Another week, another set of obstacles to our normal lives. Although ‘lockdown’ rules have been relaxed in the past couple of weeks, many of us are finding ourselves in the same situation due to being vulnerable and are concerned about catching the virus ourselves. Although perfectly fit and healthy, I am still very wary of exposing myself to it and so haven’t really changed my stance on physically distancing myself from crowds, however it has been amazing to have the opportunity to meet up with people again, at a safe distance of course. As we now know that it is much harder to catch the virus out in the open, there are more people about and public parks are getting busier.

If this bothers you at all, and you would prefer to take in nature in a much quieter spot but you are not blessed with a beautiful garden, then it can be engineered that you could spend an afternoon in someone else’s natural outdoor space. Followers of the page will be more than aware of my ongoing quest to create the perfect haven for bees and butterflies wherever I live, and yesterday was one of those days where some more bargain and free plants to add to my growing collection. On my way home from collecting a small order from a lovely friend who has been organising bulk orders from a local plant nursery, I stopped to have a cuppa in a beautiful little courtyard garden.

Behind the corner house on a busy side street in Beeston, an oasis of calm has been created. With it’s variety of clever planting around an arbour seat and a sunken pond, it’s a perfect place for a cuppa and some contemplation. It’s the creation of Helen, with a lot of expert guidance (it was a ‘tricky plot’) and a little help from her friends. Despite it being a work in progress, the display of tall stems and purple blooms is reaching it’s best at the moment. And considering this is only its second year, what has been achieved in the previously uninspiring back yard full of concrete paving slabs and little else is amazing!

I was delighted to spend an hour in this calming space, and left Helen’s garden with a sense of what she could further accomplish. And having the time to devote to such a labour intensive project as this might suggest that she is going to make an enormous amount of progress this year, if recent modifications are anything to go by. I also wondered whether she would view this tranquil garden partly as her ‘lockdown legacy.’ Evidence of the time alone that had been enforced but productively spent. And this got me wondering what I might create as my lockdown legacy,  a creative confirmation of this strange time.

I have many creative skills and past times that I can draw on, but like so many people I have spoken to, I have not been able to settle to anything for long. The garden has been a great creative escape, but I am now getting to the point where a lot of the hard work is done and it’s now time to sit and enjoy it, and maintain it of course. I used to paint a LOT in the past, and have a hankering for getting out my brushes, acrylics and a nice big canvas…so maybe that’s what it will be. I would love to do an origami installation somewhere, large scale and VERY eye-catching, but I am all out of inspiration on that at the moment.

I have watched Modflowers ‘scrappy lockdown quilt‘ grow and also came across this beautiful blanket made of knitted squares in a Facebook group. There have been mosaicked steps and writing projects too to motivate me. So I have come to the conclusion that there will be something, or maybe it will be many things, but there is no doubt in my mind that the creativity will take some form, and will mark the time that the whole world was in the grip of a new threat that we didn’t know how to get out of at the time. What will your lockdown legacy be…?
DU