I don’t have a garden. I live in a flat on the ground floor and luckily I have some communal space and a country park close by which I feel incredibly privileged to have on my doorstep.
I’m generally not that fussed about not having a garden based on the lifestyle I lead. But having seen people watering their beds and tending their allotments on Instagram and Facebook recently, I screwed my face up growing green with envy at their greener fingers, viewing what they had and I didn’t have, and suddenly, I wanted it.
(Stay with me – there’s a therapy analogy coming just around the corner…)
I can be creative though.
And so I thought I would give it some effort and at least try to see what I could do with what was available to me.
Step 1: Make a start.
Having cooked some – I don’t mind saying – pretty special lamb burgers for the kids recently, I realised I still had some of those plastic trays from the mince in the recycling bag. So, once cleaned and dried, they were ready to go.
I had some kitchen roll that would stay damp, and a handful of sprouting seeds at the back of my cupboard from yesteryear, and with that I decided to create my own little greenhouse on my windowsill.
Add in a little cling film (I know I know, horrendous stuff which I have now vowed never to buy again), some previously used (and cleaned) greaseproof paper and a smattering of that glorious sunlight we’ve been lucky enough to have lately, and voila! All the ingredients.
Just no growth yet.
The seeds alone obviously weren’t going to do anything without my attention. In fact, they were certainly doing less than nothing at the back of that cupboard, neglected in the dark for I don’t know how long.
But once I began to combine these ingredients I started to feel like I had the recipe for success; a favourable climate in which the seeds could grow and (I hoped), some seeds that could materialise into something more useful.
I’d always had the seeds, but the setting and the effort were the vital missing parts, and not before long there were some signs of progress: some signs of Life.
It won’t surprise you to hear that it didn’t just happen. They did require my attention; some watering, some movement by shuffling them to the sunny side of the road occasionally and out of the shadows, and maybe even some words now and again for a little encouragement (please don’t tell anyone I talk to plants).
To my surprise, the rate of growth began to extend almost exponentially.
At first, I had no idea if they would even grow – I’d make my morning coffee and glance over in the direction of the empty plastic pot in the sun feeling I was wasting my time with this pointless escapade.
But really, in no time at all, there was this first, tiny change – a change that gave me hope and just enough belief that things really could happen if I continued with my efforts.
Occasionally I forgot to top up the water and the seedlings would wilt, nodding their heads at me to give me the sign that they needed my attention, but (**obvious diversion to analogy alert**), they never once returned back to being the seeds that they had come from.
And today, I’m popping down the garden centre later this afternoon to get a small bag of compost and a bigger pot to grow things in – it’s actually only a short walk away.
Who knows where this might lead.