I think it is fair I’m not the world’s best gardener.  I can’t even say I’m keen but lacking in talent.  I tried my best last year, but after the wasp’s nest incident, I’ve become even more reluctant.

The worrying thing is that I come from good gardening stock.  It seems to have skipped a generation.  There is hardly a weed to be seen in my Dad’s garden, and my Grandad was famous in his town for his beautiful lawns and flower beds.  One lady asked him, “But Mr Jarvis, where are the weeds?  His response was, “Mrs Smith, I don’t grow weeds.”

I don’t grow weeds…

Well, I wish that were the case in my garden!  The children and I bought a few pansies to plant in my How does your garden grow?desolate-looking pots that are under our lounge window.  Their interest in actually planting said pansies waned a little once we got home, and I found myself alone in the front garden, preparing the pots for the new arrivals.

It was as I was digging out the dandelions from around my skimmia (I am not completely without knowledge) that I noticed how many weeds were in the pebbles surrounding the pots.  Hmmm – how had it got to this state?  It was mainly long grass and easy to pull out, but there were some other specimens in there, too, that took a little more effort.

I was pretty surprised that I hadn’t noticed these weeds before now.  After all, I go in and out of my front door multiple times a day.  Once I could see them, they were obvious.  There were enough of them to fill a bucket (and not a small beach one), so it was a challenge to understand how I could have ignored them for so long.

Patience?  What patience?

It got me thinking about weeds in other areas of life.  I have times when I make resolutions to do better. I am fairly sure that I am not the only parent in the world whose patience has grown a LITTLE thin by the last day of the holidays, but I was not pleased to have forgotten my good intentions.  My 6-year-old How does your garden grow?was being truly horrible to myself and his sister, and instead of realising that it was because he was apprehensive about going back to school, I verbally launched into him. Not my finest hour.

One of my bugbears is when I think people are being rude.  In my heart, I am trying for compassion, reminding myself that we can never know what is going on in someone’s life.  We may not have been ignored deliberately, and someone may be totally absorbed in an issue that is going on in their life.  My aim is to remember that it is not (always, at least!) personal, and let what I have perceived as rudeness wash over me.  That is not always how I feel inside.

Remembering my intentions

I can stick at these motives for a while, but gradually my good intentions erode away.  I slip back into my bad habits, and eventually end up in the same state I was before deciding I needed to change.  It is How does your garden grow?rather like the weeds that I was ignoring in my garden – I failed to see that I had slipped into bad habits again.  I need reminders to look at my motivations.

I was pleased when my little boy decided that after I had spent an hour weeding, he did actually want to help plant the pansies.  He was very excited to plant the tulip bulbs underneath, and regaled his father with stories of his gardening exploits when he came home for tea.  I’m hoping that we are sowing the seeds (sorry) for our children to love gardening in the future, even if their mother doesn’t!

Do you have areas in your life that could do with a little weeding or pruning?

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