Are you an enthusiastic, passionate, committed gardener? Perhaps you're regarded less charitably by your family and friends as a touch eccentric, nay, even a little nutty? Ignore them; it's perfectly all right to be ardent about your pastime.
Most people display passion about something in their lives, although it's usually something that's strangely more socially acceptable, such as: being a rabid sports fan, a follower of the Kardashian saga, or waxing a car. However, admit to relishing the earthy fragrance of compost or brag about your prize peonies on a coffee break and you're soon relegated to the outer fringes.
And yet only a generation or so back, almost everyone was a gardener and it was considered a normal part of life. A patch of ground and a packet of seeds was how the family was fed. That's when a blackberry really was a blackberry. Meanwhile, flowers were grown to brighten the home and feed the soul.
Somehow, we're losing this challenge, this connection with nature. It can't be found in fast food, plastic flowers, or in the fragrance of an air freshener. It's in the elation felt when a seed sprouts, the taste of a fruit or vegetable that you grew yourself, or in seeing the soul feeding magic of petals unfolding. A garden is where the life enriching spiritual connection between mankind and this precious earth is the strongest.
With increasing concern about what we are eating, where it comes from, and what's in the food, plus the realization that we've cocooned ourselves in an unsustainable world; it may be that soon we'll come full circle and fully appreciate the skills of the serious gardener.
But how passionate and committed are you — to the point where eyebrows are raised or eyes roll? Do you go out in the garden for a few minutes and disappear for the day, no matter what the weather? Are you constantly moving plants around in your garden? Do you visit a garden centre and return with more plants than you can possibly find room for in your garden? Do you pull weeds in friends' gardens — or even public gardens? Do neighbours lock their doors and hide when they see your zucchinis ripening? These are all signs of a passionate, committed gardener — or should be. Who said that? Who said he's nuts?