Gardening Makes Me Happy

A garden can bring much joy                             Image:Marie Vonow
I enjoy spending time in the garden but to be honest I can’t be bothered with any plants that need to be fussed over. There are so many types which are easy to grow that I can’t see the point in actually stressing over plants when I want to enjoy my time in the garden. Some people do enjoy the challenge of getting a delicate or fussy plant to grow but that's not my style, I prefer things that are simple.

When it comes to veggies and herbs, I plant easy to grow stuff like loose leaf lettuce, rocket, spring onions, chives, basil, parsley, rosemary, silver beet and tomatoes. I grow some things in containers and others directly in the garden.

             Rosemary bush                                                                  Image:Marie Vonow
Every Saturday there is a local produce share. It is held in one of my town's parks. People come along with surplus fruit, herbs, vegetables, seeds, cuttings, pots and similar and share with others. There is a grapefruit tree in my backyard and we don't like grapefruit. However, they won't go to waste because I can share them with friends and people who go along to the produce share group.

Flowering plants I have found easy to grow include geraniums, pelargoniums, daisies, nasturtiums, rosemary, lavender and marigolds. I should add that some things which are easy to grow where I live may be quite difficult to grow in other places so it’s a good idea to get advice from your local nursery or a neighbour when looking for fuss-free plants.

Pelargoniums grow well in this area and have lovely flowers         Image:Marie Vonow

Gardening can be full of surprises. A species which grows so easily one year may be difficult to grow the next year. Many years ago I had a bumper crop of zucchinis and I was begging people to take them off my hands. Never again have I had such a good result with zucchinis and there have been times when they have even been a failure.

I know I benefit from the exercise I get when gardening and I certainly find it more fun than doing a set of exercises. Fresh air and sunshine, yes I cover up and use sun screen, make me feel more alive in body and spirit.

Pottering around in the garden and noticing new growth and flowers that have come into bloom make me feel gratitude. These are simple pleasures, not dependent on technology or spending a lot of money. Without making any effort to do so, I find I am being mindful of the smells and sights around me, I'm living in the moment.

I get excited when seeds germinate or a plant thrives. At the moment the impatiens I have planted in hanging baskets are producing a good show of flowers and coleus are also growing very well. 

Hanging basket of impatiens                                       Image:Marie Vonow

The other day I spotted a nest tucked away in the shrub I was trimming. It was about eye height, lower than the position most nests are built. I was able to get a good look at the nest. The discovery lifted my spirits and I do hope the birds come back in spring and lay eggs in it. 

My garden and the changing seasons bring me joy. We are into autumn now and soon the leaves of deciduous plants will change colour and fall.Then comes winter, followed by spring with fresh growth. Marcus Tullius Cicero, a Roman stateman, lawyer and philosopher who was born in 106 BC said,'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.' Sounds like he found happiness in gardens too.


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