HANNAH FINCH: Subconscious meditation with the colour, feel and scent
IKNOW that one evening in the garden has healed some part of me because for a while, all time disappeared. I think it is only when other realities dissolve that you can feel better.
I feel better after a subconscious meditation with the colour, feel and scent of the very real world right now in front of me.
The necessity of the altered state is the same as an athlete being in the zone or a writer's flow.
The communion with my garden is as good for me as sleep.
And it doesn't matter how short or long the moment lasts.
A few seconds deadheading calendula can be just as effective as four hours' weeding.
It is in that snap of waking up, realising that you have missed a phone call because you have 'lost track of time'.
Why does it matter if you lose the trail? The clock still ticks but you have stopped watching.
It means you are free to do something much more fulfilling.
After work last Wednesday, I began by cutting back brambles that had overshadowed the currant bushes.
Then I started harvesting the comfrey leaves for a potassium fertiliser.
I have invested in some brewer's fermenting buckets with airtight lids and taps.
I have filled one with a tea made of nettles steeped in rainwater.
Full of nitrogen, I am using these on my leafy crops.
The comfrey I will use to boost fruit and flowers, like my tomato, beans and autumn raspberries.
I have started to harvest the blackcurrants — my first ever crop from bushes that must be about three years old.
With a funny foxy smell, they are not for the fruit bowl, but need heat and sugar to release their essence.
I have picked a good bowlful for jam perhaps, or a compote with ice cream.
The vegetable beds are filling out now in a way that I could not properly foresee, particularly in the depths of winter.
The nasturtiums are full of concentrated colour — foaming around the edge of the beds.
They are luring the cabbage whites from my edible crops and at the same time offering flowers and leaves for salads.
But it is their brightness that I most savour, particularly against the purple stems of the climbing beans and the blood red beetroots.
This easy growth has given me courgettes on the cusp of thuggishness.
So I cut them from the plants with my newly oiled and sharpened pruning knife.
I love doing this because it makes me feel like a real gardener.