Despite posting a lot of content on my social media sites, I’ve realised I haven’t updated my blog during the whole 12 week lockdown period, mainly because I’ve been really busy with online schoolwork and filming for various gardening & wildlife conservation groups.
For everyone, all over the world, it’s certainly been a strange time; there’s definitely been some good, bad and ugly times!
The Good – I’ve gone on plenty of hill walks with Buddy and done loads of gardening, which has meant, I feel really fit. The Bad – not going on holiday to The Cairngorms; I was so excited when we were planning it, and it was pretty tough to have to cancel. And The Ugly – I’ve easy polished off 15+ boxes of Jaffa Cakes (bit of a contradiction to feeling healthy, see above!)
I’ll start with lockdown project number 1 – we started digging out the 3rd pond the day after I finished school back in March. Dad and I have spent more time than we ever expected working on it and during this time I’ve learnt a few new skills, including how to mix sand & cement, which we’ve used to support the shelves & sides of the pond in a couple of spots, as the ground is really loose and full of stones.
It will probably stay at this stage for some time, as we have a lot of work to do at the side of the pond, as it will be difficult to do this after it’s completed. But all the same, we are both really chuffed with how it’s come on.
Grow your own
Lockdown project number 2 – like most years, we’ve grown a lot of fruit & veg, most of it from seed and literally watching it burst in to life, has been really pleasurable:
- Fruit – strawberries, blackcurrants, apples, raspberries and blueberries – are all from existing plants/trees/bushes
- Veg – beetroot, spring onions, leeks, onions, shallots, courgettes, cucumber, padron peppers, peas, broad beans, purple sprouting broccoli and potatoes – are all from seed
- Herbs – coriander, parsley, basil from seed and a range of established herbs in the garden, including thyme, rosemary, chives and sage
The incredibly sunny weather we’ve had recently, plus the past few days of rain has seen an incredible growth spurt in some veg plants, such as the broad beans.
Filming & articles
Lockdown project number 3 – has seen me and my mum & dad working as some kind of production team, as requests for wildlife gardening videos & articles went through the roof!
- Just a few days before lockdown, I was due to film a spring clip in the Blue Peter Garden; this was swiftly moved to our garden and with Dad as the researcher & runner, Mum as cameraperson and producer, we filmed this – click here
- I was extremely chuffed to be asked to guest feature on Chris Packham & Megan McCubin’s #WildMorningwithChris live stream a few weeks ago. You can watch the clip here and I’m on about 25mins in
- The RHS Campaign for School Gardening – asked me to film one of their learning resources, ‘how to make a watering can from a milk bottle’, which was really fun to make, you can Watch it here
- The RHS asked me to help them promote #NationalGardeningWeek alongside the gardening godfathers & greats, it was a very windy day and took us hours to film; you can watch it by clicking here
- The British Dragonfly Society – asked me to film a clip, with tips and advice about ponds and plants to help support dragonflies; watch the film posted on Twitter here
- Zoologist and vlogger, Amy Hall made a wildlife vlog about slugs & snails, I’m 7mins in and you can watch the wild vlog here
- Newsround encouraged kids to get involved in gardening, you can watch it here
- I wrote an article for Phonetic Planet, you can read it here
- and amongst many other things I recorded two podcasts for the RHS, about my passion for nepenthes and acers.
Up in my treehouse
Lockdown project number 4 – has seen me spend lots of time up in my treehouse, building up and out, adding a camo tarp roof and just chilling up there with a book.
The best thing I’ve worked on is a water collection system, where I’ve added a gutter along the side of the roof, which then runs down into a container. The next stage is to connect it to a water tank so that we can access rainwater in this part of the garden
As a family, we know we’re incredibly lucky to have this space to ourselves and we really feel for those who have had no outside space to escape to during this dreadful time. The garden has been a proper lifesaver, watching the plants grow on a daily basis has been an absolute privilege. The wildlife that has visited or made a home in our garden has been so special, it deserves a separate blog of its own.
How’s your garden grown during lockdown and what’s been your ‘The good, the bad and the ugly of lockdown’?
Please leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear from you……