To say that this has been a strange year has become a kind of ultimate and omnipresent cliché. There is a tendency, a temptation, even a ritual that blames the world’s jolly little virus for everything and I find myself trying to blame it for the almost total lack of photography in my life since March. Actually that’s not even true, but what is so is that my “proper” camera has been unused during that period. I suppose it began with lockdown – we can’t go out anywhere, so what’s to photograph? It continued with the “discovery” (I’ve obviously known about it and even used it but never really regarded it as real photography) of the camera in my phone and its inbuilt processing software. So in fact I’ve made a lot of photographs, most but not all in the garden, that sort of document the year and which reside in “photos” on the computer as well as being available on each of our iPhones and the lap top. The technology is brilliant really – it seems that no sooner have I opened the shutter (yes, I know!) the image is uploaded and shared – really brilliant!
There are too many to put them all up here but what follows might be seen as a kind of edited highlights of the gardening year. We invested in a greenhouse which brought a whole different dimension to what we had envisaged as gardening. Of course I had to make a base and then when the kit arrived undertake a huge “meccano” build, followed by the nerve wracking process of glazing, but all seems to be well and we’ve had a crop of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and courgettes (the latter in fact grown just outside the greenhouse), that has been quite satisfying. The latest task has been lining it with horticultural bubble wrap against the cold, aiming to make is a “cool” house, which seems to be defined as having a temperature which doesn’t fall below 7C; this aided by a small paraffin heater, the vagaries of which I am slowly working out.
Outwith the confines of the greenhouse we’ve thoroughly enjoyed spending more time, energy (and money!) In and on the garden, and things have grown, sometimes in real abundance, and that’s been a source of great joy. Some have struggled, but mostly things have grown and flowered and been enjoyed. Now of course we’re into clearing up and preparing for winter, which actually means preparing for next spring when the whole cycle begins again – of should I say continues to roll along.
I can begin to grasp the excitement of gardening; the creativity of planting and nurturing; the privilege of joining in with the ongoing process of nature. There is a real spirituality here I think, in the process …… “unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies”.