So I have a confession to make. I have fallen off the wagon. Two, in fact: the blogging one and the gardening one. The last few months have been very busy (says everyone, always) and I can only guess the early darkness and subzero temperatures (okay, maybe not quite subzero) have put spending time in the garden in the too hard basket. As fun as it is watering the garden by fairylight in your dressing gown, I have lately been preferring to watch David Attenborough from the comfort of my cosy bed.
However, pondering this the other night (as David Attenborough soothed me with his dulcet tones) I wondered why I am so perfectionistic about the garden when I’m not necessarily about my other hobbies. I’m knitting a scarf this winter – it will probably never be finished but that doesn’t bother me one iota because I enjoy doing it. Sometimes I spend hours making handmade cards – sometimes I buy one from the shop because I can’t be bothered. I have many half finished projects up my sleeve and none of them make me feel even slightly guilty – because for me it is the process rather than the product that’s important.
I have a feeling this is a trap many people fall into. Someone buys them a houseplant, they get busy, forget to water it and it dies. They label themselves a black thumb and give up on gardening for good. I always miss the “recommended planting time” for the flowers and veggies I want to grow – so I put it off for another season, and another. Gardening becomes something I am going to “learn to do” or “get good at” when I have the time (perhaps when I retire in 2068).
And while I’m by no means supporting killing plants for the sake of it – or buying plants and not looking after them – I think we need to be a little easier on ourselves. I am fighting my garden procrastination condition one day at a time – if I have ten minutes the plants get watered, if I have twenty a weed or two get pulled. If I have half an hour I do the best of all – sit with a cup of tea and simply admire the fact that there are more green things in my courtyard than there was before.