I have discovered during this lockdown season, that I have a real love for gardening, amongst other things, like developing my basic piano skills and upcycling old ladders! 

We moved into our current home about a year ago and have spent time unpacking (haven’t finished that yet) and doing other home improvement things, but this nice weather has drawn us out into the garden. When we first saw the house, a year or so ago, we could see the garden had potential. It was a bit of a blank canvas with potential to be really quite beautiful. But it has taken us until now to see what it is capable of.

We have dug beds and filled pots, we have built (the royal we) decking, painted, swept, mowed and cleared. In a lot of ways, it has been very cathartic.  It has been fascinating to see it change shape and become multi-faceted as we have taken things out and put things in. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t ‘Windsor Gardens’ (yet) but it is looking good. Most evenings we sit outside and just look and rest.

We have planted lots of things. Most things we just refer to as the ‘yellow plant’ or the ‘fluffy purple one’, or the one that looks like it has had painted splattered on it.  I’ve never been that great (or interested) to know the technical name for everything. Refer to everything as ‘thingy’ and you will get through life just fine.

Anyway…it’s those things we look at in the evening. The flowers and the plants. We get excited when we see new life, or tiny buds with the promise that tomorrow there will be a new bloom. We found a tiny white flower today, so tiny we could have missed it, but so beautifully and perfectly formed (that is until the dog inadvertently dug it up trying to hide its’ business) – anyway we have replanted it.  Here’s hoping.

Every morning we walk past each plant to look and see how it has grown and developed. Who knew that chilli plants grew that quickly! 

 I get so excited about it that I want to get more plants, and when I visit other people’s gardens (socially distance of course) I am looking for ideas of what to get. And each time I think I have enough I find another space that could be filled, or another plant that looks different, a different shape, or size or colour. I imagine where it will go and what the overall end result will be, today, tomorrow, next year, when they have all grown up together.

I don’t want to plant things just to disguise an eyesore (I’ve done that kind of planting before, it’s so boring) I want to plant things to look at and enjoy, from every angle of the garden. The vibrancy of colour and the mix of different leaves, ground cover and tall lupins, side by side. Even writing this gets me imagining. I almost feel disappointed when I think we are running out of space!

It is the diversity of it all that is the most striking. Each one so incredibly unique, with its’ own recognisable and individual difference. Each one doing what it does, at its own predetermined rate, in response to its’ environment. Each one happy to be itself, happy to be unique, happy to be side by side with others, all so different.

It makes me consider how we celebrate diversity in the natural world around us but often struggle with the differences we see in each other, we fail not only to recognise our own uniqueness and be content and secure in who we are, but also fail to appreciate it in others. We know in our heads that, of course, we are all so different, but expect that we will all do things in the same way and at the same time. And when we do that, we make a beautiful, diverse world a very dull and boring place.

We want to celebrate life and life in all its undeniable glory. We want to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to shine in their own unique and individual way and take their place with confidence in this striking and beautiful worldwide community. 

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