If you saw my Instagram reveal the other week you’ll know I’m growing more than just winter vegetables this year. Yep, I’m pregnant. And if I had £1 for every time someone said to me ‘you’ll struggle to keep the allotment with a baby’, well I’d be a very rich person indeed.
When Fiskars asked me to take part in their ‘Grow with Fiskars’ campaign – a campaign that highlights how gardening can help with health and wellbeing and explores the role it plays in everyday life – naturally I couldn’t help but think of impending changes and gardening traditions.
Some of my favourite childhood memories are of helping my nana sow seeds in her garden. My papa’s beaming smile as he proudly showed off his sweet peas. And of knowing never, ever to play with a ball around the greenhouse.
From an early age I tried to sneak into the greenhouse…
I spent so much time outside as a kid. I remember when dad tried (tried being the key word in this sentence) to grow sweetcorn in the back garden – how it seemed like vegetables for giants. Sweetcorn still can’t fail to make me smile as an adult for exactly that reason.
(Sub point, my baby book tells me this week bump is the same size as an apple, but referring to him or her as apple sounds a bit too celebrity for my liking, so we’ll have to stick with bump going forward.)
So as I fast forward with bump in mind, I really want to continue those gardening traditions. I’m passionate that there is so much to be learnt and enjoyed from gardening, away from computer screens and the challenges of social media.
Two little hens gardening with me in the hope my Fiskars Xact spade will deliver some worms…
Yes, Harry Potter has some very good magic – but is there anything quite as magical as sowing a seed – nurturing it with some sunshine and water, for that seed to grow into sweetcorn fit for a giant?
I remember reading an article that 1 in 10 secondary school children think tomatoes grow underground. Yes, you might chuckle – but if we’re not encouraging children to grow their own food then, in my opinion, we can’t expect them to know how they grow.
We therefore can’t expect them to understand that apples don’t need to be wrapped in plastic – that mother nature gave them a pretty good skin – or that strawberries have to be flown across the world in December.
I’ve written before how getting outside is so important for our well-being. How sitting with the chickens every day helps me to switch off and live in the moment.
Which is why gardening is so important to me. There are so many lessons to be learnt. How scrambling up the apple tree in September as a 10-year-old makes you realise you can do anything if you put your mind to it. And how picking your own strawberries in the height of summer is better than any sweets from the supermarket.
The first apple from our garden tree and trimming back the buddleia with my new Fiskars Powergear Pruners.
I’m not naive enough to think there won’t have to be substantial changes trying to garden with bump as they grow. I’ll try things that will no doubt fail – but I want at least to try to do everything possible to expand our family in-keeping with our self-sufficient goals.
I want to share my joy of growing sweet peas every year with bump – explaining why they’re so important to me and the happy memories they hold. I plan to create a safe zone around the greenhouse in exactly the same way I did as a child – because you don’t mess with the magic that’s inside.
Because one day, maybe bump will have children. And when they sow seeds, they’ll think of their nana.
Hope you’re all well,
PS Huge thanks to Fiskars for sending me the gardening tools which I’m really enjoying using. For more information on them and their range head to the website here.