I just wanted to come back and do a catch up post before Spring starts in earnest. I just fell out of the habit of blogging last year – the garden kept me so busy and with normal life resuming slowly month by month I felt my time was well spent growing and tending rather than writing about it. Looking back I’m sorry about that, I should have made the time. This year I’m going to put an entry in my calendar and do minimum of one blog post a month, documenting the changes in the garden and my own ramblings about the garden.

It sounds like such a cliche to say my garden saved my mental health but it did. During 2020 it kept me on an even keel when the world was going crazy. Then in 2021 it became a place of creativity and joy that I knew I would never be able to live without. Even though last year we started to see life returning somewhat to normal my whole world has changed as a result of the pandemic. My new normal sees me working from home full time and going out socialising a lot less. A year of forced staying at home made me realise that I don’t need the constant eating out and drinking, going to countless gigs every month, spending a lot of money on things that aren’t necessary.

2021 was a quieter year, even the second half of the year when things were more “normal”. I didn’t miss the hustle and bustle of pre 2020. This is my new normal. A more home based life, more sustainable, less busy. I still love live music and we still go to gigs, just not every single gig that happens. We are a little more selective and yes, this means we will miss some gigs. But that’s fine. We stopped eating out, preferring to spend the money on better ingredients and cooking from scratch almost every day. We had amazing crops last year of potatoes, cucumbers, courgettes, beetroot and much more. We’re not self sufficient but we’re making changes and that’s a good start. This year I hope to expand the variety, grow less of each but a wider selection of crops. I still have spinach in my freezer from last year so I don’t need to grow that again this year!

Planning this year’s crops has already started and I have learnt from my mistakes last year not to start my seedlings too early. Everything is just on paper at this point apart from the seed potatoes which are desperately pushing their eyes upwards ahead of being planted out at the end of March. Our long awaited holiday abroad (the first since 2018) is happening next month and I have vowed not to plant a single seed till we come back. This has been a mild winter, almost no frost let alone snow so I’m not dismissing the idea of a late showing of the white stuff so patience is the key and when I do my next blog post in April I hope to show you some tiny little seedlings just making their first forays above ground.

By way of a visual catch up here is a gallery of photos taken from July to November last year. Going through picking photos has given me a wonderful hour this morning, remembering the glorious colours and beautiful shapes that adorned almost every corner of the garden last year. It’s easy to forget in the bare days of December and January just what the garden looks like in July. This gallery is a reminder. A hope of things to come.

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