Garden grow: Pauline Girling in her veggie patch.
Garden grow: Pauline Girling in her veggie patch.

There are few experiences that can match the taste –– and pleasure –– of savouring a homegrown harvest, especially if the veggies that you are eating are raised in your own vegetable garden and from your own carefully planted seedlings.

In almost every case, the flavour and texture of the varieties you grow in your own garden plot will far exceed the best grocery store produce and even farmers market produce.

And added to this, growing vegetables is such a pleasurable activity in its own right, despite the hard work you have to put in at the beginning and end of each season –– it’s best to just view it as a labour of love!

I have also discovered that gardening means different things to different people. Many people view gardening as a hobby, a relaxing escape from the pressures of a busy lifestyle –– and for these folk, the crop produced may be almost secondary.

But for some of us, growing fresh vegetables and herbs is the end result that also provides a great sense of joy and accomplishment, as long as you are willing to incorporate a degree of perseverance and also have a “stick with it” attitude when it comes to weeding and watering.

There really is no right way or wrong way with growing veggies.


It’s all about experimenting and understanding that what grew well last year might not grow so well this year, so you try again next year.

And whenever in doubt, just search the Internet for dozens of answers to any questions you may have.

So now, three years on, I can say with a degree of confidence that there is nothing like the therapy of manual labour in my very own veggie patch. 

You are working the soil in the fresh air, enjoying the birds chirping away, and benefiting from all the exercise.

Watching your crop grow provides satisfaction from nurturing seedlings right through to finally harvesting.

It’s a gift you give to yourself and your family every time you pick your veggies. If there is any downside it is that I know now that I will forever have short nails and battered hands.

But the upside is that beautiful edibles will always be around me.

The whole experience provides an abundance of mental happiness and is a lesson in acceptance. Making your garden grow is certainly one of life’s great pleasures.