The Zen of the Garden


Courtesy of Barry Gill

As totally shocking as it seems to me (and other fellow gardeners), some people don’t actually like gardening.

I told you it was shocking.

However all is not lost.  Even those that won’t go anywhere near a spade or a bag of compost do (usually) enjoy a garden.  It might be theirs or it might be something grander and far away from home.

It got me thinking what is it about a garden (formal or not) that everyone likes?


Something about a structure of a garden makes it instantly recognisable and a feeling of almost safe about it.

Its a place you can sit down and just be.  You don’t have to think about anything just sit and be still.  Listen to the rustling of the ferns, smell the rosemary or the honey suckle wafting in the breeze.  Feel the smooth bark of the tree or the soft leaves of the lambs ears.

Or just be still, breath and relax.

Being part of the bigger picture

In a garden you see how everything has a place, how plants fit together – either to make grand designs or just in harmony with their surroundings.  Some plants help pollinate other plants, some form structures or nesting places while others keep away pests and create colour as well.

In a garden either that has been done deliberately, by the gardener, or naturally and cultivated over time.  Either way as you enjoy the garden you can see that nothing is out of place.

With you being in the garden to see all that it is then finally complete.

Changing of the seasons

Just as we are out of sorts while trying to hide from those blistering winter winds, so a garden changes over the course of 12 months.  Never the same from one season to another the garden sheds in one season and blooms again in another, bringing fourth new life and a new scene.

This then makes us feel refreshed and ready to begin anew.


There are of course many types of gardening, and lots of styles of gardens that can be found all over the world but just as every person is individual, so is a garden.  You’ll never ever see two the same.  Each one crafted and dug, each one maintained and loved differently by the owner.

Each one a reflection of the time and place it was created and the person who created it.

So next time you’re in a garden, any garden, take a moment to really breath it in and enjoy it because that, after all, is the very reason it has been created – to enjoy.


13 responses to “The Zen of the Garden

  1. People don’t like gardening?!? Can there be anything better than sowing a seed and nurturing it until it’s ready to go on your plate or produce beautiful display of flowers and foliage? They need to be educated. As a science teacher I’ve managed to sneak in some lessons in which my students (13-18) grow Mexican hat plants and sunflowers. It’s amazing how many of them have never grown anything in their life. We need to catch them young!

    • Well its my mission to get more people growing their own fruit and veg so hopefully that will entice people into further gardening. You’re right, catching them at at early stage is probably the most effective way. Between teens and early 20’s most people thing gardening is for ‘older folk’. Thanks for reading the blog 🙂

  2. I’ve met some of these people… they’re usually very nice, but it’s still hard to understand how they just don’t get gardening! You’re right though – there’s a distinction between liking gardening and liking gardens.

  3. Awesome post Sophie as always I think some like to admire gardens as long as they do not get they hands dirty in any way but others like both parts the tending of a garden as well as relaxing in it

    • Totally spot on Linda. I can see how some of the much grandiose country house gardens, and to some extent the Chelsea flower show gardens et al can put people off because they are so elaborate but you’re own personal space can be as simple or as complex as you want it.

    • Indeed, to others it might be a place to show off their prized Dahlias (of which I can’t even seem to make mine germinate from seed at the moment, so no prizes for me!), while others might use their garden for playing in with the kids and dogs but ultimately – it’s what you make of it.

  4. Must admit to not been a keen gardener, but love visiting gardens big and small, must admit to liking ones that are quite, allowing me time to contemplate. For solitude is always my best friend, allows me to think.

  5. I love this–I feel the same about my gardener. It was begun to save some money, and now is very zen for me. I have onions and garlic peeking out and I couldn’t be more at peace.

    • We all start gardening for very different reasons but I’ve never know anyone (willingly) then stop again because gardening & growing things make you feel so good 🙂

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