When Zombie and I moved into a new house recently it came with a massive yard and a reasonable sized garden. The garden basically borders the property, which I’m pretty sure is a quarter acre. The backyard was part of the appeal for me plus having a nice garden with pretty flowers to look at. I’d lived in places with gardens before, but someone else had always taken care of them, Mum, flatmates or the owners, so I’d never really had to deal with one before, but for me it was one of those ‘am I an adult now?’ moments, finding a place with a garden and realising that we would have to deal with it ourselves.
Zombie kept the lawns up and did a bit of weeding here and there, but I never touched the garden. Between work, being a new mother and my mental health playing up, it just wasn’t something I could muster up the energy to do. So despite Zombies constant nudges that we should get out there and spend an hour or so a week picking away at it, I never got around to it. It had gotten to a point where it was just another chore I had no desire to do. Of course the garden got out of control pretty quickly and then came the letter in the mail: House inspection, less than two weeks time.
I spent an entire day in the garden, working my way around it, pulling out weeds, turning dirt to make it tidier and pushing as hard as I could on the weeds to make more room in the tiny green bin to get rid of it all. It was exhausting, but oddly satisfying. Seeing an area go from being inundated with weeds and littered with dead leaves to a nice patch of soil with a bush or flowers growing out of it made me feel like I’d actually achieved something that day. I was surprised to discover that I enjoyed gardening.
Since then I’ve gardened every week. Some weeks more than others depending on how busy we’ve been, but always after work, especially on stressful days. I’ve found pulling out weeds makes me feel good. Some people like running to de-stress, or boxing, art, music, the list goes on. I thought writing, singing and dancing (I’m a terrible dancer but hey, who cares) were my ways to relieve stress, but I’ve found gardening to be more effective.
Especially when it’s starting to get dark.
What’s that about? I don’t know.
Maybe I’m crazy, but I don’t get a lot of time to myself these days and often by the time work, dinner and errands are done the sun is starting to disappear. Instead of flopping down on the couch and staring at my phone for the rest of the night I’ve taken to sometimes donning my gardening gloves and heading outside for an hour or so to pull weeds and enjoy the time to myself. The world is pretty quiet at this time of the night but at the moment still warm and pleasant. Some nights the only reason I stop is because it’s too dark to distinguish the weeds.
It’s my new Me Time. So many of us have so much on these days that our lives are whirling by, leaving us behind and we run the risk of waking up one day wondering where the time went and wishing we had spent more time enjoying it. It occurred to me last night that it might be strange to head out into the garden at 8.30 at night and work up a sweat, but it makes me feel good. I’m sure I’m not the only one who does things at strange times just to get a break. I’m just not sure what I’m going to do in winter!
Smiles and Sunshine