I love the stories of hope and enlightenment from this year. As a personal trainer, nutritionist and wanna be life coach, I've seen clients, friends, family and unknowns embrace change and use it to their best advantage. Some of us had little choice, some were lucky enough to have some control over those changes. I guess Dave and I fall into both categories - we were lucky to find a buyer for our studio during a time when so many small businesses were devalued, or defunct. But it wasn't a 'have-to', we made a choice to sell and move on during a time of massive uncertainty, and it was a winner. As freelance trainers, we are now rested and renewed, enjoying our quiet journey and waiting enthusiastically for what comes next.
Our eldest son didn't take the whole shut down thing so well. Lachlan is a musician, artist and a lover of history. This year he had his first big solo adventure to Istanbul booked. That had to go. His Viking re-enactment group went to ground. The band scene shut down, heck he couldn't even meet up with his mates to play music. Like so many other people in their 20's, life changed dramatically in a not so nice way.
I worried about him, thankfully still working, but he was down. The days came and went.
I'm sure his apprenticeship as a groundskeeper spurred his interest, but mostly his strength and resilience took him to the garden and a need to occupy his time and mind with something organic. A new challenge that no-one could take off him. He bought one plant, then another and began to read about how to get the best from each of those plants. His love of the Byzantine era had him looking to growing fruit trees, and although this is still his main interest, he has developed over the course of these past months a love for any plant that you can grow and eat.
Pretty much everything he grows, he grows in pots, which with some plants is easy. Others not so - constant watering and feeding and a little general TLC is required. The pots are mostly because we are renting, partly because he has a nice sunny deck off his flat at the back of our garden, somewhat (probably more than he ever wanted to admit to his mum!) because he knew he'd be moving out sooner than later and would want to take his garden with him.
He doesn't plant in anything other than earthy terracotta, and although he has bought many established plants, he is having huge success with raising seedlings. He understands the need for pollination and so has planted pretty flowers all around the garden that now attract bees and hover flies, which in turns helps to produce fruit.
This all brings complete joy to my heart. I've always had a huge love of nature, of gardening, of the fascination and reward of growing things. Although I love a pretty garden, I love a useful garden and so have always grown plants that can be picked and eaten, dried and put in tea or to heal bodies. I will always attribute my love of nature, of animals, of plants and the amazing earth to my 94 year old Dad, who has been a greenie all his life. Hopefully Lachlan will say the same of me.
He announced this week that he is moving out with friends. He's not going far, but he'll take his potted garden with him, and these past months I've spent in the garden with him will become firm, happy memories. We have worked together on one thing or another, we have had so many trips to the new Bunnings, and we have spent some of each day sitting on his deck looking at his plants, discussing techniques, marvelling at the rapid spring growth and getting excited over the first of the flowers and fruit discovered hiding under a leaf!
2020 has been a shit year in so many ways, and I'm not telling them here, but I've had my fair share of those shits. But look at these pics - how much love, hope and wonder is there here?
I'm incredibly sad as a mum to see my beautiful first born leaving home, but I'm so excited to see him kicking off a new phase of his life, and I will be forever grateful for the positive experiences that this crazy stupid year has provided for me and my Lachlan.
At last count we had 62 edible plants growing in our garden, across Lachlan's potted garden and the beds that we now tend together. The list is below. If you'd like some advice on how to grow any of these things, would like a cutting, or just a wander through our little patch with a cup of Nomad's chai tea please ask 🙂🌾🌺🍓
Lemon rose geranium