Gardening is boring and messy. Plus, it often results in despair | Gardening advice

BD: Steph, gardening is dull and awful before you even get to the gardening bit. There’s the boring Saturday afternoons at a nursery, the transporting of the plants (messy), the planting of the plants (also messy, plus you have to dig a hole). Then you have to look after them.

It’s not enough to hold a hose. You need stuff … fertiliser, potting mix, tools and special gloves. You have to prune! Even then gardens are not guaranteed to thrive – or even live.

A puppy will destroy a weekend’s work in minutes. A storm will snap delicate trees, hot weather will wilt roses, drought will dry once-lush lawns.

Even if it all does work as it should, Mother Nature doesn’t let us linger too long in our pleasure gardens. We get a season and then one day we wake up, and the branches are bare, the flowers are no longer in bloom and blossoms have fallen off the bough.

Better never to have started gardening at all.

SC: Brig, were you tangled in blackberries as a child? Did a nettle sting you? I’m sorry to hear you think gardening can only result in despair, but I’m here to tell

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