Gardening Through the Seasons – New Beginnings

It’s been almost two years since I broke my silence about my own mental illness with my first Blog – Me, Plants and Bipolar. It was very freeing to finally open up, share my story and not feel ashamed of who I am and to maybe encourage others to do the same, or at least let them know someone understands.

And to be honest, I thought I’d be ‘okay’ again by now, but I’m pleased with the steps forward I’ve taken; even though they may not seem a lot to some. My mind and body just won’t let me do the things my heart would like too. I’m moving in the right direction and that’s the important thing I need to remember, when I start to compare my accomplishments with others. 

It’s been an unusual year for all, to say the least, which hasn’t helped my anxiety and there were a couple of shopping trips which literally ended in tears. Coupled with the worry of my own and loved ones safety. 

But one positive thing I took from last summer, was when looking out of my window or going outside for our daily exercise; it was quite amazing to see so many people in their gardens. Whether sitting enjoying the sun, or a whole garden renovation and everything in between.

So here we are moving into the warmer weather, spring has finally sprung! The garden is waking up after what has been a chilly snowy winter here in the East. I can’t wait to get started! And I haven’t. Lol. 

Winter into Spring 

As much as I enjoyed the colours, structure and crispness winter brings, it’s wonderful to feel the warmth of the sun on my face again, watch the magic as the ground thaws and the garden (nature) knows it’s time to awaken for another growing season. Not just the plants, but bees, hoverflies, birds and even the fish, seem to feel the anticipation of the coming spring. 

In the surrounding streets, sleeping deciduous trees and shrubs begin to bud and soon to burst full of blossom and colourful fresh new leaves, but until then, I’m growing my own little green miracles.

Seeds TO RecoverY

With the days growing longer and lighter, seed sowing has begun. The window sill full of trays of seeds, ready to be nurtured into seedlings; that reassuring reminder that “life is ever growing, changing, and that I too am still growing and recovering”. 

And the glorious actuality about seeds is no matter whether you have a garden, balcony or window sill, you can discover seeds to suit you and your space; indoor, outdoor or fruit and veg, the possibilities are endless.  

I find seed sowing enforces positive wellbeing, firstly by taking time out of daily life to explore seed catalogues, choosing which seeds to grow, letting your imagination take over to revel in endless possibilities. But also tricky, as I rein myself in, as there are so many and I would gladly grow them all. Until I get my dream garden with a large glass house, I have to remember my window sills in the house are only so big and as seeds become seedlings, they’ll need more and more space.

Next, seed sowing can be used as a mindfulness activity

Looking closely at the seeds themselves, if not too small to see, as with my pin head sized Coleus seed, looking at the wonder that is the seed in front of you, this tiny entity, taking in the colour, its shape and texture. As with this curious brunt orange, long-tail fish shaped Plumeria seed.

The soil you’re using to plant them. As I open the bag of seed compost, I notice the fresh earthy smell. Pouring the soil into a tray the smell fills the air and I’m filled with excitement of the possibilities. The texture and feel, which is important for seeds as it needs to be finer than other composts. I see the different colours, shapes, sizes of the organic matter and shiny flakes. Holding the soil in my hands to break apart large clumps, I note the slight moisture and sieve the compost to get a fine, even texture. 

Now waiting for the seed germinate

This can be a lesson in patience, as not everything goes or grows at the pace of the world we live in. And once again, it’s a chance to take time out of daily life to just sit, watch and wait in anticipation.

Then nurturing the seedlings as they pop up one by one! As a planty person, it’s hard to explain the joy of discovering a tiny green shoot! 

Checking each day and cheering them on! 

How they’re doing, do they need some water, air, more light. Watching them grow fills me with delight, each millimetre, new set of leaves, a little milestone, a miracle. Especially when the second set of leaves emerge, these are the true leaves, the leaves you’ll recognise as the plant you’re growing. 

So whatever else I feel I may or may not have accomplished, I have this, I have grown these, without my nurturing, they wouldn’t be here. 

And as they grow, so do I. 

All this from popping seeds into a tray of compost. 

Happy Growing šŸ’š x

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