9 May 2020

locked in our garden

We've been in lockdown for 48 days now, and in those 48 days I've been out just a handful of times, a few runs, an early morning cycle and once in the car to collect shopping for my parents. Even those few outings I found a little stressful. You'd think living in a small village in the Cambridgeshire countryside you wouldn't see a sole but everyone is out walking and that means social distancing on narrow paths, so lots of waiting about for people to pass, I just found it all a bit frustrating. We don't really need to go out, we're fortunate to have enough space to move about and we're exercising with Joe Wicks in our lounge.

I'm still working, so Monday to Friday I'm at my desk, but there are now light evenings and whole weekends without the interruption of all those things we used to do (go to the gym, go to the delhi, go to London, to Cambridge, art galleries, the garden centre, catching up with friends) we are still doing it all, just online without the travel. The only thing we're missing out on is haircuts (it's been 11 weeks now), sorry Cristian I think despite your warnings not to, I'm going to have to tackle my fringe soon!

What it means is loads of extra time in the garden. The vegetable garden is the looking the best it ever has. We actually seem to have things under control, it's tidy, things are growing and they aren't weeds. I sat down yesterday with a pen, paper, this book and tried to figure out how we were going to fit it all in. I've a house full of plants we've raised from seed. We've five main beds, one for the raspberries and rhubarb, another for herbs, then three others we rotate yearly (though two now have permanent areas for asparagus and fruit bushes). The bed with the potatoes and root veg is pretty full already but I can see potential for more sowings especially once the potatoes have been earthed up. The bed for the courgettes, tomatoes, peppers, sweetcorn, cucumbers and beans is where it's going to be a real squeeze. And then there's the third where the brassicas live, which is currently quietest of all, with just a few rows planted.

As well as time in the vegetable garden we've been able to keep the rest of the garden under a little more control. We're moving, dividing and propagating plants for the bank under the apple trees, which will hopefully keep the weeds at bay. We're adding more structure to the soil in the woodland so it retains water better and allows us to grow a little more without the constant need to water. We're reseeding grass where the chickens and ducks have been. It's good having the time to do but also to think about things, how we'd like them to be and working to achieve it. I'm loving this slower pace of life, in my little bubble where everything feels safe, our garden is flourishing and we've the time to enjoy it.