lockdown garden

When lockdown began, the forget-me-nots were blooming in the garden, a sea of pale blue. The lilac tree, too, was flowering, and the clematis I’d planted. They filled the air with scent as I sat outside on an unusually sunny April day, feeling fortunate to have this rented outdoor space, and thinking about my family, not knowing when I would next see them. These flowers all hold some significance for me – a lilac tree grew in the garden of my childhood home, as did clematis. There’s a photograph of me, aged about six, in a puff-sleeved dress, in front of a mass of pale pink blooms. In these strange times, the emotional resonance of plants has never felt more powerful.

The forget-me-nots came from my 86-year-old maternal grandmother Jean, my last remaining grandparent. They were the first thing I planted in this garden, four years ago. I have lived in the flat for almost a decade, but it was only in the summer of 2016 that we finally found the energy and enthusiasm to clear the 8ft-high knot of brambles. I was suffering from agoraphobia as a result of post- traumatic stress disorder, and my world had shrunk. So my then boyfriend, now husband, built me a garden. During that year, when I was frightened all the time, this sanctuary became my entire world. And so, during the pandemic, it has come to be again.

Source: How gardening helped me live with love and loss | Life and style | The Guardian