For years gardening simply eluded me. Try as I might, I just could not get my head around the so-called greatness of gardening. I really thought it was a bunch of hooey…much ado about nothing…something to brag about when you’d nothing more exciting in your life. I certainly didn’t see the benefits of having something that tied you to home and made you get down and work on your hands and knees during those vital weekends off after a horrendous week at work.  Sure, those days were for lounging at the pool, going to the cinema, shopping with your besties; not digging in the dirt all afternoon. Now, don’t get me wrong, I did have potted herbs scattered about the terrace of my high-rise apartment that were tended to when needed. Still, while my basil, thyme and catnip could have quite possibly earned me the grand title of “urban gardener” one would have never put me in with the green-thumb group, that’s for sure.

Five years on, gardening has underhandedly penetrated the passion lobe in my brain with such gusto that I just can’t get enough of it. It is truly astonishing. Ever since we planted our first vegetable garden this Spring {an organic cornucopia of the tried and true: potatoes, cabbage, onions, leeks, and the more colourful: pumpkins, sweet little Paris Market carrots, red and white radishes, lambs lettuce, mache, yellow squash, radicchio and loads of gorgeous fragrant herbs} I have fallen in love and to put it bluntly, I have become a total HOE.

Hoeing has done something for me that I never dreamed possible. You see, working in our garden has replaced something that was nearest and dearest to my heart: my beloved Sunday morning routine. When I first moved here one of the most unsettling bits was that my Sunday ritual became basically unattainable. My previous Sunday’s in the city = getting up around 10AM then meeting a friend for brunch at my favorite bustling café, chatting and pouring over the New York Times Style & Arts sections whilst nibbling on an egg white omelette with warm sourdough bread and sipping the best hand roasted coffee in town. For me, it was a feast for the senses and utterly satisfying on every level of my consciousness. It grounded me. Each Sunday I did this without fail…if I was out of town, I’d improvise, but I would always have the basics: a fabulous café, The NY Times and good coffee.  I lived for it, longed for it and looked forward to it week after week.

Needless to say, I was absolutely crushed to find out that I couldn’t get the New York Times newspaper here in print much less conjure up a fab new friend or a nearby cafe in which to have breakfast. I simply could not get over the fact that I would never be able to obtain a copy of my favorite Sunday paper while living in Ireland! Eventually had to take the plunge and do the inevitable: switch to NYTimes.com, have breakfast at home by myself (hubs in the farmyard + pre-baby) and start drinking instant coffee.  Devastating.

Then, as serendipity would lend itself, it just so happened that the very same feeling of fulfillment drifted back to me as I began hoeing our new garden one fine Sunday morning. That absolute Zen feeling of contentment, joy and security all in one…a feeling that you just want to nurture and hold onto for dear life came flooding back. I fully took stock of this sensation and paused for a moment to take it in. And with that, on a gorgeous day in the Irish countryside, I found my new beloved Sunday routine.

And I am not letting it go.

Slan Abhaile,

Imen

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3 Responses to “How Does Your Garden Grow?”

  1. I love to spend Sunday morning in the garden too. I often think I should be doing something more exciting but it is such a peaceful way to spend Sunday morning. I could get lost out there for hours just pottering, dead heading, weeding, fussing, shooing bees. I am glad to find out I am not alone. 🙂

  2. Aw, man Imen. You totally just made me homesick. Oh how i wish i could get a print Sunday NYTimes.

  3. Tim says:

    Well put, Ms.

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