Gardening for the body, mind and soul

So after Sunday in the snow, the week was positively spring-like and had me all fired up to get working in the garden. Digging and barrowing in short-sleeves and suncream in February and with views like these as my backdrop certainly doesn’t feel like work. More like balm for the body, mind and soul.  And that is why we moved here, after all.


That’s not to say it’s not physically hard – the stoop of my back at the end of the day tells its own tale. There is much spadework and mulching to be done in this sadly-neglected, clay-soiled plot but I am determined to take it ‘poco a poco'; doing what I can, when I can and refusing to let it overwhelm me.

My plan is to follow permaculture principles and minimise the amount of digging – the covered plots may look a little ugly right now but anything that saves crippling me and simply enables me to grow more stuff with less fuss is fine and dandy by me.

Truth be told, I get a deep and disproportionate joy from shovelling our own homemade compost onto our organic veggie plots. Using old, wormy leaf mulch that is rich, black and crumbly gives a similar sense of satisfaction. The soil here is poor and needs lots of feeding if it is to really perform and become easier to work. Feeding it is a slow process but you’ve got to start somewhere and every little helps.

As a family we have been eating a purely plant-based diet for a year now, so the value of growing our own is greater than ever. You simply can’t get more local or more environmentally friendly and there won’t be a ‘cleaner’ veggie anywhere in the world! But it’s not all about the harvest. That is (sometimes quite literally, when the birds don’t get there first) simply the cherry on top.

Long before the first green shoots poke their noses up above ground and signal foodie harvests to come, my garden-pottering has commenced the process of mulching my mind and feeding my soul; another slow and vital process that can be easy to overlook when the more flashy, pressing needs of the day-to-day get in the way.

It feels good to take time this winter to simply focus on putting back in, after a year of intensely digging deep and putting it all out there. 2018 was a tough year from which I am still in recovery. Here’s to an easier, healthier 2019 and to taking the time to make it so.





  1. Mary, ya que vives en Asturias te recomiendo si no lo has visto, visitar el jardín de la Fonte Baxa o de Panrico (Luarca – Valdés). Perdona mi osadía.
    Mary, since you live in Asturias I recommend you if you have not seen it, visit the garden of Fonte Baxa or Panrico (Luarca – Valdés). Pardon me for my daring.

Leave a Reply to mary Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.