Saturday 18 April 2020

My Little Sanctuary

It came around to that time of year again, the annual garden tidy up. Every year around spring as the weather warms up, I venture out to my little garden and survey the state of it: the mess and toys that the kids have left and the random junk my better half has decided to store out there a bit at a time. This time I decided enough was enough and I wasn’t cleaning it, he was (it wasn't actually this bad, he was half way through dismantling the trampoline at this point).

After some gentle guilt tripping and the decision to get rid of our big old trampoline, my husband got to work and cleared the garden out in an afternoon. It would have taken me a week or two to get everything out and into bags for the dump or the bin men to take away.  You can imagine I was very happy, and he has been in my good books ever since.

It took a bit more work, cleaning, weeding, organising pots, pulling up plants that looked dead beyond any chance of revival cleaning and storing empty plant pots before it looked reasonably clean and pleasant. The big clear up means that there is now space for the Babies to play, for me to grow things and to sit outside when the sun is out.

A few weeks before the clear out, my husband had done a house move where the previous tenants had been growing marijuana and fled one day leaving everything behind.  He bought home a couple of bags of compost that were no longer wanted, which was a great help (we split them three for me and four for my mum).  I planted a few new plants I managed to pick up with my grocery shopping (red mini roses, pink begonia and an azalea plant), but with the shops closed and everyone under quarantine, I ended up growing seeds and hoping for the best. On the plus side, it's a really nice activity to do with children and they really enjoyed planting the seeds.

I found these vines in Poundland for £1 each (what? They sell stuff for £2 and £3 too). I got one of each: raspberry, blueberry, black currant and gooseberry). 

I got these grape plants on offer from Wowcher. At the moment they are very small, but I have an image of one wall covered in grape vines, maybe even with grapes growing. I’ll try not to kill them.

Once we had cleared the garden, the older kids suggested a barbecue to celebrate. We’ve had about three now and my husband has managed to cremate everything every time. I’m setting him a goal to watch YouTube video’s and sort his act out and stop burning everything. 

When the weather is good, the girls have been out playing, we’ve been doing badminton, football ball skills and of all people my oldest son has turned out to be a good badminton partner for me.

I’ve been enjoying the odd sunny afternoon reading in the garden. Catching up with neighbours over the fence and generally walking about in small circles feeling happy with my little space.

We might have gotten carried away with the solar lights…

I’m really grateful for my little space, for being able to plant things and watch them grow and for space for the little ones to play outside. I look forward to spending warm mornings having breakfast outside before the rest of the house wakes up and to go and sit outside on balmy evenings when the house gets too noisy.

For the latest updates and more gardening stories (including whether I manage to grow or kill everlasting) please do follow me on my Instagram account where I am a little more active these days, especially on my Insta-stories. 

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