Garden Blog - Blog Post

The Jigsaw Puzzle


This is probably the second post ever in the history of this blog that is distinctly NOT about gardening. Instead, it’s about what I spent the last couple of months happily spending time on (when instead, I probably should have been doing some gardening). I used the winter months to recover from the on-slaught of garden work last season and this winter, I re-discovered a little hobby of mine that soothes and massages my obsessive, compulsive disorder and that is doing a jigsaw puzzle:

Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai Jigsaw

Here it is completed, with no pieces missing, all 1500 pieces of it. This brightly painted tower of deities is a part of the Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, India. I think my parents have been here but I’ve done the next best thing, which is to complete a jigsaw puzzle of it. I’ve printed this picture out, put the date on it and will return it to the charity shop from whence it came for the next person to take home and do.

We were told when we bought the jigsaw that there were no pieces missing and so of course, my OCD meant that I had to make up the jigsaw to check. Although it would have been much quicker to count the pieces, that wouldn’t have told me what any possible missing pieces would have looked like. The sky – with its uniform blue – posed somewhat of a problem and the low light levels in winter made it difficult to distinguish one blue from another, but with perseverance, it too was completed.

This isn’t the end of the story yet though, as sat waiting on the sideboard is a mammoth 4000 piece jigsaw puzzle. The picture on the lid is of a thatched cottage with a garden (that has a distressingly large amount of uniform green lawn) and – you’ve guessed it – a bright blue sky. I suspect that after working on that, I’ll be gagging to go out into a real garden as opposed to finding and slotting together pieces for a jigsaw one.

We were told that this 4000-piece jigsaw, has no pieces missing either. Well there’s one way to find out…

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Sunil Patel

I'm Sunil Patel, this is me. I created the Garden at 13 Broom Acres and I open it to visitors. I also bake and write blog posts giving a "behind the scenes" look into what it's like to maintain such a garden.

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lynngator 24/01/2016 - 5:05 pm

Can’t wait to see that thatched cottage completed, Sunil! We have over 2 feet of snow here in the mountains.(Probably won’t be able to get out till Tuesday!) I don’t have a jigsaw puzzle, but did spend yesterday sorting through all sorts of recipes I’d torn out of magazines over the past couple of years. My recipe books are now all in order. It was something I’d been promising to do on a snowy day so alas, there were no more excuses.

Sunil 24/01/2016 - 6:39 pm

Hello Lynn, we haven’t measured the dining table yet to see if it will fit! I’m not sure how long it ill take as I’ve not done a puzzle so large before! I do hope to complete it but it will take some time. I could very well be doing it next winter or during “rainy days”, of which we seem to have so many!

Jean 25/01/2016 - 3:46 am

Oh my, that is ambitious! I’ve never been any good at jigsaw puzzles (lousy spatial reasoning skills), but I have a friend who is one of the major collectors of jigsaw puzzles in the US. (I’m always a bit intimidated when she gets out a puzzle for everyone to work on after dinner.) She would love this.

Sunil 02/02/2016 - 5:49 pm

Hello Jean, the picture is all broken up and back in the box, ready to take back to the Charity Store for the next person. I can imagine your friend’s “after dinner” is loooong – especially if on one is allowed to leave until it’s done!

casa mariposa 25/01/2016 - 4:43 am

WOW! I once completed a puzzle of a place we used to live and then had it framed after covering the surface with a special puzzle glue. My daughter (20 yrs) worked on a few over Christmas break and I helped her but after a few minutes I was miserable and slipped off to do something else. But NONE of them were this complex. I would have gone crazy looking for all those little pieces!!

Sunil 02/02/2016 - 5:51 pm

Hello Tammy, if you stare at the pieces long enough you start to notice patterns and can narrow down the choices as you can tell which types of shapes fit next to which other types of shapes. I guess you have to be at it for several months until it makes sense. Anyway, it’s all back in the box now and we have our dining table back! Until I start on the next one, that is.

Alain 25/01/2016 - 4:45 pm

I hope your new one is not missing any piece either. I admire your stamina!

Sunil 02/02/2016 - 5:52 pm

Hello Alain, I hope not too; there’s only one way to find out…

gardeninacity 26/01/2016 - 1:53 am

I know that jigsaw puzzles can be very absorbing and relaxing. Judy likes to take one on now and then.

Sunil 02/02/2016 - 5:54 pm

Hello Jason, I hadn’t done a jigsaw puzzle in years so it was such a delight to see this one turn up as a “present”; it was a complete surprise. Like gardening, doing the jigsaw took my mind of absolutely everything else except for all the little pieces on the table.

aberdeen gardening 31/01/2016 - 3:55 pm

I must say Sunil that certainly appears to be a very challenging jigsaw puzzle. A great pastime for my brother and myself in the 1950s. Lets have a look at the next one sometime, although gardening activity is just around the corner.

Sunil 02/02/2016 - 5:58 pm

Hello Alistair, I’ve tried modern equivalents of online jigsaws and jigsaw “apps” but there’s just nothing quite like handling all those pieces and physically feeling whether any two fit or not. The next one may take much longer because of the upcoming gardening season. How much progress I have to report this time next year depends on how many rainy days there will be this season.


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