As children in school we grow bean and pea seeds in school, usually during science class. As a child who always found magic in the garden I was always planting things-and my mother found it would occupy me for hours! I don’t think my parents were always thrilled at what came up where, but they encouraged my love of gardening and planting seeds was such a simple pleasure. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing something grown from nothing.
I became a keen gardener in my teens and grew a lot of amazing things when my parents still lived in their home. My particular love was big English inspired perennial borders. I created a huge one on one side of our front garden that literally stopped passers by. I also amassed a great library of gardening books that for over 30 years I’ve lugged around with me.
At times I’ve asked myself why I keep these gardening books? I live in a city, and buy pre-grown plants for my balcony. I still love plants and flowers but gardening in tub’s on a balcony isn’t quite the same.We use our outdoor space everyday during the good weather and eat and drink out there and it is lush with plants but I’ve always felt it’s not like having a ‘real’ garden.
And then this world of ours stopped recently. And I’ve been looking at the empty planters ready for trips to the local garden centre for the plants I buy every year. And I realized that this year we will probably not have access to what we take for granted.
I had to make a trip up the street to our local hardware store this week, and as I was buying disinfectant I saw seed trays and peat pots and seeds. I instinctively knew I needed to buy them. I promptly brought them home and looked at them for 24 hours. I pulled out gardening books from my hoard and opened pages I hadn’t looked at in 30 years.
I found myself lost for a few hours reading through them! Do we have enough light? Is there too much wind? I laid out my seed packages. It’s not at all what I usually plant pre-grown. But my excitement grew. I soaked the peat pots and placed them in their little plastic greenhouse. I very carefully planted several varieties of seeds and made little markers so I know what each little peat pot has planted in it!
I felt the joy I hadn’t felt since I was a child. The simple act of planting seeds changed my mood!
And if everything grows we will have peppers and lettuce and cosmos and nasturtiums and bachelors buttons and coleus and morning glory. And NONE of it matches! And none of it I would have picked at the garden centre. The best part is I think this year’s garden (not just tubs) will be the most beautiful one I’ve planted.
And all because the world stopped. Not by our choice. But sometimes the best things come out of the worst. And what I’ve learned about myself out of this is to enjoy simple pleasures. And I will plant more seeds, and as things grow from those seeds I will always be grateful for every blossom.