Gardening puts the world to rights and makes you feel so much better. I know from the personal experience I’ve written about here before, comments from so many people and the endless studies conducted across the world that this is true.

Whatever you tackle in the garden becomes so absorbing that you soon forget all the stress and worries that weighed you down before you went into your plot.

It kindles new life and hope. A good friend of mine has a very high-powered job and he’s completely wrung out at the end of the day. So he slips out into the garden, soaks up its peaceful atmosphere, and starts tending his tomatoes, nipping out sideshoots and wielding the watering can. Stress and exhaustion fall away and he becomes a new man.

And you’ll be completely committed to the task in hand: you can’t even let your guard down when weeding or you’ll rip out one of your choice specimens.

When pruning a bush or tree to mould it to your preferred shape, you can’t let your mind wander or you’ll shear off the wrong stem or slash a finger with the secateurs.

When finished, stand back and bask in a well-deserved glow of satisfaction.

As you’ll know, I could and do spend many happy hours pruning all my climbing roses and enjoy looking after my apples and gooseberries.

These are skilled jobs worth knowing how to tackle but there are lots of other skilled and unskilled tasks.

And one of the joys of gardening is learning new ideas and techniques.

Keeping plants in good shape entails understanding their needs and how they grow. Identifying why things do or don’t work is fun and you’ll start spending a lot of time trying to tease out the answers to so many gardening questions.

You can get so caught up in the garden, seeing and enjoying the beauty of plants growing and maturing throughout the year. You share your garden with such a diversity of creatures, from birds to beetles, and it’s fascinating to see how they interact and go about their business.

You can record what you see, just for yourself or as part of one of the many organised surveys of garden life.

Above all, the garden is a living vibrant place and a gardener is always hopeful and forward-looking.


Plant of the week

Crocus ancyrensis flowers in late winter/early spring, producing bright yellow blooms that are honey scented. The corms need to be planted in full sun in gritty, very well drained soil. Like many of the earliest flowering bulbs the native range of C. ancyrensis, the Ankara crocus, includes the mountains of Turkey, where it grows on slopes of poor soil. It will not tolerate soggy conditions.