The sun on my back as the soil gently crumbles under my rake, it doesn’t get much better than this for a gardener. All the hard work of double digging, removing rocks and getting organic matter and life into the soil was worthwhile. We now have a soil that is workable after a few days dry weather. Met Eireann are telling us that very wet winters are the new normal so it would seem that the only way we will be able to get going in the garden in the spring will be to have free draining soil that can be worked easily. The few days when we could get out on the soil recently again got me thinking about domestic growers who only get limited opportunities to get out into the garden to sow for the spring. Deep, free draining raised beds would seem to be the way to go, unless you are one of the three people in Ireland with naturally well-drained soil.
The feeling I get from moments in the garden when everything seems to drop into place is hard to put into words (that could possibly be a reflection on my rustic ability with the English language) but is essentially one of feeling everything is right with the universe for that brief moment. Other moments come to mind: hoeing early on a misty May morning with the dawn chorus filling the air, seeing rows of green garlic shoots pushing up through the snow and lifting the first root of your new potatoes in June. I still get as excited now as when my Dad would carefully lift the first potato root of the year and my little fingers would fly in to grab the perfect little tubers. A review of our T.V. show mocked Mick and Karen’s excitement with the lifting of their first root of potatoes. The reviewer probably thought he would appear sophisticated, I feel it demonstrated that he indulged in excessive levels of self-stimulation.
I think in order to seek fame and fortune I need to give my feelings of horticultural contentment a name. This needs to be a Scandinavian type name as recently there has been various Danish concepts plied as the answer to our modern discontent. These generally seem eminently sensible but blindingly obvious, apparently having a few friends round for a bite to eat and a beer makes you feel good- who knew? And accepting that you can’t afford a new BMW and your partner doesn’t look like a super-model makes you more contented – astonishing. I have decided to call my concept “Hujjwon”. “Hujjwon” is putting yourself in situations were moments of contentment can happen and then recognising them when they happen. I think this could be my route to fame and fortune, though on second thoughts seeking fame and fortune don’t seem very “Hujjwon”. I think I’d better just go out with my spade again and see what crops up.