Beginner Gardener: New Hobby To Improve My Wellbeing
Almost out of nowhere it snuck up on me, it enveloped me, it took over. Just a couple of weeks ago I had no interest nor desire to take up gardening. But happenstance meant I was out in the garden with Raj as he was mowing the lawn and I started pulling weeds out of the border. In just a matter of minutes I was interested. Something sparked. Something connected. Something made sense.
My name is Elizabeth and I am a beginner gardener.
I never had an interest in gardening
I always thought gardening was something other people did. I never considered it was something I would do. I didn’t even seriously consider I’d have the ability to do it. I’ve no idea why, I just felt like gardening was something we were innately aware of if we were good at it or not.
I guess there was a part of me that didn’t like the idea of getting muddy, or being cold. Really, I think I didn’t find the discomfort of being outside in all weathers very appealing. I avoided the idea of gardening because it just seemed a bit too mucky. Plus, you know, insects and creepy crawlies… *shudders*.
I never thought of myself as an outdoorsy person. It’s strange really, because I’ve always felt drawn to things like travelling and that has often involved a lot of outside time and moments of discomfort. Let’s not forget my super painful spider bite during my community development expedition to rural Dominican Republic. Ouch!
I guess, I didn’t connect the dots between my interests and gardening. It was just something I never considered or paid much attention to.
All that and I had zero knowledge of gardening. I grew up with neither of my parents being interested or doing much gardening, so it wasn’t like there was any knowledge to pass down to me. And I think I equated having no knowledge of gardening to not being able to do it. Again, a silly and very much unlike me thing to think as there are plenty of things I don’t know but feel confident I could have a go at.
Gardening and I just never crossed paths… until now.
What happened next?
It started off with weeds. It then progressed to repotting my sad old looking indoor plants. Managed that fine, decided to move on. We went to a garden centre and I chose some plants (mint, lavender, celosia, and coleus) and a few pots and some compost. I potted those up on the old table in the corner of our garden. And I loved it! I loved getting my hands in the soil. I loved that feeling of creating something.
I then looked on Netflix for a gardening programme and stumbled on one called ‘Big Dreams, Small Spaces’ presented by famous gardening presenter Monty Don. I became hooked within a few episodes and have now watched all 3 seasons. It was great because the show focused on a lot of people who were beginner gardener’s like me, and how they could transform their back gardens.
During a conversation with my brother we got chatting about gardening and he shared some tips about his little herb container at home and his allotment in Hereford. I felt inspired that I could give it a go.
Next, I picked out a notebook to use as my gardening notebook. In there I will keep all my brainstorms, ideas, planning, to-do lists, and more. It’s going to be my place for inspiration, and all going well, I think it’ll be nice to look back on in future to see where I started with this hobby.
Since then I’ve started planning how I want the entire garden to look. I’m picking colours. I am researching plants and flowers. I am learning the difference between annuals and perennials.
I am getting outside every single day. I am walking around my garden every morning inspecting the plants, watching the daily changes, looking at growth.
I have painted the front of my shed, three times!
Every day for 3 weeks I have been working on my garden a little at a time and I’m so excited to create something beautiful for my family to enjoy.
Plus, it’s so nice to spend time with Raj working on things. We’ve cut back all the undergrowth and overgrown bushes at the rear. We have bought a water butt to collect rainwater. We have talked through my ideas. We’ve even ordered some aggregate! (I had no idea what aggregate was until a month ago).
When I wake up in the morning I’m excited to see what’s happened in the garden.
When I am outside in my garden:
I feel good
I get fresh air, exercise, and lots of sunshine
I feel grounded whilst working with the earth
I feel creative as I plan the look and feel of my garden
I am excited to learn something new
I am excited to watch life grow every single day
I feel aware of the constant impermanence of life
I feel spiritually centred
I am in the moment, I am present, I am mindful
I feel calm
Reasons why I want to pursue gardening
1. I get to learn a new skill
2. It gets me outside every single day
3. I get to practice mindfulness and be grounded in nature
4. I get to be creative
5. I get to making a beautiful space for my family
6. I have a hobby!
7. I am doing something nourishing and kind for myself for no other reason than it feels good.
A brand new hobby as a beginner gardener
I am so excited to see how this first phase of my brand new hobby turns out. My initial plans are to make my garden look pretty. It’ll be a simple design that’s easy to maintain. All the while I am planning to learn as much as I can through watching gardening programmes on TV, reading books and magazines, and looking up gardening how-to’s on the internet each time I try something new.
I have my trusty notebook to help me track my purpose. And of course, after 11 years of blogging, it made sense to record my progress here as well. So I hope to share little gardening diary updates as I go, and I hope it’ll not only be a nice thing for me to look back on, but some of you might like to follow my journey as well.
I am a total and utter beginner to gardening. My knowledge is at zero. The only thing that might help is some Biology GCSE basics that I might remember as we go along. Otherwise, I am jumping into a brand new hobby and interest with nothing but enthusiasm and a passion to learn.
If any of you have any resources you’d recommend for learning about gardening please do let me know!