Staying in Focus: The Joy of Pottering

What is it about spring that brings forth the urge to go outside and play in the dirt? Is it those gentle spring breezes scented with the aroma of fresh earth and growing things? Is it the warm sunshine, the songs of birds filling the air, as they flit from tree to tree, building nests, or the buzz of the bees as they search for delicate blossoms of sweet nectar? I imagine it is all of this, awakening in us the realization that winter has lost its frosty grip and we are invited to join in the return of life and growth and warmth once more.

We had a string of perfect spring days recently, and I headed out to the plant nursery to buy a few new plants, and the tools and soil I needed to repot some of my houseplants. I move some of them from their winter shelter in my dining room them to the porch for the growing season.

When we visited the British Isles a few years back, we noticed clusters of small garden plots, most with a shed or small building on them, just outside the cities, and our tour guide explained that they were the gardens of city dwellers who had no space for a backyard garden. They come out on weekends or on long summer evenings to tend their gardens and commune with nature.

The British, who have the most descriptive and colorful words for things, call this activity “pottering”. What a perfect description for getting your hands in that rich potting soil and providing a new home for a plant, or planting a flower or vegetable garden.

I do not have a potting shed, but I do have a potting bench, and as it happens, being retired, I have plenty of time for pottering. Which reminds me, I have several African violets which could use some larger pots. Maybe I’ll wander outside and play in the dirt for a while.

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