I’ve not had the inclination, energy or time to write much here since the pandemic began. For weeks, I struggled to even read and reading for me is almost like breathing. Like many I was juggling work, homeschooling and housework. My experience was easier than for many as I did have childcare for most of my working hours (I’m a key worker) and Small Boy returned to school in mid-June. It was still incredibly challenging though and I need to reflect more on my personal coronavirus experience, especially the emotions: fear, anger, grief, loneliness, and a yearning to lament. At times, my mental health wasn’t great. I’ve isolated myself (more than was necessary!). There were some scary days.
Taking my daily nature photo was incredibly helpful, especially on days when I didn’t feel like it. Our garden, allotment and local nature reserve all provided solace, space and serenity.
So what’s been growing?
At the allotment, we’ve had courgettes (so many courgettes!), potatoes, onions, beetroot, radishes, spring onions, and four majestic sunflowers. Fruit trees have been planted but no fruit yet. Half of the plot is covered over and we hope by next spring to be able to make use of all our space.
At home, tomatoes and green beans are growing in our homemade wooden planters (and eaten daily) with pumpkins and squash looking good for an autumn harvest.
At the beginning of this year, Mr P began to remove all the concrete from one section of our front garden. A laborious process involving drilling and digging. Rubble collected and topsoil added, we planted some seeds for pollinators, added cuttings of californian poppies, alyssum, nasturtiums and lavender, and transferred some dahlias I’d planted from seed (as a lockdown activity). There is also Small Boy’s sunflower from Beavers (which elicited a wonderful conversation with the postman who proudly showed me a photo of his nephew’s lofty sunflower).
Our front garden (or at least this section of it) has been transformed from boring and barren to bright and buzzing with insects.
(Sadly, as we were adding soil, five other houses on our road were removing it and having new drives laid.)
If you’re interested in creating a wildlife garden, I’d recommend The Garden Jungle and Wildlife Gardening for Everyone and Everything.
I’m hoping the transformation process can be repeated in a different part next year!