Can’t quite believe I’m sitting here in November having not left the country once this year. Apart from a few brave souls I’ve noticed blogging themselves in empty airports and resorts, its been the bleakest of years for anyone who likes writing about travel.
So it’s been banana bread and fitness vlogs galore, if you can find time between Zoom quizzes and painting garden fences. As someone who already worked from home, it took a little time to adjust to working with other people around. Like being back in an office, I guess.
But something weird happened. Well, if anything can be called weird in the context of 2020. It all started with something REALLY weird. Sunshine. In Scotland. For almost all of April and May. I’d had plans to regenerate the garden swirling around my head for some years now, but not the time or cash to get it done. There could be no excuses this year I figured, and to force my own hand, one April morning, a man with a digger raised it to the clay-ladened ground. Skip forward four months of deliveries, steep learning curves (mostly on YouTube) and blisters, the construction was complete. What now ? I’d kind of got the bug and found myself looking for add-on projects for a few weeks, but then a second bug caught me. No, thankfully not that one.
What to do with the patches of garden with the brown stuff in it ? As soon as I finished the build, I realised I hadn’t really thought about it, and I realised I didn’t really know where to start. So began a new interest in greenery. How, when and where to plant them, how to keep them alive, how to keep the garden interesting throughout the year.
I’ll be honest, I’m only at the start of my interest in plant life – I cant wait for Spring already, but for now, there’s not much happening outside. And then I realised we didn’t have a single plant in the house. Not one. So we changed that and a fresh journey of discovery began.
New learning, from failure as well as success. There’s a real emotional attachment to plants I think – once you start to invest time and care into each individual little (or large) green life, there’s a bind. And suddenly the family are into it – little pots of life appear throughout the house, hanging from ceilings, brightening wallscapes, and I read, improving the air.
And I realise now its a real team game. There’s the stylist, ensuring each plant is complimented with the right on-trend container, the planner, identifying just the right spots throughout the house for life to grow. And the water boy, not always as easy as you think. There’s so much to learn about how much water, how often, and how to deliver it to which right part of the plant. A real sense of disappointment accompanies the failure to get it right and watch the plant suffer is always followed by a determination to learn and get it right next time.
So as we continue our journey to a much greener and environmentally-aware future, there’s a big part to be played by indoor plants. Those with young children and perhaps not a lot of outside space, can kick off that learning we know our young children excel at. There’s a bond that grows between plant and person, a somewhat subconscious drive to help them flourish. If you don’t fancy pets, maybe plants are for you. They don’t bark or bite or leaving little parcels around the house. OK, losing a plant isn’t the traumatic event that the passing of a pooch might be, but you better believe the sense of disappointment can take you down some weird Youtube black holes as you try to avoid the next addition to your green collection suffering the same fate.
Taking responsibility for plant life is great little journey of education, rewarding, and even great for mental health and calmness I’ve found. Boy did we ever need some of that this year.
As we go into a second round of lockdown, I was delighted to see our favourite local plant and lifestyle store Dear Green Place Ltd in Glasgow has found a way to keep going, with Click and Collect and delivery available. They have a great range of stunning plants and stunning pots and planters to really set them off beautifully in your home. Hopefully their wonderful little shop will be back open soon too.
Oh, and buy a spray bottle.