Sun on my face, wine in my glass …..

In my little journey of ying meets yang, and get a clue, I had a moment yesterday.

The kids were eating dinner, I poured myself a glass of wine, and went to sit in my back yard.

I need to explain that my backyard, is about the size of a large postage stamp. It has been the bane of my life since we moved in to our house.

I hate gardening and I hate attempting to be good at it.  The backyard quickly turned into a wind-blown, sandy and really annoying area.  Just ugly.

I am fine to shut the backdoor and not give it a second thought, but our house/property is built on levels, with the result that the kitchen looks directly into the backyard – it’s almost on eye level.  So I was assaulted by ugly all the time.

Nearly every day – either whilst putting the kettle on or off, I would grit my teeth and it irritated the crap out of me, to stare into this sand trap and then I would get angry.

Then Alice introduced to me to Roderick.  And my life changed.

Roderick is fabulous.  Roderick appears to know loads about gardens and plants.

His most significant skill is his ability to remain amiable when a husband and wife are giving him totally contradicting instructions.  He handles this with such grace, he makes me snort.

Anyway.  I blew my children’s education on lavender, jasmine, thyme, rosemary and petunias and Roderick has kindly planted them for me.

He helped plant some tomatoe plants (which I am not convinced are weeds that we have lovingly tied to thin sticks, as these plants do not smell anything like tomatoe plants, and more importantly have not sprouted one frkn tomato yet!) and he comes and lovingly assists the garden to see that it is quietly ticking over.

He reminds me when to get compost, or worm poison, or which plants I need to replant.

He makes cuttings of existing plants and plants areas I had not even known exist.  He created a fabulous garden in an area I thought was “dead area” that now has rosemary, petunias and some other stuff that smells great, but I have no idea what it is.

He has stopped rolling his eyes every time I explain I have bought more plants, and then he arrives and the plants are all “lavender.”

He appears to understand my little lavender fetish.  Or doesn’t and prefers not to judge me any more.

My back garden has become my  secret garden.  Though it is hardly a secret.  But it has rapidly become my happy place.

My makes- me-mile place.  I love sitting there.

Yesterday I sat on the step, and surveyed my stamp sized garden, wine glass in hand.

I smelt the smell of lavender, and the sweet smell of jasmine.  I sat there with the late afternoon sun on my face.

I heard the birds singing.  I was just still.  I was there.

Here is the part that was incredible.  The noise/internal conversation/the constant heckling inside my head was quiet.  It had been for a few days, I just had not noticed until that moment.

I could hear the birds, and I was not scheming/self-flagellation/future worst case scenario dissecting/constant dialogue about what I had said/done/felt/thought …… all of it was quiet.

I can’t explain it really well, without making me sound a bit like Jack from the Shining.  The value of just having quiet in my head and my thoughts, which are not negative or self-hatred.

It was a lovely moment …..and I really love my little garden.

<Today I bought a Gardening Magazine.  I think the world might come to an end.  The odds of me reading a gardening magazine is shocking enough, the fact that I chose it over Marie Claire might be comment enough on my mental instability!!!>

Leave a comment


  1. I love lavender – our wedding theme was based on lavender. I have loads in the garden. I understand your fetich – really I do.

  2. Nelia

     /  November 4, 2011

    isn’t it amazing how therapeutic it is to work in a garden? At first it sounds like so much effort, but once you get going, and it becomes a success, it calms the soul!

  3. The fact that your little garden makes you feel the way you did sat on the back step there with your vino, is a flippin’ good reason to never doubt or worry about becoming someone who owns a pair of those little flowery gloves and a knee cushion for weeding. Ha. I love my garden. We don’t have a Roderick but we do have a Nomore (snort) who’s very good at all the back breaking stuff, I get to just have fun and make pretty. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

  4. LoriF

     /  November 3, 2011

    So happy to hear about the good mental state.
    So envious of your Roderique! Also desperately need one as our Golden is the equivalent of garden services, only maintain the unimaginitive garden we have 😦

  5. Aaaaw, so lovely.

    I want a Roderick – does he do Jhb too? 🙂

    I need a happy place in my backyard too and have not even a smidgeon of a green thumb!

  6. Scared & Imperfect Mother

     /  November 3, 2011

    With my new house I promised Amandalynn that we can make a little garden for her, I do not like sand! So I have gotten some potting soil, gloves and seeds… It is in the garage starring at me!

    • reluctantmom

       /  November 3, 2011

      I found an old wooden box – like wood, and it is about 1.5 metres x 1 metre, and has a depth of about 40cm – I dragged it out of the wendy house and have made a little herb/flower garden and placed it outside Isabelle’s window, so she can see the garden each morning as she opens her curtains. There are seedlings and small plants so she can see how each grows. I am so into this garden crap it is frightening.


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