Whilst I write this column each week as a gardening column, occasionally the ‘gardening bit’ is relegated to ‘the back of the border’.

This is one of those weeks as there has been much to ponder and prioritise.

This time of year in the garden – and especially as a gardener – can be a pretty challenging one to navigate.  Whilst I read everywhere that ‘gardening is relaxing and good for your mental health’, if you do it for a living, that is not quite the case.

Recently there were three people queuing at the till at Abergavenny Garden Centre. The middle-aged woman at the front wore large sunglasses, a big floppy straw hat, a floaty dress, had an armful of lavender plants and commented on how lovely everything looked at this time of year. The slightly sunburned chap behind her in work clothes was on the verge of a nervous breakdown as he couldn’t find the plants his client wanted and ‘it was too wet to go and mow’, and then there was me – armed with five different lists of things I needed from five different clients, wishing I had got the bedding plants a week earlier and wondering if I could persuade one client to have pink Cosmos as the white ones had sold out – and all while trying reciting ‘cool wet moss’ in my head – a mantra to calm the nerves as learned at an Anthony Robbins fire walk.  Suffice to say, there was a distinct difference between the one who gardened for pleasure and the one’s who gardened for a living.

I am having to remember that it is all about attitude and perspective.  Things will be hectic at this time of year as everything rushes to seed. That’s nature.

I am always frustrated by the fact that one day the cow parsley and ground elder flowers are looking frothy, stunning and ‘planned’ and the next day they have been flattened by thundery rain, making paths totally impassable. That’s a shame. 

And it will always rain when you want to mow. That’s Sod’s Law. 

One of the great gifts of gardening is that it allows room for thought. You just have to make sure they are constructive ones. In a world where most people spend every spare second whipping out their mobile phone and scrolling, I like to spend that time  ‘coaxing things back into perspective’.

In the last few weeks I have had a number of unexpected challenges, one of them being told Yogi has kidney disease.  Being as grateful as ever to Bernice at Riverside Vets for her professionalism and patience, I have also found a dog food that is created specifically for renal issues.  Yogi’s raw food is too high in protein and phosphorous now, so a bit of research turned up www.purepetfood.com 

There are amazing people out there and it is always a joy to find them. You just tell fabulous founders Mat and Dan about your dog and they will create tailor-made recipes.  It was delivered in box with a sticker saying ‘Yogi’s – paws off’ (I love that detail), is in the easiest bag to open and close (another pawfect detail) and you simply add water, stir and serve. Yogi absolutely loves it and of course, “Healthy dogs live longer lives.”

So during a challenging chunk of my life, I have gained much from deciding to let nature ‘have her head’ for a few weeks, while I quietly tidy up behind her and use the ‘head-space’ wisely.  As Blaise Pascal put it in 1654: “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly alone.”