“My garden is always evolving. It has taken me years to figure out the best places to grow different plants, or where to put pathways or ponds. I teach at a publicly funded homeschool enrichment programme, which my own two children (aged 12 and 8) attend on Fridays. I am home with them the rest of the week; we follow a very relaxed homeschooling approach that involves a lot of playing, creating, and exploring.
Our world feels so uncertain and overwhelming these days, but nature and the garden is something we can depend on no matter what, something that can recharge, heal, and revitalise us. Gardening can also quickly become the latest fad, the latest way to keep up with others. When mindfulness enters the garden, we remember to breathe and slow down. We centre in what Buddhism calls “right relationship”. This might include seeing something anew, slowing down and breathing, or contemplating the relationships found everywhere in nature and the garden.
Although I am positive about most events in my garden, there are some that are more difficult to accept! I write about letting go when crops die or don’t fruit. I can usually come to a place of surrender and acceptance here, but really it bothers me. Come August, when everything is dying from drought and heat, I am really ready to toss up my hands and move to a cooler, more supporting climate. Also, plants that I have put years of care into that produce absolutely no fruit – like my decade-old grape vine that has produced a single grape (one grape, not one cluster) – that frustrates and depresses me. Especially when other people living in the same climate can grow grapes and make wine, or have an apple tree covered in fruit, and I have done none of these. However, my favourite part of gardening is probably planting seeds. There is so much hope in those little seeds, a time to begin fresh.”
Mindful Thoughts for Gardeners, published by Leaping Hare Press is available now. £5.99
ROOTING THOUGHTS - The wisdom of Clea
- The plants, and the beings that support them, ask nothing of you but respect and care. They do not see your struggles and they do not judge. They invite you to be in relationship with them, separate but connected.
- Gardens reflect to us our essential nature, alive, seeking the light, hopeful for the future but unattached.
- Touch, smell, and maybe even taste the soil, and your body sinks a little deeper into the groundedness of the garden. We sense more deeply the complexity of life, the dynamism of soil and gut and decay that all lead to growth and life.
- Every plant, every plot of soil, makes the world a greener, fresher and more caring place. Every moment spent in a garden fills your heart with the compassion of green and growing things.