"Joys that gardeners know"

Gardeners find joy in many things.
Sunday, 24 July 2022     

This area turned out OK in my garden

To be a gardener is to be able to find joy in simple things in which non-gardeners would probably find none. Maybe these things aren't the same for every gardener but here are my Top Ten:

When a garden scheme you plan (sort of) comes true: There is much pleasure in dreaming about a garden area that you want to create, though many times, the reality doesn't match up to the vision. Things don't flower when they should have, or some vital element of the scheme dies. The colours clash or it just looks plain wrong. But when it does work out, how good is that?

Filling the green waste bin: Is there any satisfaction greater than having your green bin(s) full to the brim on green-bin collection day? There are various reasons for this pleasure: it means horrible weeds, vines and fibrous leaves that can't be shredded in the mulcher are leaving my property, to be turned into wonderful compost by our local council; and it is a visible manifestation of hard work in the garden, that led to the filling of the bin; and it must mean that my garden is somehow improved, even if it doesn't really feel like it. Last weekend, when my neighbours offered me the use of their two green bins for the next nine months whilst they live elsewhere during renovations, I felt all my Christmases had come at once, as I have just so much green waste waiting to be harvested in my garden. Am I weird?

Receiving a load of cow manure: At this time every year, our wonderful local Scouts organise a Fertiliser Drive for our town, as a fundraiser. Manure, mulch and fertiliser can be ordered online, and in a few weeks, a very efficient team will arrive, deliver the bags and stack them neatly in my potting area. Gazing at many bags of cow manure fills me delight, to think that soon all this will be added to my soil to improve its tilth and help my plants grow. Only another gardener would understand.

Buying a new plant: It might not grow or it might in the long run prove to be a weedy menace, but at that precise moment of purchasing a pristine plant, with its clean, shiny label promising the world, my heart sings! Yes, the prices of plants have gone up in recent years, but what else can do that for you for less than 20 bucks?

Receiving a coveted cutting: How many times when we visit a wonderful garden, have we gazed longingly at some superb plant, wishing and hoping that the gardener would offer us a cutting? We don't like to seem pushy and grasping by asking, if it's someone we don't know well, but we just look and look, and say, 'That is just so beautiful'. When the gardener offers a piece, it is an utter thrill. How we nurture that cutting and take great pride when it strikes and when we eventually plant it in the garden. I try to always remember this when I have garden visitors and offer bits and pieces of things I once received as precious cuttings.

Getting a weed out with all its roots or bulb: How satisfying is it to get that weed out properly rather than finding just the stems dangling in your hand? I have a very long, thin trowel that is good to achieve this result. More fodder for the green bins!

The sprouting of a seed: Whenever I plant seeds, for some reason I think it is highly unlikely that they will ever come up. Surely something will go awry! How can a dried-up speck become a plant? The whole process seems fraught with problems. Will there be the right amount of light, moisture and warmth to allow germination? So when, as often happens, the little seedlings bravely appear, it seems nothing less than a miracle.

Visiting a beautiful garden: One of the best things about being a gardener is the enjoyment we get from visiting other gardens. The best gardens arouse emotions in us and transport us to another realm. In every garden I have ever seen, I have found something new: a plant I have never encountered before, a winning plant combination, a breathtaking scene, or some quirky feature that makes me smile. And I always leave a garden visit feeling uplifted and inspired - and can't wait to get back to my own garden to make a change.

A drink at the end of a long day of gardening: Whether it's with a G&T or a cup of tea, there can't be many better things in life than sitting in your garden after working out there for hours, whilst contemplating your efforts.

Meeting other gardeners: I guess many of us are in search of a 'tribe' to belong to - for me, that tribe is other gardeners, who share the same passions and enthusiasms that I have. We can share our successes and failures, swap cuttings and plants, enjoy outings together, and understand the joys that gardeners know.

 Reader Comments

1/17  Janice - 2069 (Zone:10 - Warm Temperate) Monday, 25 July 2022

Deirdre ,the weather has been so awful, thankyou for your inspirational thoughts, they are all so true! Janice 2069 Thank goodness this past week the weather has been much nicer! Deirdre

2/17  Jude - 4560 (Zone:10 - Warm Temperate) Monday, 25 July 2022

I'm with Janice on this post, Deirdre! Thank you! May I add one more joy to your wonderful list? Reading gardeners on gardening, best done at the end of the day, G&T in hand. Beverley Nichols's Down the Garden Path or Vita Sackville-West's Garden Book, for example. Or Virginia Woolf at Monk's House: 'weeding all day to finish the beds in a queer sort of enthusiasm which made me say this is happiness.'Oh yes; I don't read my garden books quite as often as I once did but it is wonderful to be inspired by them. I love all the Beverley Nichols's books and all of Vita Sackville-West's, along with those my Margery Fish, Christopher Lloyd, Edna Walling, Beth Chatto etc etc. Deirdre

3/17  Bren - 2540 (Zone:10 - Warm Temperate) Monday, 25 July 2022

After I have completely redone a bed or area in my garden, or cut back and tidied a neglected area, I always rush out the next morning to admire it. It gives me such satisfaction. Also after a day working in the garden and it is becoming dusk, and the weather is clement, I just don't want to go inside, and I walk around the garden and inspect it over again! Can totally relate to this! Deirdre

