Why I love gardening by Tony Johnstone

As a kid living in Zimbabwe, I never understood my mother’s passion for gardening. My only interest in her flowers was to see if I could shoot the heads off her dahlias with my air-rifle! Sorry mum.

While waiting for furniture to arrive in our own first home, I thought the garden could do with some tidying. So I went to the local hardware store to buy the basics like a spade, rake and some hand tools.

Gardener for life

Well, I’ve never really understood what happened then. But after 15 minutes of getting down and dirty I knew I was hooked and that I’d be a gardener for life!

Needless to say my mother was a little surprised. I had the same reaction when my son went through a similar transformation after moving into his first home.

True value of gardening

What is it about gardening that is so addictive? The smell of newly tilled soil has its appeal. There is a huge sense of satisfaction seeing bare flowerbeds transformed into a living picture of self-expression. Then every year you get to watch that picture mature and bloom.

Like many professional golfers with a love of flawless lawns, it was easy to become a little anxious about the perfect patch of striped grass.

But to me the true value and love of gardening comes in the sense of peace and solitude when tinkering around among the plants. Then you can sit back and enjoy the fruits of the labour at the end of the day.

It’s a chance to let the mind drift away from the trials of life and become totally immersed in nature – something that’s hard to achieve doing anything else.

When I’m in my garden, I’m totally focused on the moment. It’s hard to find another relaxing activity which can clear my mind so completely.

MS and gardening

My love of gardening has always been a great comfort to me – especially after being diagnosed with MS.

I was fortunate enough to be able to continue enjoying my garden, although I’m not able to expend as much energy in it as before.

Yes, the physical effort has sometimes made me ask if I’m a little crazy for being obsessed with the pastime. But when I look out the window or sit outside on a summer’s day, I know the effort and satisfaction are worth it.

There’s something about the vibrancy and fragrances of a garden and the perfect beauty of each flower that somehow makes the struggles of life much easier to cope with.

My life would have been much poorer if I couldn’t say those three words…”I’m a gardener!”

Into gardens? The National Gardens Scheme (NGS) has over 3,800 gardens open to the public across England and Wales. This raises money for charities, including us!

>> Find your nearest NGS garden today.

Rate This

Your rating: None Average: 5 (4 votes)

What's new?