Bank Holiday Gardening

We moved into this flat in July of last year, we came to view it in May last year. The house we had been living in for almost two years prior to that was awful. It had penetrating damp, a hole in the kitchen roof, mould, rats, and so on. We had environmental health involved trying to get the landlord to sort things out, which wasn’t happening. We had wanted a house because we wanted a garden.

Living in a flat can be soul destroying, you are stuck in a small space with no fresh air. It’s no good for mental health. When my anxiety is playing up like it is at the moment the whole “just go to the park” doesn’t play. That’s a really big deal that I’m not up to, so having a garden really helps, it means I can build up the courage to walk out the door and manage a few steps into the fresh air. Getting some fresh air, feeling the sun on your skin makes a huge difference the way you feel.

Once I’ve been able to do this a few times I start finding it easier to muster the courage to walk down the road to the park or go for a walk in the woods. Anxiety is hard, you have to treat it with respect or it shuts you down with total fear.

We had to downsize when we moved, aside from the issues with the property we couldn’t afford to live in a house so a flat was the only option. One of the things that made this one such a winner when we saw it was that it has a garden, a tiny garden, but a garden nonetheless. This is so unusual with flats that it was a big selling point.

The garden needed some work and we have been slowly working on it, this weekend we started on a new patch, and this is the result. I don’t find gardening itself as therapeutic as everyone says it is. I find it annoying and frustrating. I’m a terrible gardener, I’m much more likely to kill plants than nurture them which frustrates me and triggers the anger side of my brain.

What I do find therapeutic is the end result, seeing the garden looking nice. Being able to sit and read in the garden. Most people here don’t look after their gardens, I don’t know why, maybe they think a 3×2 patch of grass isn’t worth the effort, but I think it’s worth every effort. We have a three year lease here so I know I’ll be enjoying these plants for a few years yet.


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