The Joys of Outdoors by our resident gardener Kara.
This has to be my favourite time of the year, along with Autumn, oh and Christmas, and not forgetting Spring. Yep I actually can’t pick a favourite time as I literally love parts of every season!
But right now I am l fully immersed in gardening, I constantly have compost under my fingernails and in my hair (I am thinking I should perhaps time my hair back?)
Let me give you an insight as to why growing things makes me SO happy –
You may well remember me saying previously that spending time outdoors is very important for me to keep me grounded and happy.
At the end of last year I started making a list of what I would like to plant, I think ahead to the hazy warm days we are now in and imagine everything flourishing, then in March it’s time to start sowing seeds and I obsessively check the seed trays every day, when I finally see the little green tip poking through the compost I am ecstatic. How cool is that, plant a seed and it shall grow. Life finds a way!
Our greenhouse and every available surface indoors is then taken over by seed trays, much to the annoyance of the rest of the family.
Fast forward a few months and we have all sorts growing – cucumbers, tomatoes, chard, rocket, lettuce, cornflowers, sunflowers sweet peas, verbena, chamomile, nasturtiums to name a few and 2 particular favourites – nicotiana and night scented stock, these both bring fond memories of my Dad planting these years ago and the sweet fragrance that seemed to consume our garden on a summer evening.
I cannot express just how happy it makes me to see the myriad of wildlife enjoying the plants and flowers, we have lots of bees (who knew there were so may different varieties https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blog/2019/05/types-of-bee-in-the-uk/ ) from Bumblebees to Leafcutters https://www.rhs.org.uk/biodiversity/leaf-cutting-bees, these little fluffy creatures are simply amazing and so important to life, I urge you to grow some borage or comfrey, they grow quickly and self-seed, you can also eat borage leaves and flowers.
I challenge you all to get planting, sow a seed, watch it grow, nurture it and be rewarded with the gift it gives, the gift being happiness (and tomato sauce, chutney, pickled cucumbers, chilli sauce) all of these plants can be grown in pots.
This happiness lasts a whole year and I am reminded of this whilst tucking in to chilli sauce and chutney on Christmas eve, there is something so satisfying about eating what you have grown, it takes you right back to the start of spring.
Get out there and enjoy every season.