Friday, April 29, 2016

Garden work work work work work work (Rihanna)

Watching my backyard slowly reappear over the last week or two has been like watching a photograph develop. It’s hardly poster quality, but at least I can walk down the garden path again. Not much is happening out there yet, but it won’t be long, and I’m raring to go, along with all the other gardeners revving their engines.

Except, what if you’re feeling overwhelmed at the sight of a naked yard that reminds you of your worst vacation photo. As long as the place was covered in snow it was easy to avoid, but now there it is, an empty lot covered in scruffy, boring grass, glaring at you. It won’t go away. It will demand attention until winter returns, but what will it provide in return? — Not much more than another record breaking water bill.

You know that’s not what you want; you want a beautifully landscaped yard, always did, but never got around to it. Where to start, what plants to purchase, where to place them? Maybe you attended one of the garden shows and came home filled with inspiration, but you still feel intimidated by the whole process. 

If only you could wave a magic wand, or at least a magic credit card, it would all be taken care of. But there’s no fun in that, and besides, landscaping isn’t something that has to be completed overnight. The transformation might be exciting, but think of your poor mail carrier getting lost in unfamiliar territory.

No, take a deep breath, relax, and understand that landscaping your yard can be a slow, enjoyable process. This is an opportunity to discover your creative nature, and don’t ever think you don’t have one. Constructing an attractive garden may well surprise you.

Will there be work? — Yes, lots, but garden work is not the same kind of work as the mind numbing, soul destroying, and stress inducing toil that can fill your day from nine to five. In fact, it’s the complete antidote to that kind of work; it’s exercise in disguise. Garden work can invigorate and restore the body, and also the soul. 

In the words of the Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association, horticultural therapy improves the social, spiritual, physical, and emotional well-being of individuals who participate in it -- that is, working in a garden. 

So what’s stopping you? Oh yes, a plan. It’s probably a good idea to have a plan, otherwise you may make mistakes, and that will mean more work, and then you'll be stuck with a toned and perfect body and a blissful smile.