Much of what I’ve been up to this past week while on vacation, and really the past year as soon as the ground began to thaw, can be summed up as moving dirt around. Some might call what we are doing gardening, planting, landscaping, groundskeeping, or even garden architecture. Whatever you call it, I’ve realized that I’m enjoying it on a different level than I have previously.

I’m not sure what has brought this on. In some ways, it seems like the gardening urges have just been building over the past years as we’ve moved houses and gradually done a little more in each. But in other ways the pandora’s box of gardening work we have opened feels like a punch-back reaction to Scottish winters, being stuck without things to do for a year, not having the ability to move forward with other work on our house.

Maybe we’re just getting older.

Whatever the reason, gardening has been revealing itself as a creative outlet, a teacher, a training partner, and a part of life that is not only necessary but really enjoyable.

Gardening has also revealed itself to be a hard urge to control.

We’ve gone from putting in some raised beds for vegetables in the back (still in-progress), to digging out the entire half of the garden to put gravel paths around the raised beds (still in-progress), to starting a home composting bin (still-in progress) to clearing a stone wall for tree planting (still in-progress) and finally (but we all know not this won’t be the last) creating a “rockery” for smaller plants and a palm tree (still in-&%@*ing progress).

Even with that said, it really IS worth it. Here’s some bullet points I made to tell you why I think this is true, just because it’s earth day

Gardening is fun. It is like playing in a sandbox for grownups. You get to use all manner of tools, trimmers, cutters, and diggers. You are building your fort! You are making a mess!

Gardening is simple. At least at the start, it requires very little to move some earth around and put something in the ground. This isn’t the case for many other DIY projects. Notice I said it’s simple, not easy. It’s deceptively deep. The gardening rabbit hole goes down a long way.

Gardening is physical. A tired dog is a happy dog, and the same goes for people. This is inevitably a significant source of my satisfaction. Gardening is slow (and fast). It requires patience, and you must wait to see results, but in the meantime, you can go over there and dig another hole quick to get that tree in the ground. Hurry up and wait.

So there you have it. Move dirt around, and you’ll be happier like us. And tired. Really tired.

Happy earth day!


6 responses to “The joy of moving dirt around”

  1. Rita Mistry Avatar
    Rita Mistry

    Your garden is shaping up nicely. We’ve been moving a lot of earth in ours too this last year, hastened by Covid but we were going to do them eventually. A new greenhouse and a few raised beds. Looking forward to the produce!

    1. Nick Avatar

      Thanks Rita! It’s really nice to have an outdoor project and to work with something physical after moving pixels around all day. Looking forward to seeing how your garden progresses. 😉

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