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Sunday, August 02, 2020


Annette Arthur

What springs to mind immediately is how I’ve come to see my immediate surroundings differently throughout this lockdown. Before lockdown I was in a new home having left an old relationship, and rushing back and forth to Wales where my partner lives, dashing madly up and down the motorway weekly, not really noticing my immediate surroundings. Lockdown forced me to see my garden and my life with new eyes. Staying at home and taking my daily exercise each day I discovered the beauty of the river, so nearby, but unnoticed before as I was so caught up in the whirlwind of my new life. I heard the honking of the geese flying over my house early each morning. I saw ducklings and cygnets appearing on the river, and looked forward to visiting them each day. I discovered new walks, my new neighbours, and ultimately my own garden. These past four months have given me the time to renovate my garden. I’ve planted, painted, pruned, weeded and loved every minute of creating my tiny plot. Now I can choose which of three vantage points in my garden to sit and admire the view. The birds are visiting my garden now and I enjoy watching them from my kitchen window. I’m truly seeing my new life with fresh eyes, and loving what I’m seeing.


Our garden changes over the decades. Dahlias filled the back garden when i was working. I'd get up early, put a pair of jeans over my nightgown and water them. When they bloomed I took armfuls of them to work and shared them. They took a lot of care, a lot of water, and needed to be dug up each year and overwintered. At some point they were replaced with four raised beds. The soil in these is still a work in progress - they are finally good enough that potato and tomato plants are growing well. The front garden/yard is all natural. The ferns and Oregon grape were here when we built the house and they are now four feet tall and provide a nice lush view from the living room windows. A rabbit has come to visit and so we have not been diligent about weeding out there as the bunny eats on the plantain that grows wild. Sitting on the back deck we have a view of the woods behind the house. It is primarily a maple forest and so in winter is leafless which is another look entirely from this lush time of year. Even though we don't get four seasons that are remarkably different, we do appreciate those we have. And I am always hoping for a little winter snow to turn the landscape into a wonderland.

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