I’ve not been particularly well for the last month so I am a little behind in the garden. It’s funny how much changes in the garden when you turn your back for 5 mins. It struck me today that I have a really symbiotic relationship with the garden and although it’s hard work I can’t help feeling that I’m getting the better deal.
What’s all this nonsense about a symbiotic relationship?
I hear people saying out loud what is this bloke on about, symbiotic relationship? It’s just a garden. Well, I beg to differ and I’ll tell you why. I have a problem with my shoulder and can’t do too much physical work a the moment and whilst the exact problem was being diagnosed I’ve been reluctant to do much physical work for fear of making things worse. I’ve been diagnosed now and have severe arthritis which has caused my shoulder bones to increase in size, resulting in a reduced space for muscle, ligament and nerve movement. It hurts but it’s not going to get any worse by working in the garden (as long as I don’t over do it). I’ve ventured out into the garden these last 2 days as the thought of the weeds overtaking the flower beds is too much for me. What a difference there is in the garden in such a short space of time. Yes, ok there are weeds galore (they are opportunists) but there a masses of roses in flower and the garden is full with ripe, delicious fruit. I harvested a bucket (literally a bucket) of peaches with blood-red juicy flesh and today I collected another bucket of pears, perfectly ripened, juicy and very tasty. it got me to thinking about the relationship that I have with the garden and it is definitely symbiotic. Here is the dictionary definition:
- Biology. A close, prolonged association between 2 or more organisms of different species that may but not necessarily benefit each member.
- A relationship of mutual benefit or dependence
Well, the garden needs weeding, watering and feeding, so that’s my part covered and in return I get beautiful flowers all summer long, I get potatoes, beans, peas courgettes, cabbage, carrots, lettuce, beetroot, tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, plums, apples, pears and peaches and let’s not forget the many herbs. I reckon for the amount of effort I put in I am more than compensated.
Don’t undervalue the feeding of your soul
It is very easy to see all of the physical things that you get from your garden but what about the things that you can’t see or hold? It has become an acknowledged medical fact that gardening is good for your mental health. I felt it yesterday, having been cooped up inside the house for the last few weeks I was feeling a little down in the dumps. As soon as I stepped into the garden I felt my spirits lifting. It felt like the garden was saying “Hey, we missed you, welcome back. Look what we have to show you”
The peaches above are not very large but that’s to be expected after the hot and dry summer that we’ve had but they are so juicy and so very tasty. We are currently living off of our garden. For breakfast we are having pears, apples and peaches with a bit of musili. Our evening meal consists of vegetable fresh from the garden and wonderful free range eggs from our chickens. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts I love reducing my environmental footprint. All his food has only travelling from the garden to the kitchen and it’s not been sprayed with anything, except water. Ok our produce is not of a uniform shape, our pears have blemishes on their skin and our carrots are a funny shape but they taste fantastic.
Thank you garden
So, yes gardening a symbiotic and wonderful relationship and I will be fulfilling my part of the relationship over the next few weeks by weeding, watering, repairing supports and pruning what needs pruning. I will be thankful that I am healthy enough to get out there and garden and I will be especially thankful when I bite into that next juicy pear.