Comment: 'Can improving my awful garden reverse my personal decline too?'

Perhaps personal growth can be found in a well-tended garden (ES)
Perhaps personal growth can be found in a well-tended garden (ES)

My garden is a source of deep personal shame.

Every time I look outside at the barren lawn, Triffid-level weeds and assorted house junk that bled out somehow, I feel terrible.

Aren’t gardens supposed to be places of tranquility? Enclaves of calm in a big city?

Our south London flat has a decent-sized space out back, which was one of the attractive things for our young family when we bought it.

Yet, look at it now! Unkempt, unloved, unseemly, unsightly, unconscionable. How did this happen?

Well, of course, I can’t blame the elements or God or the foxes, only myself (I tried blaming my partner, but it didn’t work out). This is what happens if you don’t have a clue about gardening and don’t really care.

Sure, I can cut the grass and kick the heads off the nettles, but if you don’t actively work to improve a garden, well — it will slide into dissolution.

Often when I look out the window to watch the knotweed creep toward the house, I self-indulgently reflect that its decline has reflected my own.

But enough! It is time to arrest the rot!

I have been inspired by Kate Jacobs’ excellent piece on gardening for beginners in this week’s Homes and Property section to try to turn things around.

I have the tools, I have a plan, I have a few plants and flowers bought already.

Could this garden transformation spark a personal transformation, too? Like ET and that flower, I hope we can mutually bloom.