There is nothing like working in the garden, getting hot, sweaty and tired to get rid of the monkey on your back. #gardeningisthebestmedicine of all to help you through a fit of the blues.
There is such a feeling of satisfaction of a job well done, even if it is rearranging the pots or pulling some weeds.
If Prince Charles, can talk to his plants, then I certainly can, and do.
Not only the plants but the birds and insects and myself, when I stepped back and fell over the bird bath, I said some very nasty things to it. How funny it must have looked and I did have a good laugh about it after the bruises had disappeared.
Fortunately, it was early in the morning and not a creature was stirring (you do know I live in a Retirement Village). Everyone else was still safely tucked up in bed when this happened and only my bottom and my ego were bruised, nothing was broken.
It pays to watch out carefully for hidden, or in my case, not so hidden obstacles.
When designing and laying out a natural garden I use a lot of rocks, pebbles, logs and loads of compost. I also try to make use of the indigenous plants as they are so beautiful and do better in the extreme heat we are experiencing now.
One just needs to see how many nurseries are around and also gardening magazines to realize what universal appeal gardening has.
As I traveled along the beautiful Cape Garden Route on my way to Port Alfred, recently, it was such a pleasure to stop and take photos of the lovely gardens along the way.
There is the natural garden growing all along the Garden Route which makes this such a popular attraction to visitors from far and near. I was fortunate that the Watsonias were still in bloom, although it was almost time for them to die down. What a lovely sight they were, such a variety of colors.
While in Knysna, staying with very dear friends, we took a long walk around their neighborhood, lead by Piquita, the dear little Chihuahua, and saw some lovely gardens along the way.
After the severe drought, we are in the middle of in the Western Cape, it was a real treat to see such greenery and floral delights. Agapanthus on mass is a sight for sore eyes.
Another thing, which I find so beautiful, is the colors of the bark on certain trees. Judging from the paintings I have seen, I am not the only one to find it really appealing.
In the past, I have planted trees, especially for their bark appeal.
No, they were not dogwoods but plants like Paper Bark, Pride of India and not forgetting the Guava tree, which, sadly we are no longer permitted to grow.
Although we lived in Port Elizabeth for a number of years, at that time I would not have thought of Colchester, which is not far from Port Elizabeth as a place to visit to view beautiful gardens.
After being welcomed so warmly by Ronwyn’s sister Pam and her husband, Nigel, and upon seeing the lovely garden Pam has created there, my mind was changed. Indigenous plants were used in the creation of this paradise, for them to enjoy, as well as for the bird life in that area.
Their home is right on the riverside and so the views from their porch are stunning, The Sundays river has beautifully grassed banks on their side and huge sand dunes on the other. This makes for a spectacular setting in which to live. It is also a very peaceful setting.
My admiration for this couple and all they have done knows no bounds.
By putting in large water storage tanks which collect the rainwater, they are able to keep their lovely garden flourishing. Living in Cape Town, with our water restrictions, I am well aware of how difficult this is to do.
Having spent two lovely days in Colchester and Port Elizabeth, it was time to make our way back to Port Alfred and to see what gardens to visit there.
What a fortunate invitation we received for a tea date with a friend, Joy. It was great getting to know yet another of Ronwyn’s many friends and to enjoy getting to know Joy.
She is a very gifted, artistic person and has created a restful and beautiful, home and garden. Not only that but she also does many arts and crafts. This delighted me as I blog on all things Art – yes, even the Art of Living.
Joy graciously showed us the lovely clothes she had painted, and not only that she explained exactly how she painted them to get the effect she did. Very interesting and something for me to try at a later stage.
The ladies have a thriving Craft Group going in Port Alfred which is a great way to build friendships with like-minded people.
There is no reason to believe that there is nothing to do in the country.
We. as a family have moved from City to Country living and have learned along the way, that wherever you are, it is up to you to make the effort to fit in.
SETTLING INTO A NEW PLACE
When moving about and having to settle into a new area, one of the best things I have found was to join the local library. Join a Church and get to know the people. There are invariably notice boards up advising of different groups running in the town, city or Church.
Find one that suits your interests and go around visiting various groups until you find one you are happy with. Should you not find what you are looking to begin your own group.
The group a couple of friends and I began in Pinelands more than thirty years ago is still going strong. What fun we have had over the years and such wonderful friendships formed through a shared passion.
WHEN YOU HAVE A PROBLEM SLEEPING
There is something that works for me when I find it hard to fall asleep and it is usually when I am feeling low. Instead of worrying about not being able to sleep, I use this time to plan.
It doesn’t matter what comes to mind, it could be a dress I want to design and make, changing the furniture around, or making changes in the garden.
DOING SOMETHING POSITIVE TO CHEER UP
One thing that works for me when I am feeling down is to plan a new layout for my garden.
Plan it and then put it into action.
Get the family involved if you need muscle power and the fun of working together, keep in mind that #gardeningisthebestmedicine.
Far better than sitting around feeling blue.
So plan to get out there, get your hands dirty, and get the monkey off your back.