Anna Mudeka says gardening is such great therapy – Eastern Daily Press


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1: 23 PM May 2, 2022

This time of the year brings so much excitement for me as I start preparing the garden for new plants.

If I were to choose my seasons it would have in this order, autumn, spring, summer, winter.

They all have their unique appeal and what I find exciting about spring is the feeling of everything coming to life from plants to animals even people seem to start to have a spring in their step.I never used to like gardening growing up, it seemed quite a chore as we all tended the fields with my grand parents.But looking back now there is nothing I enjoy more as potting my seeds and watch them turn in to plants, it's just so exciting.
Vegetables is where my speciality lays and I am at my happiest getting my hands all dirty into the soil.

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- Credit: Paul Harris/2020VISION

For many years now I have been able to feed the whole family through what I grow all year round thanks to Mr G getting me a polytunnel 10 years ago.
But when storm Eunice arrived this year there was no mercy it managed to get through the weaker points in the polytunnel and we woke up to a disaster of plastic.Luckily the frame remained in tact, I had to laugh as my friend Eunice got some funny questions as people looked for answers, but she enjoyed the attention anyway.The joke in our house is, what is mummy going to over grow this year? 

One year is was courgettes and then cucumbers, tomatoes, kale you name it there is always something so will see what this year brings.One year with over grown cucumbers I took a basket full at school pick up and it was interesting as I went round offering free cucumbers, my girls were so embarrassed and some of the parents didn’t know how to respond, I mean who offers free cucumbers in the school play ground?But I’m glad I did as it made some parents I had never spoken to before mention the next few days that they were the best cucumbers they had ever tasted.It’s so true the food picked fresh from the garden has so much flavour and my favourite has to be beetroot both golden and red I just eat so much of it and it’s easy to grow and there is so many recipes to choose from.So with a new polytunnel now assembled, new seeds planted, it's a daily visit to check what’s coming through already.But gardening also brings unwelcome visitors and trying to share my plants with slugs and other pests that find their way is problematic. I do want the garden to be as organic as possible so I don’t use any chemicals and try to introduce affective natural control such as Nematodes.Gardening is really therapy, I recall listening to TV presenter Trisha Goddard talking about how she found meditation difficult but get her to do gardening and she found it so much more therapeutic and I can certainly relate to that.So for my birthday this year I am hoping to add on the list some more grading equipment and try different plants such as groundnuts and kohlrabi.If you have never done gardening and have always wondered I would say give it a go this year and you will be pleasantly surprised.Even a tomato plant on the window sill will bring you so much pleasure, the joy of watching them grow and harvesting your own handy work is rewarded in the taste.So here is to many weekend visits to garden centres and fresh veg and salads while the barbecue is sizzling. Nom nom nom.

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