In this brand new series our reporters show and tell us all about their garden and why it brings them joy! Are you green-fingered?
To be honest, I’ve always grudgingly done any gardening, I’d have much rather spent my leisure time doing more enjoyable pursuits. Worst of all was having to mow the lawn when it’s wet and very, very long.
Even with the good fortune of open fields rising to a small hill in the distance, the garden view is tranquil and rewarding. Beyond the garden would be the chance to catch sight of the odd deer, or the local barn owl.
But it took the first lockdown to change my attitude and I’ve had to again admit that the more effort you put into something the more reward you receive. The scenario of having much more spare time, plus lovely weather meant I was finding myself more and more outdoors in the garden.
So, I started to make a difference to the garden, and some months later I began to appreciate it was making a difference to me. I realised every venture outside boosted my mental well-being. Just simply to breath in fresh air, and to properly listen to the morning chorus of bird song would put a smile on my face.
I’d begin more ambitious projects to alter and improve the garden. I’ve no special talent and plenty of my efforts fail abysmally. However some worked well, and I could take much satisfaction from this success.
I began to develop small sections of the garden into a unique feature, so there’s a tiny walkway through bushes that feature a few stone figures.
Then there’s a thriving strawberry patch in one corner, a rockery too, and although I never seem to convert one space into a wildlife and wildflower meadow – if you can call such a tiny plot a meadow – I keep trying. Even the patchy lawn is now a luscious green, hardly a weed in sight.
So, what does this mean to me? It’s my happy space, I make sure I’m out there every day and enjoy the closeness to nature.
I enjoy watching plants grow, every day you can see the difference as the flowers open and bloom, the bees come out and buzz around searching for nectar, and the relentless weeds inevitably give me work to do every day.
I’ll never go back to neglecting my garden. It now means so much to me. It helps me in unexpected ways. In addition to the healthier mind it may even make my diet improve as there’s a ridiculous quantity of strawberries on their way, and a much greater crop promised in the greenhouse with the tomato plants carrying hundreds of young, green tomatoes. I also have my ‘contemplative’ area – see photo for quiet. Peaceful moments.
It isn’t just me that benefits from my gardening, I haven’t used and chemicals or pesticides for years, and the outcome is a multitude in insects that attract hungry birds and the local pipistrelle bats at dusk. I even tolerate the moles.
Plus the most unimpressive pond is home to the resident frogs. I’ve very proud of doing my bit for nature.
It probably sounds as if I have a huge space, it’s not, plenty can be added to a garden on a small scale, and it definitely results in a large-scale boost for me!
Check out Lesley’s garden.
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