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Thought for today - Blog Post 25/05/2020 Garden Games

I have four children, three of which are with us during lockdown. This presents problems in balancing the ornamental elements of our garden with its use as a sporting venue, mainly football, cycling and general wrestling. Our ‘lawn’ is already threadbare and resembling a dried up watering hole that wildebeest may endeavour to seek out water at. Indeed it was my ‘childebeasts‘ that took an already patchy lawn and churned it up into a dust patch.

The Childebeast dust bowl. LN
The Childebeast dust bowl. LN

I should stress that we are in rented accommodation, the garden is fairly small and anything but desirable in appearance, at the best of time, despite my best efforts to improve it.

Almost everything in it comes from the hundreds of pots of cherished plants that I have brought from our last home and tend to daily. I am, without doubt, fairly precious about them. I am also a father though and while the kids are locked down, I’m keen to ensure that they get opportunities to vent frustrations, exercise and enjoy their outdoor space.

Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’ an early football victim. LN
Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’ an early football victim. LN

They have been amazing and I’m really proud of my family who have respected the rules of lockdown and worked hard to accommodate oneanother at home at a difficult time. My children love gardening and have really good plant knowledge. They enjoy growing crops and eating what they have produced and they appreciate the ornamentals too. They try to be careful in the garden rather than prod the angry bear, but accidents do happen.

So, while ordinarily I hate football being played in the garden, with the guarantees of stray shots crushing my treasured plants, I have resigned that not all will thrive during this period and allowed it to be played. It is a shame, but the plants can be replaced, my children’s mental wellbeing and general health is more important. I am currently building a protective cage for my tomatoes though as I just can’t stand the idea of them being injured. Some things are just too precious.

Stay healthy, love your gardens in a shared and supportive manner. Protect your plants from children (and dogs, forgot to mention our lunatic footballing dogs too). Wear sunscreen and enjoy.

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