Garden Days in the Pandemic

by - Tuesday, April 28, 2020

There are a whole wealth of topics within this new life we are leading - restriction, death, loss, fear. So many emotions and so much hardship for people around the world. I've had bad days and struggled initially with the change of routine, and with the anxiety I felt all around me. It was a bit of a trigger for the ptsd I had previously gone through due to multiple stressful events. So I had a few panicky moments until I adjusted and worked out a new routine. And this blog post is coming from a very positive place because, as the title suggests, I have rediscovered my love of gardening and have truly appreciated having the time to immerse myself in the whole experience again.

Dandelion Seed and Cuckoo Flower

I had neglected my garden for a few years, there was too much going on with my own health and with various family illnesses too and I just didn't have the physical or mental strength to do much at all. And as any gardener knows, it not something you can really pick up and drop again - it does need regular care. So I let it slide and completely forgot how much joy it gives me.
Even working from home, I basically have an extra 3 hours per working day because my commute is gone. And I imagine that must be the same for lots of people - I think a slowing of pace and a renewed quality of life has been the silver lining of this awful virus and I sincerely hope that these little changes will continue long after this is gone.
So this year I have sown seedlings for the first time in ages, both indoor and out. I sowed lettuce, rocket and courgette and calendula and snapdragon from the flower family.

Rocket Seedlings

Various Windowsill Seedlings

I made a determined effort to get some vegetables growing - I now have beets, onions, potatoes and carrots on the go, as well as strawberries and salad leaves. And thanks to a local friend, I managed to get tomato and pepper plants! There was also a brilliant ChangeX campaign set up by GIY called #growitforward with the intention of encouraging people to grow their own food. I used this to set up a Kilcullen group and a Facebook group out of that and it's brilliant to connect with other growers and to have a space where we can swap seeds or plants, as well as get advice and encouragement.

Tomato Plants in Cold Frame

Chilli Plant Cold Frame

Container Garden Vegetables

My garden is very small and, of course, because of restrictions it was difficult to get some things I needed. Luckily I had ordered a good quantity of peat free compost before I started and I had the crates (pictured above) anyway, as well as various pots and grow bags. I have been going out each morning for daily inspection :) Taking out any little weed seedlings (I used some of my own compost from the compost bin but the disadvantage of this is the weeds, unfortunately) and making sure there isn't anything eating the delicate seedlings. And watering also - the weather has been amazing but so dry and even  my water butt became completely empty.
I love it though, it's so amazing to watch things growing - especially, I think, when you have started them from seed. I also stopped mowing the grass in my back garden last year so it has a bit of a wild feel at the moment, with lots of dandelions and cuckoo flowers and the sounds of the insects and the birds is heavenly.

Cuckoo Flower in garden

Lamprocapnos spectabilis with bee

Robin on tree

I will leave you with a pic to show just how small my garden is - and also pics of my other little garden companion :)

Deckchair in Garden April

Cat near Vegetable Containers

Cat sniffing flower

You might like to check out my other recent post about how to live with Slugs & Snails in the garden - link here.
And here is a post about how to make your own Green Cleaners.
Have you been gardening? Let me know in comments what you have been up to!

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