Squelch, squelch, squelch and with each step in the garden water rises around my boots as if I needed confirmation that we have had a season of unusually heavy rain.
Gardening is out of the question at the moment. To attempt a run of the lawnmower would only lead to cutting up the sod and creating a mess in the present quagmire. Even if the grass is not high at present, a cut late as possible in the season would avoid facing a heavy crop next spring and would also lift the fallen leaves as it is not good to leave them lying on the lawns. A run at this time of year is a much less strenuous way to collect the leaves than by raking though raking has the benefit of being good exercise and exercise in winter is a welcome relief to the often weather-imposed stretches spent sitting indoors.
Gardening is good for us, one hears so very often nowadays. Recently, I have read that doctors are now prescribing gardening as a treatment for several mental illnesses – stress, anxiety, depression and the likes. Indeed, gardening and mental health have been trotted out so very often that the two have almost become synonymous but nothing could be further from the truth for few groups of people have such a positive outlook as do gardeners.
There is a positivity in gardening which is not commonplace, a faith in the cycles of nature which defies immediate conditions and a sure and positive realisation that the miserable conditions of winter will surely pass and that spring will come again with bright skies, new growth and more pleasant days.
We are presently approaching the shortest day of the year, a time when growth in the garden is at its lowest of the year, but we, nonetheless, have signs of the persistence of nature with a sprinkle of winter-flowering plants to remind us that these dark days will pass.