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.
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.
- Plant Sales
Recently I purchased a Hamamelis x intermedia “Jelena” for £5. Reduced from £44.99. I nearly fainted. Need I say more?
- 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.
- 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 …..
- 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.
Home-made, shop bought, chocolate or carrot, I am not fussy. There should be a class at horticultural college on this subject.
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.
- 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.
- 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.