I have never had so many good ideas day after day as when I work in the garden.

Gardening is a means by which you can attain many valuable hours of solitude without being thought of as unsociable.

John Erskine

Isn’t that the truth? The allure of a quiet reverie and time in solitude to think one’s own thoughts uninterrupted is often out of reach. Well, the garden is just the place to enjoy those moments of tranquility. A quiet time where you can work and develop creative thoughts, pursue ideas and put them in place. If you enjoy your own company, the garden can be a sanctuary.

My extravagance is my garden – it’s the first thing I look at every morning when I wake up. It gives me so much pleasure.”

Ina Garten

Every morning, usually with my cup of tea, I love to walk around the garden to see what is new, what has happened overnight and what blooms are about to open. Perhaps a few buds on a rose that has been slow to start you may find suddenly there. Such a delight to see the colours unfolding on a new rose or an old favourite. It’s like a wander yet still a time of inspection to make sure the roses and other plants don’t have new problems and to check on other issues to make sure everything is growing well. I take pleasure in the garden and enjoy the blooms and rose perfume for a few quiet moments.

For me this time of day, where the air is still, the sun is coming up through the olive trees and the bees have not started yet, is a very peaceful time. Quiet, yet stimulating and at times sad when you realise that something hasn’t worked or a new pest has taken up residence, uninvited.

It is always exciting to open the door and go out into the garden for the first time on any day.

Marion Cran

Once the garden is viewed all manner of ideas start to crowd my mind and the mornings work ahead becomes clear. This rose needs attention, this one looks a bit dry and I should do this here. The tea is savoured, and it’s time to get on with it because the window of time with less heat, flies and strong sun is only about 3-4 hours. So the early morning is crucial to make headway in the garden at this time of year. Once the ideas and work start the peaceful quiet reverie is lost and replaced with a more fervent determination to achieve the particular tasks of the day and that too can be enjoyed in solitude. No time to waste, andiamo as the italians say.

“Even more important than what she gave her garden was what it gave her. In it, she found a sense of calm.”

Kristin Hannah

Many articles have been written about the health benefits of gardening that may not be the reason one sets out on this journey in the first place. Certainly I did not start my rose garden to achieve particular health benefits. Nonetheless, there are lots of side effects of creating a garden. The first most obvious one is increased sense of well being through exercise and being outside in the fresh air that also boosts mood from being at one with nature. A sense of satisfaction comes too as a reward for a job well done that all go towards improving one’s life. But the one most important attribute I gain from gardening is the nourishment of the spirit.

Like any creative endeavour the outcome of all the toil and time spent in the garden is the chance to express yourself. Gardening acts like a muse and helps the flow of creative thought and ideas.

“When I’m writing, I think about [my] garden, and when I’m in the garden I think about writing. I do a lot of writing by putting something in the ground.”

Jamaica Kincaid

Being a creative person does not mean simply that you like to write, draw paint or express yourself through various art forms. It’s a way of thinking and an ability to operate with a changed perspective. Creative people can adapt and look at new more innovative ways of doing things quite naturally. Gardening allows you the chance to step outside your comfort zone, to take risks and try doing things you have not done before.

Always try to grow in your garden some plant or plants out of the ordinary, something your neighbors never attempted. For you can receive no greater flattery than to have a gardener of equal intelligence stand before your plant and ask, “What is that?”

Richardson Wright

The garden gives you a creative opportunity to just be yourself which is wonderful, because you always have a place to go, both physically and mentally. A happy place full of plans and aspirations.

Creating a garden in the country rather than a suburban block requires a creative approach because of all the restrictions that rural life imposes. Rural gardens can have full sun exposure with no shading from neighbouring houses or fences. There is the constant threat of plague proportions of pests and insects that can be at times overwhelming and extremely damaging to prized plants. What is needed is a changed perspective and new innovative ways of doing things in a rural garden to have a sense of kerb appeal but still fit in with the constraints of rural life such as farm buildings, animals, crops, farm houses, water tanks and dams. Most importantly trying to limit the garden to exposure of feral attack such as kangaroos, foxes, wallabies, possums and birds and also sheep, goats and cattle. Many country properties need innovative setups to be able to harvest crops and protect them from birds particularly grapes, figs, watermelons and more. I am finding at the moment birds are eating the new shoots off the roses and enjoying the rosebuds as well. Happy Gardening.

Show me your garden and I will tell you who you are

Alfred Austin

Title Quote by John Erskine

Header Quote by Jan Struther “Upside-Down Reflections,” 

Quotes from https://quotationsbywomen.com

Images in order of Appearance

Header Image courtesy of Art and Literature

Title Image Photo by Jacob Townsend on Unsplash

1-4 images are in my garden

5 image is courtesy of Unsplash

6 is in my garden

7 and 8 are courtesy of Unsplash

9 is in my garden

Content by Di Baker 2019

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