Thursday, 2 October 2014

How Does Your Garden Grow?

About a month ago, I had a bad experience that shook me up and left me in place that wasn't so great in my head. 
What had come down to an eight minute event had a huge affect on my state of mind and I didn't feel very well; especially in the days following.
I was aware of this though, and "kept tabs" on myself, and let myself go through a lot of stuff in order to try and heal and come to a place where I could somehow come to terms with what happened. 

Talking helped. A lot. (Thank goodness for willing ears- xxx.)
Over and over.
Extensive internet searches for answers happened a lot, and still happens now.
A few days were spent just going through the motions of everyday life, but not being fully present.
Sometimes, just being sad.

At one point, I took myself out into the garden, because I know the garden to be a very healing and therapeutic place.
But I was overwhelmed by the mess it was in and lacked any motivation and desire to get stuck in.
I didn't care.
I really didn't even care.

And that surprised me, and saddened me. 
And I was worried, that it wouldn't come back.

I was worried that a lot of things wouldn't come back.
That something would be broken forever.

I took my camera out, to try to focus on the good details, despite the mess.
This usually works wonders for me.

But there was still a sadness that I could see and can still see in those pictures.
I posted them.
I went through the motions.

I let myself step away, and hoped that I would come back to it later. And I did.
And pottered a bit. And tried again to feel what I used to feel.
Maybe I was feeling a bit better, but not quite.

I wrote some ponderings.
And then I deleted them.
Because I didn't want to be a dramatic wallower.

I happened to notice that the state of the garden seemed to be a direct reflection on the state of my mind.
Messy, chaotic, heavy, oppressive.

Which one is affecting the other? Am I stressed because it's a mess? Is it a mess because I am stressed?
If I could summon the time and energy, would it make a difference in either the garden or my mind?

This Sunday; I found out.

I put myself on house arrest and set out to tackle the garden.
It was a beautiful, sunny day.
The kids were playing happily, and I got to work after a large amount of time taking pictures and procrastinating.

I collected some Cornflower seeds and made cut flower arrangements from the leftover blooms before clearing out the borders.

Got my macro on so close that I got pollen on the lens.

Said Goodbye, see you next year! to certain blooms past their time.

Hung out with the lodgers, 

And watched them work.

Studied, and admired.

(I appreciate this gorgeous succulent particularly because the glittery red/pink bits remind me of my favourite diner-style Formica table tops.)

My man came home and helped as well, which sped things along. Getting rid of stuff, sweeping up and watching for spiders in my hair as I crawled around to get the weeds.

And at the end of the day, and into early evening, we had a good place again.
It looked like a place that I used to know and hadn't seen for a while.
The borders were tidied and weeded and pruned, underneath the kids mud and excavation areas we found a patio that we used to have, plants were moved around and actually watered for the first time in a long time.

And it really, really did feel better this time.

I think there will always be a notch on my tree trunk, and a sadness that will always sit with me.
But time does help. 
And the garden and I are in a much better place now than we were a month ago.

This evening, as I poked succulent off-cuts into the gaping holes of the pallet planter, I wondered again:
Did my garden get better because I got better?
Or did I feel better because my garden got better?

I don't know, but you know what?
It feels a bit like E.T. and the flower.
ET Flower.jpg
Image Source: 
(Beautiful art work on this blog that I saw when I got sidetracked!)



  1. oh..... i hope whatever you are going through, you are feeling better these days. these pictures are beautiful and the first ones definitely show a sense of sadness. glad you found your happy place in your garden. xx

  2. Oh Katie, I am SO sorry I haven't picked up on how sad you've been feeling.I know it's not the same but in the past when I have felt worried it seems that the whole household seems like a sadder place to. I really do think that how we feel in ourselves has the power to transform our surroundings. Blimey that sounded a lot like an excerpt from a self help book.
    I'm so glad that you got out into the garden and tackled it, together and even happier that you are feeling a bit brighter. If you need me you know where I am xxx

  3. Yes, I wonder about how connected we are to our surroundings. Sometimes we need space in order to enjoy them again. I'm glad the garden is still a happier place for you.

  4. I'm so sorry to read this, but so glad that you have been able to get back out in your garden. I do think that we are more connected to our surrounding than we are aware of. Your photos are beautiful, and I think, hopeful xx

  5. So reflective, on so many levels. Big hugs.

  6. So sorry you've been going through such a difficult time, seems a day spent gardening has helped to some degree. I hope you're able to surround yourself with cheerfulness and it makes your days brighter xx

  7. and more squeezing hugs

  8. Thank goodness for some salvation in your garden. I can't bear to think what you have been through.

  9. Thank you all for the concern! I didn't mean to be a downer, but I but it was important for me to record, rather than deny what I was feeling and to have proof for myself that even when things are bad, they will get better. I'm sorry it's all cryptic, but while I needed to write it out and come to terms with things, I also needed to have consideration for others involved. I've been looking after myself and the garden too since and contemplating a side career in self-help books:-) xxx


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