mostly gravel, and a few potted plants that I half-heartedly nurtured. Now we have a large front and back garden, and a drive that keeps growing weeds, so there is a lot of work to do. I might have to employ a gardener at this rate, I can’t keep up with it!
You know something? I am falling in love with gardening. At first, I felt obliged to tidy the place up and keep it nice in memory of its previous owner, an elderly family man who was proud of his gardens, and by all accounts, kept them very well-tended.
I did not want to ruin his good work by letting it grow wild and unkempt. As the months pass and we approach our first-year anniversary in our home, I find myself really getting stuck in with the gardening. I have been digging up weeds, clearing out overgrown flower beds, mowing the lawns, cutting back trees and planting new shrubs and flowers. I am learning every day what we have, I made my first rhubarb crumble with homegrown produce, I have put tomato plants in the greenhouse, and I am trying to remember the names of all the established shrubs and trees we inherited.
Spending time in the garden leaves me feeling energised even when I am tired from a day’s labour. It’s a strange feeling. I am physically worn out by the sheer amount of digging, lifting, cutting and moving around that comes with gardening. But I feel energised and refreshed because I have been outside in nature, breathing in the beautiful scents of my flowers, communing with the earth, and escaping from the busyness of the modern world. I love my gardens. I am excited to see what grows next, and how I can add my own touches. Perhaps I can introduce a water feature, some play equipment, a reiki cabin… what do you suggest?
Catherine is the author of the adult paranormal romance series The Redcliffe Novels and also The Darkness of Love, She has short stories published in YA anthologies, freelance articles on various industry websites, and contributes to her personal blog, and her author blog .