Monday, December 12, 2005

Garden sick

I want to dig! Honestly! I want to dig big holes in the lawn and plant shrubs and trees. Dig somewhat smaller holes around it; remove yet another piece of lawn and plant ground covering perennials. You’ve got it. I suffer from garden sickness.

The ground is frozen and there is no chance whatsoever to get a spade into it. People (non-gardening people that is) tend to look a bit funny when I tell them I like to dig. I know digging is hard work. You get dirty and sweaty but it is also very rewarding. Not only do you get a full body workout, you also get a reason to go to the nursery and buy a plant or two – what gym or aerobics class can provide such an offer? The main reason for my digging craze however is that digging is more than exercise and a chance to put yet another plant into the garden – it is a source for stress relief. When I dig, I dig. I put every frustrating event from the day and put it into the force of the spade. Tensions get relieved. The mind get to rest and after a few descent sized holes, the troubles usually seem a bit less troublesome.

But now it’s December. What to do? Reading gardening magazines does not help – I need the physical aspect of gardening. If you promise not to tell anyone I’ll let you in on a secret… I have started exercising. Honestly! Me! Believe it or not but it is a fact. Desperate situations call for desperate actions.

What would be needed is some kind of de-escalating program for garden lovers to follow every fall. I suggest a five step-program.

Step one: Look around the garden and say: “Winter is coming. I will rest and enjoy other things than gardening”. When you can say this without starting to run around and scream or starting to cry you are ready for step two. Serous gardening maniacs may need to start the therapy in June to reach step two before Christmas.

Step two: After a day of gardening, bring every tool back to the tool shed or where they are supposed to be (no, no… not where they usually are, where they are SUPPOSED to be). Every time say: “I bring my tools back to prevent them from lying scattered in the garden during the winter”.

Step three: Stop gardening before dark. Yes, I know the days are getting shorter and shorter. That’s the whole idea. This gives a natural lowering of the amount of daily gardening and a good preparation for next step.

Step four: Choose a gray and rainy day and say: “I choose not to garden today”. Let the decision sink in. Keep busy and do not cheat. The fourth step is the most difficult one, so take your time. Do not get over ambitious and promise yourself not to garden on a sunny day. That could ruin the whole five-step-program. Start with a rainy day. Then continue with a cloudy day and, after a while and depending on how severe a gardening maniac you are, you can keep away from gardening even on a sunny day.

Step five: Almost there. You should now feel a lot calmer and more relaxed and be ready to face a non-gardening winter. The final step means finding a hobby that does not involve gardening. Almost anything is ok: stamp collecting, Tibetan throat singing, ballet dancing. No, staring out of the window does not count as a hobby!

See, now the winter will pass more easily than ever before. Maybe I should write a self-help book. It could even be a TV-show. Hmm, what network would be interested?


Molly said...

But if we could garden all year 'round when would we have time to read our seed catalogs and gardening books?

Nelumbo said...

That's why I have a indoor garden...then I get to play in the dirt a little. You're right, though, it's not the same as enjoying the outdoors and the physical activity of digging!

See my botanical therapy advice:

Joshua said...

I love digging and planting! It's my favorite part. I like pruning as well, but not as much as digging and planting! It's kind of a let down once everything is in the ground. I only want to expand afterwards! Dig up more grass, get more plants, and plant, plant, plant.