Garden Power – exploring the joy of gardens in everyday life

Yesterday I felt as if I was somehow being sent a message when a book about life stories led to a person’s history involving flowers. Today I was reflecting on the benefits of gardens and what a difference they make to our lives in so many different ways and the book title Garden Power just popped into my mind. So for now it is a new book project and I will see where it takes me. It might end up getting shelved for a year or so while it bubbles in the background of my mind.

I have my own life stories about gardens from my childhood and life experiences but I really want to delve deeper and go wider. To think about the impact of nature in our lives, the benefits of being surrounded by living plants, birds and animals – our own private – or not so private – space across a spectrum from wild to manicured.

To also consider what it is like to not have a garden especially during the lockdowns of 2020. I myself was able to venture into vegetable growing for the first time since my twenties and it was the film location for a spot of TikTok dancing. I also made friends with a little Robin and listened to the early morning birdsong.

Let me hasten to add, I am not a gardener but I do love gardens. This has much to do with my mum who was an avid gardener, spending many hours of toil to bring the joys of a colourful array of flowers to long summer days.

Even when I was in hospital with leukaemia I recall the simple pleasure of being able to walk out into a private garden by the Macmillan ward, tended to by volunteers, and look up to the sky, hear the birdsong and breathe in the fresh air. Magic in a world that had shrunk unexpectedly. Returning home, a bouquet of flowers greeted me.

For now, I will ponder on the title and another one that has come to me … The Everyday Life of Flowers. What stories would you tell?