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Like the rest of the nation's gardeners no doubt, I was out in the garden this weekend busying myself with a huge tidy up and getting things ready for the slew of sowing and planting that's to come. This year I'm determined to keep on top of things so decided to start a small blog on these pages, plotting my progress - I thought if I had to write about my endeavours, I'd definitely have to make sure I got out there and did the things I said I would do. So here goes:
A wonderful thing is a gardener. 25th and 26th February 2012
I've been gardening for years, both personally and professionally yet I swear it doesn't get any easier. I might know all the Latin names, know exactly which clematis need pruning when, and how to get a bumper crop of peas, but at this time of year I always stand in my garden hands on hips and sigh. The task of bringing it and veg patch back to glorious life seems huge and over-whelming...will it ever look colourful and productive again?
Of course, the despair doesn't last long. I roll up my sleeves, grab a trug and get stuck in. And I know from experience that it WILL look abundant and full of flowers and veg and fruit and birds and bees (and friends) come summer, it's just when everything looks so dead and twiggy and weedy and winter-ravaged that vision can seem a long way off.
It's why I totally sympathize with novice gardeners. All those wonderful photographs you see in the gardening magazines bear no resemblance to your patch right now and it's so easy to give up before you've even begun - after all what can one person do against a legion of weeds, a battalion of snails...?
But I know that persistence pays off, I know that every hour I put in now will pay me back 10-fold in the pleasure I'll get from seeing things grow and flourish, in the wonder of plunging my hands into the soil and pulling out the first of the new season potatoes, of eating a tomato straight off the vine, of watching bees buzzing happily among the flowers, of getting up early and sneaking down to the deck with a cup of tea to enjoy the birdsong in the gentle morning sunshine...
So I'll be out there again this weekend come rain or shine pottering around, the dog at my heels and my head full of what to plant where, because no matter how big the task, no matter how the back aches, being a gardener is a wonderful thing and I can't imagine being anything else...