Being an ex-city type who had fastidiously avoided getting my hands dirty (in the literal sense) and repelled anything which was “creepy” or “crawly” (no I’m not referring to the lawyers I used to work with), I had only ever thought of the garden as somewhere to enjoy BBQs and a few glasses of wine with friends on summer evenings and fruit and veg…….well that’s something that comes from the supermarket.
Even as we prepared the raised beds and planted those first seeds, in my mind, I never really thought we’d manage to grow anything because “growing” stuff is the preserve of people with “green fingers” and I have never thought of myself in those terms. Mine was never the idyllic childhood in the back garden with a kindly parent/grandparent teaching me how plants grew….the closest brush with a garden I had growing up, was being forced to tend a 1×1 metre patch of soil, which my school insisted on calling “the 6th form garden”, against my will.
Fast forward to yesterday, which saw the production of a fine British roast with roast tatties (using 3 types of potatoes), carrots and courgette (and runners beans from a friend’s allotment) all picked straight from our own back garden that very morning and polished off with an apple pie using apples straight from our own tree!
It’s hard to describe the pleasure that comes with producing the food you eat; digging up potatoes takes on the child-like joy of searching for buried treasure. The courgette plant, like some mythical far away tree-esque creation which produces an ever abundant crop overnight as if by magic never ceases to surprise and delight me. I understand why fruit and veg play such a prominent role in so many children’s stories; jack and the beanstalk, james and the giant peach….the BFG and his snozzcumbers…..there is just something magical about the whole process.
I understand why so many retired folk embrace gardening so strongly; it’s nature’s therapy. Gardening requires giving and tending and caring but it also gives back in abundance, accompanied by a joy that is an invaluable antidote to the stresses of modern life. Christian Louboutins….give me green gardening wellies anyday 🙂