Saying Goodbye To My Garden

It was often quoted in my family.

You are nearer to God’s heart in a garden than anywhere else on Earth.

Dorothy Frances Gurney

When I  had discovered the wonders of gardening, it had been life- changing for me. I had unearthed (forgive the pun) that it (gardening) had come completely naturally to me. Putting my hands in the dirt, had filled me with joy. Planting  each and every seed  had thrilled me, I had felt so powerful, putting this tiny thing in the ground, from which had then sprung life. There was something there, where there hadn’t been before.

My friend had once said you should not enter a relationship until you can keep a plant alive for a year. I had realised how wise this was. Perhaps it is the ultimate test of whether we are ready for relationships. Can we care for or nurture a plant an animal?

I would be interested to know how many narcissists are good gardeners. My view is probably very few. The sustained effort of raising a seed to “adulthood’ would probably not appeal to most. I mean, why tend something you cannot even see?(unless of course there is money involved.)

I had been mocked for my efforts to start a vegetable patch. I had been told the soil was hopeless. Nonetheless I had started with seeds on my windowsill – thyme, oregano and curly leaf parsley. I had waited patiently watching them grow, I was then given a tiny patch in the back garden, in which to plant them. Here I have to admit I became the one who crossed boundaries. I had spread and before I knew it,  signs of my presence were all over the back yard.My little miracle workers had been thirty dollars worth of worms, which I had placed in an old compost bin, we were given. I really don’t know how it had happened. Suddenly the whole backyard had become mine. My wonderful earthworms and I had gradually colonised the entire backyard. I had felt lovingly connected with my plants and my earthworms. One day inexplicably a horse had even travelled down our street and we had been out there scraping the natural fertiliser off the road. I could not believe the horse had done its business right outside our house. I had decided it was a gift from God. It had all been a sound investment my ex had decided, as I had managed to grow most of our Summer salads myself. The children and I had lived in the backyard. They would proudly pick their own pumpkins, tomatoes and lettuce etc.

My ex had realised my gardening ability was actually a good thing and he had very much enjoyed the “fruits(or vegetables) of my labour.” I had eventually been given my own greenhouse, which I had absolutely adored. At one stage I was keeping everybody stocked in seedlings and  was sharing my crops with friends and neighbours. I truly believed that this was my thank you to God for blessing my garden.

My worms have also spread far and wide. I have shared  countless earthworms with friends and family. The soil had become rich and fruitful. I had been able to grow virtually anything. I had even tried my hand at maize, but maize requires a lot of water, which became in increasingly short supply. I had a water tank and I had experimented with a drip system.

The gift my ex gave me which meant the most to me, was a lemon tree on my first birthday in the house. I had adored it. I had thought it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Sadly like my relationship it has been attacked now by a  particularly vicious garden pest. I had hacked off the affected branches, trying to return it to health. My efforts had seemed somehow symbolic.

I have no attachment to my house but the garden is quite another thing. Even though it has become sadly neglected, as I have dealt with the rigours of divorce and helping youngsters through their final years at school and onto university. I think it is the loss of my once amazing garden and my quiet early mornings, sitting on the verandah with a cup of coffee,  which will perhaps be the hardest to bear.


%d bloggers like this: