It feels like ages since I’ve been out in the garden. Â After that lovely false spring early in February, we’ve had wet, wet weather. Â The weeds are growing like, well, weeds, and my pots of last year’s annuals are leggy and definitely ready for composting. Â The roses are coming along — I’ve got buds galore — but it’ll be several weeks before they open. Â (Yes, this beautiful photo is a few years old.)
The sad thing is that even when it’s warm, gardening is one of those things that Â gets sacrificed on the altar of a busy life. Â But I think it’ll only get better. Â Matthew is now old enough to enjoy helping with little tasks like weeding and watering, and Luke is slowly getting to the stage where I can let him play in the garden without worrying that he’ll try to snack on ants. Â Hopefully this summer, I’ll be able to create my own little suburban Eden, a place where impatiens elbow each other happily in the beds and roses run riot against the fence. Â Few things make me happier than a summer’s day outside, enjoying the petals and colors that I planted. Â And the act of planting them — well, it’s therapy of the best kind. Â It’s praying with your hands, in the dirt, in the sunlight.
Lately I’ve been dipping back into the delicious writings of Beverly Nichols, an English garden writer of the last century. Â In his book Green Grows the City, published in 1939, he writes about creating a little bit of paradise in an old barren yard in a London suburb. Â And in the background of his narrative is the slow march towards war, a feeling of tension mounting throughout England. Â The last line of his book offers a poignant insight: “We both know, you and I, that if all men were gardeners, the world at last would be at peace.”
Amen to that.