If someone had told me a year ago what my life would be like today, I would have laughed in his face.

My Wednesday nights a year ago consisted of me sashaying out of my West Village apartment (navigating those cobblestones in heels) over to SL or Avenue or the likes to meet my friends.

While I do miss shimmying to loud music while sipping on firelit bottles of champagne, staying in, making dinner, and working on the couch with my fiance also isn’t bad.  Unfortunately, there’s no need for five inch heels or sequin minis, but they remain in my closet as memories, if nothing else.

When we found out we’d be moving out of a busy “city” to the suburbs, we were a bit hesitant.  Neither of us had lived outside of a major city for years.  Now, my dad (the civil engineer) will point out that I don’t actually live in the suburbs, but rather an “urban sprawl.”  Either way, it’s a definite change of pace.  Rather than streets lined with boutiques and restaurants, our streets are stretches of strip malls as far as the eye can see.

It’s not all bad though.  Rather than being bored out of my mind like I’d imagined, I’ve actually found that I spend far less time watching TV and surfing the web. I spent a few weekends lacquering the garden table and chairs set and found the hobby quite productive. Some of that can be accredited to a new job and my desire to create the perfect “nest.”  The other part is in thanks to my newfound hobby.  That’s right. I got a hobby.  Gardening.

When we looked at our house, I knew I wanted to live there because it is A). awesome and B). surrounded by amazing gardens.  Every single room in the house opens up to flowers and greens.  It’s my own little “Secret Garden.”  So, I quickly found that I enjoyed being outside and gardening.  It sounds absolutely ridiculous, even to me.  I thought it had to do with watching too many re-runs of Golden Girls, but my mom attributes it to my English blood.  The only “secret garden” I had known until now was the Soho House rooftop.

But alas, this is a great and very therapeutic hobby.  If I feel like picking at something or letting off a little steam, rather than bother my fiance or the dog, I just head outside and rip out some weeds.  Now, before you get all gung-ho and head out to the yard, here’s a few things you should know:

  1. Here’s rule number one.  If you don’t like bugs (like abhor them) you will not like gardening.  There’s a lot of dirt and a lot of bugs (and worms).  No getting around that.  Sorry.
  2. Your nails and gardening do not really go together.  If you value your fingernails more than your flowerbeds, quit now.  Even with those gloves, the earth will wreak havoc on your perfectly polished fingers.
  3. Do a little research.  Figure out what grows in your climate.  Either ask someone at the flower/plant store or just read the handy little tags on the plants.  They will tell you everything you need to know.
  4. Your significant other will support your hobby more if you plant things that produce useful bi-products, ie., fruit, vegetables, mint (for mojitos, obviously).
  5. Wear sunscreen.  You might not realize it, but you are getting beaten down on by UV rays.  I can speak from experience.  I have a sweet tank top tan/burn line. So hot.

Now let’s take a gander at one of the flower beds I’ve been working on:

Okay, yes, I understand you were expecting an HGTV Yard Crashers type of reveal, but let’s talk again in a couple of months and after a few gallons of Miracle Grow.  I have planted my mom’s favorite flowers (Impatients), some African Daises, Heather, two species of bluberry plants (apparently they must be cross pollinated), a mini tangerine tree, and a cherry tree. Impressed? I can’t take all the credit though.

My faithful assistant had a paw (or four) in this.