4/17  Ann - 2263 (Zone:11A - Sub-tropical) Monday, 25 July 2022

Love the photos you post of your garden. I'm with you on green bins. My neighbors have left this morning on a five week caravan trip. The green bins have just been emptied and their bin will reside in my yard 'til they return. Timing is perfect, with all the pruning to be done at this time of year. A favorite book of mine is Shirley Stackhouse's Gardening Year. Fab news re those green bins! I think the Shirley Stackhouse book was one of the very first I read and it was so good as it was by a Sydney gardener. Deirdre

5/17  Clarissa - 2119 (Zone:10 - Warm Temperate) Monday, 25 July 2022

Love this post Deirdre :) Thanks, Clarissa! Lovely to hear from you. Deirdre

6/17  Kerrie - 2104 (Zone:10 - Warm Temperate) Monday, 25 July 2022

So true to all of these Dierdre but my absolute fav is buying new plants. The addiction I had for buying new clothes & shoes I had in my 20s & 30s is now an addiction to buying plants! LOL! I also enjoy the challenge of getting something to grow that really shouldn't in my area & succeeding. I've had a few failures but a lot of succeses too. Yes I totally understand and how exciting to succeed in growing something challenging! Deirdre

7/17  Kerrie - 2104 (Zone:10 - Warm Temperate) Monday, 25 July 2022

Bren, I totally relate! Agreed! Deirdre

8/17  Margaret - 2122 (Zone:10 - Warm Temperate) Monday, 25 July 2022

I find joy in your blogs, Deirdre, discovering a plant I thought had disappeared, only to find it again; the joy of birds, bees and butterflies visiting the garden; being given cuttings or plants from other gardeners; visiting plant nurseries; seeing a plant not really suited for my climate, thriving; other neighbours allowing me to use their green bins Thanks, Margaret. I agree one of the joys is having birds and insects around me when I am in the garden. I love it that they are attracted to my garden and bring it alive with sounds and activity. Deirdre

9/17  Pam - 3216 (Zone:10 - Mediteranean) Monday, 25 July 2022

We have had so many soggy days, I am hanging out for some of those pleasures Deirdre. I just love the look of a bed all cut back, cleaned up and just waiting for spring. Love your blog. Thank goodness this week has been better weather and the weekend looks like it will be good too. This is the time of year when I do most of my cutting back and though it will look very bare for a while, it is a thrill when everything starts to grow and fill in again. Deirdre

10/17  Margo - 2154 (Zone:10 - Warm Temperate) Monday, 25 July 2022

What a delightful post! Thank you Deirdre. Thanks, Margo! Deirdre

11/17  Shelley - 3135 (Zone:10 - Mediteranean) Monday, 25 July 2022

Oh, I can relate so well to all those things you mentioned Deidre. And Bren, I do exactly the same, returning again and again to inspect my handiwork, and gazing from the windows too... deeply satisfying despite a complaining body! Yes I so understand that satisfaction of an area being done, and imagining how it will all look in the future. Deirdre

12/17  Valerie - 2121 (Zone:10 - Warm Temperate) Tuesday, 26 July 2022

So true, all of it. I especially like the colour combination in your first photo. I'm trying out a similar effect in a spot in the garden. Go the green bins! We have two and they are often over filled. More over filling coming up after all this rain. We also have two bins and I hate them to be put out not full up to the brim. Hope your colour scheme will go well. I like those hot colours together. Deirdre

13/17  Zenda - 2119 (Zone:10 - Warm Temperate) Tuesday, 26 July 2022

All those things that give you joy are mine too. I have a pile of bark chip for my shade house floor. it will give me an impetus to tidy the shade house, plant the grown on plants and start new ones. Looking forward to the work. Sounds a great plan, Zenda! Deirdre

14/17  Maureen - 2118 (Zone:10 - Warm Temperate) Tuesday, 26 July 2022

Listening to a biosecurity talk recently it was noted that bulbs, tubers and seed heads do not go in the Council green bin but should be wrapped and put in the Red bin!! Never too old to learn I said to myself!! Thanks, Maureen. I was motivated to check our local council bin regulations (Hornsby Council). They donā??t have any restrictions like you mentioned for their green bins but it does make total sense not to put them in the green bin. Deirdre

15/17  Sue - 2074 (Zone:10 - Warm Temperate) Tuesday, 26 July 2022

Lovely blog and I certainly fit the same patterns. I think the one thing that I like the best is seeing sowed seeds sprouting and the anticipation of either eating the produce or delighting in the beautiful flowers. Having enjoyed trawling thru catalogues during the wet I've Just received some seeds in the post today - can't wait to get them going and hope the weather is kind when they are ready to plant out. Hope all your seeds do well, Sue! So exciting to get them in. Deirdre

16/17  Carmel - 2219 (Zone:10 - Warm Temperate) Wednesday, 27 July 2022

So true! Such a great blog! I agree with all the comments . Reading and browsing beautiful garden books can bring inspiration and admiration. Thank you! Yes agree about gardening books! Deirdre

17/17  Shaun - 2075 (Zone:10 - Warm Temperate) Thursday, 28 July 2022

thanks! I've enjoyed browsing the above comments, agree wholeheartedly & ever grateful to have one of my own, Shaun Thanks, Shaun. Deirdre

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