What do you do when you're not doing this?
Inspired by my long gardening ramble in the thread about what your home's like, what does everyone do when they're not hanging around on the internet or engaging in paid employment to fund that internet?
Everyone here probably knows I devote a huge amount of time and energy to playing hockey, but over the last few years I've rediscovered my love of gardening which I inherited from my father. (He, and his mother, could make anything grow. Famously, my mother once left some "dead" sticks that she'd cleared from her house, while helping cart trash around. A few weeks later her mother in law thanked her for the lovely hardwood cuttings, which we now flourishing. Sure enough, they were all producing green shoots and a year later were in full bloom and perfectly well established. My mother says she never had the heart to explain they weren't meant as a present, heh.)
Anyway, I've always been interested in gardening but I felt like I didn't have the time. Changes in my lifestyle over the last few years - mainly related, directly or indirectly, to being ill for quite a while - ended up sending me out there. Our garden had been very badly neglected for a lot of years, for various complicated reasons, so we've been gradually taming it. The front (car parking) section has an excellent mature shrub bed in probably 90% good order, a mixed perennial/shrub bed in medium order, and a whole lot of pots with a range of annual flowers, bulbs, and climbers trained along the fence. The side/patio/courtyard garden is devoted entirely to pots, and it has a mix of ericarious shrubs (azaelias, rhodies, camelia) and bedding in large containers, annual flowers in smaller pots, and my kitchen garden in which I'm trying, for the first time, to grow edibles.
The back yard (paved area) has recently been cleared of most of the "builder's yard rubble" that took half of it over (ahh, the joy's of sharing land with a family business!) and is currently acting as a sort of staging area, with my mini greenhouses, coldframe, stacks of bricks, area for "spent" pots, and stores of things like bark and gravel. There's a good bit of work to get it sorted out - painting the huuuuge roughcast garage wall is the main part, closely followed by training seed-raised annual climbers up it, and getting some Boston ivy to grow on it.
Finally there's the back garden (grass/bed area), which for a loooooong time was probably the most horrendously overgrown "lawn" you could imagine, heh. There's a rose bed which is a big mess but can be sorted as probably one full or two half day's work if the three of us go at it, what used to be a bush bed but we are turning into lawn with trees (with our actions severely thwarted by a freak ice storm that washed away a lot of grass seed and topsoil and allowed weeds to take over), and a small back bed that, when tidied, will have a few hardy evergreens and spring bulbs.
If it all sounds big, it isn't - it's just that the design of our house (long and narrow) means there are several distinct areas which all have their own character.
Anyway, I love gardening. I mean love. I'm planting, digging, watering, weeding, sowing, deadheading, tidying, or all of the above pretty much every day, even on work and hockey days. I'm starting to consider getting some kind of formal qualification in horitculture and seeing if I could make a career out of it. What's especially cool is that there's two big aspects to my life - hockey (and trust me, I'm a jock, heh) and the contrasting slightly geeky nature that seems me constantly reading, playing around with computers, and watching science fiction. Getting your hands in the soil is completely different from both, and the satisfaction when a tricky seed germinates, or a tricky plant flowers, or seeing that your carrots are bigger now than two hours ago . . . there's nothing like it.
So, what's everyone here doing when they're not doing things here? Any hobbies/interests/activities that seem to contrast with the rest of your character? Any other gardeners around?
Ubi Dubium, Ibi Libertas
Quote:"I have suffered from being misunderstood, but I would have suffered a hell of a lot more if I had been understood."