Although still summer, and some time to go yet before winter sets in, I have been listening to friends talking of going to the gym, and wonder why they do have, what seems to me a fairly boring pastime. Modern homes are often without a garden which was sacrificed for hard landscaping, to allow cars to park off-street. It also means there is no need for gardening although you still have to maintain hard landscaping and keep it weed-free, it does seem there is still work but no benefits.
I don’t need to pay the high prices of going to a gym. I’m happy to swap the make-up and Lycra for a pair of dungarees and get to work pushing a lawnmower, cutting a hedge, weeding or planting up. There is always something you can find to do in a garden, no matter how small the garden. I grow edibles in containers and they are on constant move, finding a better place to get more sun or just moving them around to make better use of the space.
I am not walking aimlessly on a treadmill with EarPods thumping out music, which I presume is to block out the boring repetitive trot without going anywhere. I don’t need that, I use a spade or fork to dig with, go up and down stepladders and lift and shift heavy plant pots, stopping every so often to listen to nature. There is a sweet contentment pottering around, listening to the bees and other flying insects buzzing around, or the frogs doing their belly flops into the pond and watching the butterflies fluttering around. The heavy work turns it into a haven of tranquillity and at the end, I am rewarded with home-grown produce.
I have been part of the gym-set in the past, spending time on some of the machines but always with the same results, head banging music blaring out, counting the minutes until it was time to go and wondering why I did it if I didn’t enjoy it. Out in the garden, I get fresh air, the same type of exercise as I did in the gym but it doesn’t cost me membership fees, and the sights, sounds and surroundings are far more interesting than a room full of mirrors, machines and sweaty people trying to achieve body beautiful.