Permission to potter !

I’ve just been reading an article that points out how ‘busy’ we all are in contemporary society.  Being ‘busy’ may make us feel important and useful.  However, this can also lead to anxiety and stress if it starts to dominate our lives.

My gardening blogs are often about tasks to do in the garden.  But this can also make people feel stressed if they don’t have the time to do them.  So this month is about enjoying your garden and having permission to potter !

Downtime in the garden

Living in a ‘busy’ world makes it difficult to allow ourselves to simply do nothing.  We are supposed to have goals and targets; even in our personal lives.  Being brought up with a strong Protestant Work Ethic means that this is hardwired into my approach to life.  So I have to work hard at doing nothing!  The garden and being outside in Nature is an excellent way to while away some downtime, but keep yourself occupied.

Downtime in the garden can include pottering around to see what is growing and flowering at the moment (this can change every few days).  Watching insects, birds and wildlife is also a great distraction.  The more you sit and look, the more wildlife you will notice in your garden or in parks or the countryside.  When we are busy we rush around and fail to notice most of the activity that is taking place around us.


This month make sure you give yourself time to go outside and sit in your garden as much as you can.  Take a mug with you and enjoy the feel of the sun on your face, and maybe some wind in you hair.  Consider the plants and wildlife around you, but DON’T do any gardening, just ponder on your surroundings and allow your mind to wander.  We are at our most creative when our minds are not actively engaged in problem solving, but slightly bored.  So relax, potter and let thoughts come into your mind as they wish.

The Psychology of ‘Busyness’

If you’d like to read more about the problems of ‘busyness’ and the upside of downtime have a look at these

The Case for Doing Nothing by Olga Mecking

The Science of Boredom by Dr Sandi Mann