Black Plastic Woman

Black Plastic WomanWhen starting a new project, they say planning and preparation is vital to the end success. They say ‘God is in the detail’, meaning that Good Intentions executed scrupulously turn out Right.

But they also say ‘the Devil is in the detail’, don’t they?  Even our best laid plans can get a hitch that ruins the Big Dream. We can get bogged down in a sea of seed packets, angst over choosing the ‘best’ variety, ruminate over how to make compost or where to plant the rhubarb. Too much planning and procrastinating and, before you know it, the moment of seasonal opportunity has passed. The weeds and brambles you once cleared have regrown and are laughing at your ineptitude. Even if we spend months of labour preparing for grow-your-own glory, a biblical flood can come and ruin it all.

So I say this.

Whatever angst has been planted in us that we are novices and our inner judgement is not worthy, there is nothing more liberating than just ‘doing it’ regardless. The greatest pleasure of gardening is discovering the innate instinct that is still in all our DNA as hunters, gatherers and farmers. To really enjoy it and get good at it (I don’t think you can have one without the other) we have to throw ourselves off the cliff of the bedside pile of experts’ books and magazine subscriptions, and have faith in our ability as one of the most sophisticated species that has evolved on this planet.

And in that seemingly ‘organic’ process comes the joy. My best ‘Eureka!’ moments are often tiny problem-solving brainwaves that come from starting on the track to doing one thing and ending up with something else. It is the process of your own creativity that captivates.

Which brings me on to my current project.

I’ve been wanting to expand the growing space in the garden, and this has meant I’ve got to lose big areas of grassy pathways and lawn. Whilst wanting the best bits for growing (fruit needs lots of sun, doesn’t it?), I still want to leave the opportunity for a future ‘gin on a lounger in my shades’ spot of recreation. I still want the view to look nice.

So, rather than worry about that I’ve thrown Detail to the wind, myself off the cliff, and smothered swaths of grass in shrouds of ugly black plastic. Is it in the right place? Am I doing the right thing?

Only my DNA knows.

Have you taken the ‘no grass, more veg’ route? Have you regretted it or wished you’d done it sooner? Has anyone converted their front garden to fruit and veg? Please feel free to comment below!


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