My biggest challenge as a passionate gardener is actually stopping in my garden to fully enjoy it all, and by stopping I mean for longer than 10 minutes! You see I’m a chronic doer. Lazing on the couch inside all day long is not my thing!
Just like all passionate gardeners I love gardening and I love my garden. I have thoroughly enjoyed designing and creating my own garden from nothing and I’m completely at ease with the knowledge that I will never arrive at an end point, in fact I never wish to. I’m always observing, reviewing, pondering, re-designing and also coming across new plants and project ideas that I want to include into the garden. Even though I have a smaller sized garden, with increasing regularity after each new project is completed, I either hear “haven’t you finished it all yet” or “how can you fit more in” from family or friends.
Now the issue isn’t that there aren’t places to stop and enjoy, because the garden has been purposefully designed to provide various spaces to do that. Often the response by family and friends after each new project is something along the lines of “how many sitting areas do you need?” You see what they don’t realise, until I politely explain it, is that I like to sit in different areas. Why? Apart from my retort that “one sitting area is simply not enough”, it depends on whether I want to sit in the sun or the shade, or whether it is hot, cold, windy or calm, or how many people I’m sitting with, or what mood I’m in. These are all valid reasons, but more accurately it largely depends on what view of the garden I want to enjoy. Ultimately I like having visual choices.
But this leads me back to my challenge of stopping in my garden. With all of these choices I find myself moving around my garden and like a young boy that gets distracted by one shiny thing, then another shiny thing, then another shiny thing, I get distracted by things in my garden and regularly forget where I first started. Quite often I’ll start out with the best intentions. I’ve purposefully equipped myself with a cup of tea or a glass of wine and sat myself in one of those great little spots and looked over the garden. But then it happens … a quiet little voice says “oh, I need to prune that, I should water that, I could just dead-head those flowers, I’ll take some cuttings of those, I could move that ornament to there, no, it should go back to where I had it”. And so off I go and then the moment is lost, the cup of tea goes cold and two hours later I remember that I went outside to just sit and stop in the garden. Come to think of it, I don’t recall the glass of wine being forgotten in my state of distraction….. hmmm, but I digress!
So what have I resorted to? Call me crazy but this has simply been life changing! Sitting in my garden at night.
Yes, you read correctly, sitting in my garden at night. Why? Well the wonderful thing is that I can still embrace and enjoy the beauty and design of the garden, albeit by soft garden lighting, moonlight or the dancing glow of the fire and I don’t see the many things that tend to distract me. And I just sit and I stop! It’s also likely that I’ve realised that pruning and trimming in the dark often has less than desirable results.
My two most successful night garden spaces are my fire pit area and my front garden entrance. My fire pit area is at the bottom of the garden, purposefully located out of sight from my neighbours and more importantly where I can only see my garden from all angles. At night it is my winter haven as I sit around the warmth of the fire.
My small front garden is also my main entrance and the external lights provide a lovely soft lighting. I love just sitting and relaxing as they gently sparkle above me.
My new found night garden sitting has been enlightening. Now the task at hand is to adapt this to the day time ….. well at least for longer than 10 minutes!!