I’m sure, like many, the garden has been an absolute sanctuary during this lockdown time of our lives. Way back in March when everything was just awakening and with the right sort of weather to encourage outside activity – we looked around and began work on a whole host of outside jobs that had been on the to do list for so long it had rust on.
For example – a very long collapsing fence connecting one half of the garden with another was dismantled completely, old disintegrating posts removed, supporting planks carefully stashed for reuse and the whole thing dug out. The first of my many DIY orders was placed with Amazon (who recently emailed me offering me a business account as with all the paint and stuff I’ve ordered they think it can’t all be for me!!!) and a few days later fence posts and ‘Postcrete’ was socially distanced delivered to the front door and the rebuild began. That fence has literally stressed me out every time I’ve looked at it – for years!!! Now it is a delight. And so it has continued. We have been busy literally the whole time and I absolutely think it has kept us sane. Probably my greatest pleasure has been extending the tiny veg patch area much more into a veg garden. It’s quite a challenge as it is on a substantial slope, but we’ve terraced it where we can and have quite an array of veggies growing their little hearts out.
I fixed the greenhouse and we relocated the compost bin now that the fence no longer slopes so much. It seemed to be positioned higher than it’s surrounding area and we realised it was standing on lots of homemade compost! We’ve been religiously putting all vegetable peelings, some grass cuttings, some leaves and weeds (not pernicious) into the compost bin for many months and the contents just always seemed to be at the same level in the bin! So lesson learnt! The runner beans certainly seem to be thriving having added the compost to their area of the garden.
I’ve grown flowers too. Over the past couple of years I’ve been working in the garden creating areas mostly filled with herbaceous plants, going for a cottage garden approach – lots of flowers, lots of scent and hopefully lots of bees and other insects – all are welcome here. That has certainly paid off. We also have a couple of bird baths, feeders and bird houses dotted around and these have all been very well utilised. Well not the bird houses. We did have a family of blue tits in one last year but this year despite numerous visits over many weeks to our various humble abodes no-one settled in. Oh well – maybe next year!
So we’ve been working, planting, weeding, watching. Chilling out in seating areas, eating out when weather permits and really, really enjoying the space. Every day I feel so lucky to have a garden – remembering many years ago when I lived in a flat (my first time away from home) when I used to walk to the park just so that I could be outside. Even my little end terraced house with it’s tiny backyard garden was an absolute blessing. (And the first time I ever grew broad beans!)
So I do understand why people are wanting to venture out – to the parks, countryside and of course the seaside. Outside is just so very important in our lives. And bearing that importance in mind I just cannot, at all, understand why those very people who are so longing to be outside then seem intent on despoiling it with litter that they have obviously brought along with them in the first place. Why, why, why? I certainly don’t want to visit somewhere covered in other people’s detritus and I’m sure that applies to most people. I really wish that the Government would bring back the ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ campaign that was so brilliant – quite a few years ago now. There was one in particular that stayed with me – ‘My little bit of rubbish won’t make any difference’ repeated over and over again – gradually the area completely filled with litter – it just really made the point that every single one of us does make a difference and we really must take responsibility for what we do. Not leave it for someone else to sort. It’s an attitude of mind – it’s not someone else’s responsibility – it’s everyone’s responsibility! Otherwise we will end up with a rubbish world in every sense of the word.