The best time to plant a tree

So the saying goes:

“The best time to plant a tree… is 20 years ago.
The second best time is today”




Depending on the weather, the seasons and a whole lot of other things I have no control over, about 3 years from now my new tree may or may not produce some avacados. But the vegetables, a bit sooner than that!




Funny thing: the last time I had a vegetable garden of any kind was when I was maybe 10 years old – our school had some kind of sponsored award thing where they encouraged us all to grow vegetables & we were marked & given reports on the state of our little gardens. My favourite was growing radishes, because they grow so fast but also because a fresh radish tastes fantastic! So when I started this vege garden, half of one cube is full of radishes… And a row in the long box is Japanese daikon – I LOVE daikon salads, its one of the first things I scan for on the menu at an izakaya.

But on a more philosophical angle, this summer I have been discovering the virtues of having a garden. As I am sure is the case with a lot of you reading this, my ‘work’ suffers from two negative aspects. First it is often sedentary, progress often requires long hours sitting at a desk… Secondly, some of my work is abstract – it can sometimes be hard to see where & how much progress is being made, especially in the short term.

So I think I’ve found the antidote to both these issues: 15 minutes every few hours digging or weeding or whatever in the garden is enough to oxygenate & refresh the brain. But creating a garden is hard slog – most of the soil here is heavy clay, hence the raised beds. But good soil has to come from somewhere & preparing the site for it takes a lot of sweat.

The eventual rewards? fresh mint for my drinks, fresh veges & herbs to cook with & eat…
and three or four years from now, fresh avacado!



One Response to The best time to plant a tree

  1. Thomas says:

    Tim, you’re absolutely right. There’s nothing more refreshing than digging in the soil with your bare hands and taking care of whatever seeds you put in there and see them grow. Great cure for writers block and a healthy way to put things back in perspective. I do it all the time. May your harvest be plentiful!

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