There aren’t many places more grounding than a vegetable plot.
To potter amongst the growth, inspecting leaves for bugs and looking for signs of a budding flower – or better – a spent flower giving life to its fruit, is a most pleasant way of expending time. A quick morning reconnaissance with a cup of coffee in hand, can become an hour in what seems like no time.
A vegetable patch, aside from the obvious benefits of bountiful produce, provides a place of introspection and digestion of all that has taken place in your busy world prior. With only snails and the occasional thrip to hear your thoughts, your mind is given licence to open itself to broader pastures, normally fenced off by the chatter of indoor living. New resolve, clarification and acceptance are often arrived at as a tomato branch is secured to a stake or withered foliage is removed to make way for new. The patch is a place to reassess, formulate and commit to future steps.
Gardening expertise comes not from books, a degree or birthrite but by simply – gardening. The former will certainly put the icing on your earthy cake but the latter: turning over soil, planting and watering provides the knowledge that embeds itself and becomes second nature – over time.
Start small. Mark out an area to dig and fertilise. Mine is located several steps from the kitchen door, to ensure quick retrieval of herbs in mid-stir or a greater likelihood of a visit when the weather becomes inclement. Choose a few vegetables that appeal and some herbs for instant gratification. No doubt some will flourish, others will die or be feasted upon by invertebrates before you, but inevitably your place of inner sanctum has been established.
Postscript: and your horticultural career has begun.