And then Cornoavirus happened and we were all confined to our homes and that messy little lump of walled-in concrete at the back of my house became a godsend. I'd never really appreciated the chaotic little space before, but I certainly do now. It's a little bit of outdoors space that we can use whenever we like, and I know not everyone has that luxury.
As lockdown came into place and the weather turned surprisingly glorious, I started to weed the pots, one or two at a time, and I found those few minutes out in the fresh air really helped after being cooped up. I also found some flowers among the weeds: daffodils, irises, hyacinth and bellis.
As the weeks went on, most of these died off but there are more waiting to take their place. The raspberry plant we potted last year is growing back and there are a couple of lilies popping up out of the soil. There are some other... stuff starting to sprout again (I'm not a gardener and I can't remember what was planted in which pot. And no, of course I didn't label them) as well as some new plants growing from the seeds I sowed once the weeds had vamoosed. I also sowed some dahlia seeds indoors, and these will eventually go outside too.
There's also the birds in the garden, which we finally managed to entice last spring. We have a feeder and a birdbath (though we are yet to witness them having a scrub) so it's nice to sit and watch them visit. Our old faithful feathery friends the wood pigeons, starlings, blackbirds and collared doves have been, as well as the return of magpies, and I spotted a crow on the roof last week (they're my faves).
I like spending a few minutes checking on the plants and watering them (and whipping away those nasty little weeds that insist of trespassing) each day. There's the all-important fresh air, as well as the excitement of seeing things grow. But it isn't just the pots that have been keeping me busy out in the garden. Most days, I've taken my blanket out and laid it out on the concrete so I can have a read (Luna usually joins me. Sometimes one of her squeaky friends does too). I've even taken my crochet out to get some vitamin D while working on my sausage dog projects.
As well as nature, book-reading and outdoorsy crocheting, we've also used the garden to carry on with my youngest daughter's basketball training. The league has been suspended (obviously) but Isobel has been out in the garden, practicing her dribbling and shooting. There may not be much space, but she's having a go!
A few weeks ago, the garden was an underappreciated space, but now it's like another room of the house. We're using it every day, for a range of activities, and I'm definitely grateful that it's there.