Top Ten

IMG_1290The top ten reasons why being a gardener is so great (assessed at today’s date, it may very well all change tomorrow):

  1.  Seeds
    For me the joy of the amazing miracle of germination never diminishes.  This is true whether it is as easy as a lawn of cress or needs quadruple stratification, nicking and soaking whilst doing the hokey-cokey before just one little leaf seed appears.  A subsection of this category is “seed collection”, a tic that I cannot shift in the unfailing desire for the thrill referred to above.
  2. Cuttings
    The sight of a delicate searching rootlet groping out of the bottom of a pot is ever satisfying.  The root above, escaping from its nursery, is from a cerise flowered cistus (to be honest long over due potting on).  If they make it through the winter there will be four more wonderful plants in the world.  And I made them!  Of course I didn’t really make them but I helped them along a little, which must count for something.
  3.  Plant Sales
    Recently I purchased a Hamamelis x intermedia “Jelena” for £5.  Reduced from £44.99.  I nearly fainted.  Need I say more?
  4.  Flower buds
    The buds are often more exciting than the actual flowers.  The anticipation is the perfect part, the promise of things to come, as they swell and flirtatiously emerge from their casing.  When the plant in question hasn’t flowered before, it is almost unbearably fraught.  Will the bud fall off before blooming?  Will some hungry passer-by consider it an opportune snack?  Or will I get caught napping and miss the wondrous event, only to return and find a shrivelled memory of the glory that had gone before?  Stressful, but in a good way.
  5.  The People
    At the risk of being taken behind the cycle sheds and being beaten up for being a creep, one of the best things about my job is the people I come across in my professional life.  Be it clients, other gardeners or nursery folk they are all entertaining, generous and appreciative.  If they aren’t then I just move on out …..
  6.  The Seasons
    Only when you work outside can you truly appreciate the changing of the seasons.  It is not about dates it is about signs; smells, sounds, sights and feelings.  The first haze of spring green, the buzz of high summer, the ripeness of autumn and the still centre of winter.  These things are immovable and inevitable, there is something very comforting in that.
  7.  Cake
    Home-made, shop bought, chocolate or carrot, I am not fussy.  There should be a class at horticultural college on this subject.
  8.  Wildlife
    There is nothing better to raise the spirits than a close encounter with the wild side of life.  It is a privilege to work in close proximity to the inhabitants that lurk in many of our gardens. Frogs, toads, slow worms, birds and bees, badgers and foxes.  Even the more (note I am not saying “totally”) domesticated creatures give me great joy including puppies, pigs and ponies.
  9.  The Weather
    Sun when rain is forecast.  Rain when the water butts are empty.  Early morning mists and cool breezes on a sultry day.  All most welcome.
  10. Doing Something Positive
    Attempting to create something more beautiful or productive than before is a marvellous thing. As is helping a tiny part of this beautiful earth become less poisonous and more nurturing to flora and fauna.  To spend your day trying to enhance our environment, in however small a way, and sharing that experience with others is a feeling very hard to explain.  It is an amazing feeling.  It makes me happy.  I would recommend it to everyone.  It is good for my soul and hopefully other’s too.

And for all these things I count my blessings.

28 thoughts on “Top Ten

  1. A really heart felt post..I am with you on all but I have say that seeds and cuttings are my passion. It’s a real joy to see that you have nurtured some common or rare beauty and all for next to nothing. Brilliant …

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  2. Seeds are probably my number one too but especially when you know you know they will turn into vegetables a few months later – that to me is a miracle….. oh and spring bulbs because the flowers just appear magically after a long winter

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  3. Great post! I agree with everything you’ve said. On seasons: I enjoy living in a place that has a definite winter season, because spring is so much more exciting coming after winter. On flower buds: my Gladiolus papilio has bloomed, only a little bit spoiled by the rain.

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  4. A lovely thanksgiving for life, so optimistic and generous towards everything in the gardening environment – but envy creeps in when I think of that Hamamelis!

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  5. A great post Gill. I am a taker for 1 and 2 as well. But what gardener isn’ t a compulsive number 3 addict? A Witch Hazel for £ 5? My goodness, its worth travelling to Devon for that.

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  6. Super list. Can’t disagree. I’d have to find a space for ‘thinking time’ though. Gardening time is the only time I get lost in my own thoughts. Sorry I took so long to get to this brilliant post. Proves my point that more of your words are better than less 🙂

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  7. Smashing post Gill. Have long thought that some serious gardening should be recommended by the NHS to help with certain ailments and your list would be perfect.

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