Occasionally when the mood takes me I can be seen dashing around our garden at high speed, dragging palm fronds from here to there, chopping, hacking, occasionally pulling and generally tidying up what nature seeks to untidy at a pace that is distinctly un-gardening-like. The neighbours must think I’m slightly potty.
Gardening seems to be regarded as a gentile occupation, mainly for people who like to wear woolly jumpers when its a bit nippy outside, and retired people with far too much time on their hands. I seek to redress this image… at least around my own garden anyway.
Here’s my thinking… I see people jogging on the street, cycling in chattering packs, working out in the gym, and yoga-ing until their yin fully is yanged. I don’t have time for all that. I have to combine my exercise regime with the practicalities of directing all that energy into something useful (in addition to all that healthy mind, healthy body stuff)
So Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce to you the Art (and Sport of) EXTREME GARDENING.
I live with a subtropical garden out the back, a garden intent on taking over the very space that I inhabit. You don’t so much garden in Queensland; what you do is engage in a constant battle with nature in a bid not to be outflanked by plants of all tropical persuasions. It takes a lot of energy to keep this garden in check. It just grows stuff when you are not looking. You turn around for a second and whoosh, when you turn back there’s a whole new tree where it wasn’t before. Extreme measures are needed. Extreme Gardening is needed.
So what exactly is Extreme Gardening? In its most basic form its doing gardening very very fast so as to get a bit fitter than you were when you started. Granted most times I come away from the garden feeling like my legs have turned to jelly, but after a good lie down, a nice cup of tea and a soothing ‘there, there’ from the wife I do start to feel the benefit of all that healthy outdoor, not to mention USEFUL, activity.
Yes of course I could have gained all the same health benefits by joining that crowd of road cyclists who come blethering past my home early in the morning like some kind of fast moving business networking group on wheels, but, that wouldn’t have got the garden done would it. I’d be out on those bikes, puffing, grunting, and wittering for hours on end but the garden would STILL need doing. Complete nightmare. Knackered with an untidy garden taunting me with its unruly twigs and fronds.