Garden writing lifts me up.

Six on Saturday – Fading Light & Black Gold

10th October 2020.

Today is World Mental Health Day. I received a notification on my phone during the week reminding me of a short piece I wrote four years ago today. I thought and thought (while planting peas and composting compost) about how I might link WMHD to things going on sa gháirdín ar chúl an tí. The 100 Word Challenge linked above is also added as text at the end of this article. This may sound very confusing, but I do hope you’ll be able to get past the fog.


Days are shortening and that means nights are longer. Yin and yang. It’s a time of the year when people’s mental health may be affected by lower levels of light. Studies suggest getting outside more often. Today, I did get out and I started the Patio Pot makeover. By 2:25pm it was time for me to have a late lunch. My recommendation today is to do your best to get things in balance.


Getting outside is one important part of self-care. But the trick is to do it over and over again. With this in mind, I added a few finishing touches. The bird-feeder will bring me great joy over the months ahead. Close comparison between this photograph and yesterday’s shows that there are four minutes less daylight. What words of advice would I give to anyone struggling today? Watch the birds!


I got out again on Wednesday just to top up my vitamin D levels. Apparently, this vitamin is important in regulating mood. To be sure, by 3:02pm my mood was upbeat as the Patio Pot feature is almost finished. In reality though, chun an fhírinne a rá, I’ll keep adjusting it every few weeks. Speaking of adjustments, there’s an extra four minutes of darkness since yesterday. In the Northern Hemisphere we are slowly tilting away from the sun. Mantra for today: get out there, even if you do have to wrap up more.


Just after midday, I fortified myself with coffee and sugar. I’m advised that coffee is not ideal to regulate My Mental Mood, but hey… life is for living! I had spent several hours finishing the glasshouse shelving, planting peas outside and shredding apple tree branches for the compost heap. My advice today is to do what makes you happy.


There’s a side we present publicly and another we present only to ourselves. In light of that, here’s my messy composting corner, being outed publicly. I accept also the messy corners of my mind. Look on the bright side… this heap of rubbish will transform to “black gold”.  The World Health Organisation has solid advice about self-care. Small things make a big difference. Here’s my tip for today: Limit screen time.  There is an off button. Doing this may allow time for reflection and acceptance of your private thoughts.


I’m late uploading my garden thoughts as I wanted to get a photograph watermarked with today’s details. Today is the day. It’s World Mental Health Day. I do hope it’s a good day for you. In the past I’ve been affected with seasonal depression, yet strangely mine appears in April. We are all different. I have good coping strategies in place and I know that they work. Gardening and writing work well for me. Then, I like cycling, reading, cooking one new meal each month (sometimes very successfully, I’m told!), meeting friends for coffee & sugar, meeting friends for no coffee, and lots of other little pleasures. For me, life is very good and while I’m grateful, my thoughts go out today to those who are struggling. Would I have some words of comfort today?

  1. People who lift you up are a blessing. Stick close to them, particularly when you just feel like being alone.
  2. Don’t get caught up in small details such as noticing that since last Monday there is less daylight here in South East Ireland amounting to 18 minutes.
  3. Get your hands into the earth.

100 Word Challenge October 2016

Could I impart even a very small amount of my enthusiasm for gardening in 100 words? (20 used thus far).

World Mental Health day is on October 10th. Can gardening help with mental health? I say a resounding YES. Here’s my top 3 thoughts:

  • A good garden MAY have some weeds. Akin to ill-health, weeds remind me of life’s struggles. The trick is to ensure that the flowers dominate.
  • I frequently see one small job that needs doing, but after an hour of pottering about I have lost myself in harmony with the earth.
  • Gardening is my therapy of choice.

End of 100-word challenge.

“I am intrigued by writers who garden and gardeners who write. The
pen and the trowel are not interchangeable, but seem often linked.”
Marta McDowell (and adopted by GrowWriteRepeat).

100 Word Challenge 2016

Why not take a look at what my gardening friends are showing this Saturday by visiting Jon The Propagator? “Six on Saturday. Six things, in the garden, on a Saturday. Could be anything, you decide.” You’ll find details about how to participate there too. And now it’s goodbye from me, but the story continues next week. Slán go fóill.


GrowWriteRepeat | Social Links |

0 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – Fading Light & Black Gold”

  1. That was a good read. I posted a photo of the jumble of pots and compost that I hide down the side of the shed one year; I’ll have to do something similar again. I used to feel down in the spring, although not for many years. I don’t know why.

    1. No reason sometimes. It may just be the individual cellular make-up. In my case, knowing my make-up allows me to be vigilant.
      Hope you have a great weekend, a chara. Looking forward to seeing the hidden jumble at some point!

  2. Great post. I think a garden/outdoors can be a healer of broken souls. My mum always said that problems slip away ‘outside’.
    And I was struck by the quote too:
    “I am intrigued by writers who garden and gardeners who write. The
    pen and the trowel are not interchangeable, but seem often linked.”
    I always use #writerwhogardens on Instagram and had no idea it was almost attributable wordage. How funny. Nothing’s original is it. Have a wonderful week.

  3. Interesting thoughts on being outdoors, Pádraig, I’ve been outside more since lockdown started than at any other time I can remember, and I felt that I coped with the situation better as a result. Taking time to stop and reflect, over a warm drink if you wish, is definitely part and parcel of it too, and there’s such a joy in just sitting, watching the garden with all its tiny inhabitants.

Leave a reply? Yes please!