Six years ago, if you and I were in a cafe, having a nice chat over coffee. And you, my dear friend, happened to mention that you had a passion for gardening. I would have snorted back with laughter, choked on something, and then sprayed my affogato across the table. Are you kidding?!?
I then probably would have been so embarrassed upon discovering that you were actually SERIOUS. Because really. Who on earth likes gardening? That’s so, like, what old people do. People who live in the suburbs or like, farms. People who, like, hello, so need to get out and have a life. In fact, only like, bored housewives with screaming kids do gardening.
(Ok. I didn’t use to talk like that.)
But ah how the tables have turned.
Now I’m crouched hands and knees in the dirt, taking macro photographs of the organisms in my organic compost heap. Now. Oh how I am intoxicated with the smell of rotting vegetables. How I squeal in delight as dig through the fresh earth. How my glee swells as I see slaters, roaches and bugs munching away on rockmelon skins. How, whenever I peel a banana, I excitedly think, my, our worms will have a feast on this peel tonight.
Yes it sounds oh so sad.
One evening. I put my youngest son to sleep at 7pm. I walk into the kitchen and toss the bottle into the sink. Then without a break in my stride, I walk out the door, I put on my gardening boots, and start digging in the garden till 9pm. I only stopped because there was no more light outside. Plus my husband came looking for me with a torch.
I’m utterly obsessed. I can’t stop thinking about my garden.
And the books! Oh how I love gardening books. Oh how I love gardening blogs and magazines. I lick my lips with inappropriate anticipation as parcel after parcel of Amazon books arrive at my door. I’m out every second day, to bookstores and local libraries, in search for even MORE organic gardening books. Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening is my favourite so far. Organic Gardening for the 21st Century is also pretty good.
Currently, we have plotted out pegs in our garden for several new vegetable beds. I have a plan for peas, beans, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, beetroots, onions, pumpkins and a whole host of herbs.
We have a new worm farm and compost box currently under construction. We’re using organic methods to recondition the existing soil, using organic growing techniques, and basically doing it organically all the way baby. Lots of preparation. So exciting.
Now. I’ve been trying to analyse why I like gardening so much. Don’t think I got very far.
The other day, I was mixing some soil and organic matter together and I had this profound thought. In my 28 years of life. I’ve worked in quite a few jobs which I liked. I look back and, yes, they were challenging and fun. I was really good at what I did. I was rewarded and paid well. The people were really nice. It was fabulous experience. And I had a great time.
But no other job actually created this unstoppable, all-consuming peace, pleasure and satisfaction I feel cruising through my veins at this very moment.
I totally rate it up there with raising children (perhaps excluding the peace bit).